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Read:   Ephesians 6:10-14

   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

                                                                                                         – Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5.

 In William Shakespeare’s great tragedy, “Hamlet”, the king is murdered and the thrown usurped.  The fallen king’s ghost begins to appear at night and it leads to a stakeout on the bulwark of the castle to witness the apparition.  Horatio, a student of philosophy (representing reason), is skeptical of ghosts, which leads to the great line above:  ““There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  I believe in science.  I also believe in a spiritual realm of creation.  Some would say that I can’t (with integrity) believe in both things simultaneously; I respectfully disagree.  I will not offer an opinion on “ghosts” here, but I agree with Hamlet –that in this creation there is more than meets the eye, or is dreamt of by science or philosophy, including the “spiritual forces of evil”, that Paul mentions.

Paul begins his teaching by affirming that, “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil”.  That’s the reason that Paul advises Christians to “put on the full armor of God”. The first important truth we should acknowledge is that God knows what we need and provides it, equipping us for the job.  The “full armor of God” is God’s provision for us, and I’ll be focusing on it in the coming weeks.  Also, in 1John 4:4, the Bible teaches of the Holy Spirit: “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  God provides.  The Holy Spirit is with us always.  We have what we need to be safe and effective in life and to stand against the “spiritual forces of evil” – we need to know that, and we need to use it.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom