Life is challenging because there are numerous spiritual and physical forces that pull us in different directions. Evil and demonic powers can wage war against us and sway us from living a faithful life of worship to God. Negative influences can stop us from expressing fully our God-given potentials. Satan is busy and powerful and has cohorts who will help kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). All believers need to put on the full armor of God to help us to stand firm as we face difficult oppositions that Satan brings our way. Paul advises us, as he informed the Ephesians, that God has given Christians spiritual armor to equip us to manage our daily battles in this world. Decide early how we are to use the sword (God’s word) to combat Satan as he appears in our lives.
Many issues challenge Christians often with multiple dimensions. Sometimes the problems are spiritual, moral, materialistic, economical or even political in nature. What does God want us to do individually or as a group to use our resources as defense mechanisms? Verse 10 tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. This is only possible with His help. Many scriptures teach us that God created the known world to serve His purpose by living successfully to please Him. The Christian life consists of walking in the Spirit and engaging in spiritual warfare against the power of the kingdom of darkness.
In Ephesians (4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15-17) the focus seems to be on the Spirit filled life of believers which empowers us to please God and to overcome the enemy (Satan). Believers must completely depend on the Lord’s resources before we can win any spiritual battle! Behind human, moral, physical, natural, spiritual problems and attacks in life, there are God’s supernatural powers that work to accomplish the good and perfect plans for His people. Satan struggles, but God has been and always will be the winner in our lives! Can Paul’s letter to the Ephesians teach us how to live today? Paul leaned heavily on the appearance of the Greco-Roman soldiers’ outfits to illustrate the whole armor of God for us as Christian believers.
The same rules for walking in God’s ways apply to us as we face problems in our world. Paul built relevant and strong connections between natural and spiritual warfare. He proceeded to list all the elements that make up the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:12-18). It takes the full armor to stand against the wiles of Satan who seeks to work schemes and strategies through any loopholes allowed by us as God’s people.
We as Christians are challenged by our behavior patterns to fully commit our time and energy to refrain from complacency as we engage in daily spiritual warfare. As we watch and pray, let us be conscious of the resources that God has given to us. All the known challenges of the on-going battles do not apply selectively to a few Christians, they include all of us. Who is involved with satanic forces? Every Christian is inevitably included in the fight against Satan. Beyond and above our five senses to detect, there are principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. Jesus Christ has made it known that He has authority and power over them. They are always subordinate to Him. Let us try not to let Satan disrupt the purpose of God in our lives.
Satan and his agents will try to work in the world to inflict and sustain evil among us who are misled and sometimes destroyed. How does darkness help Satan? Sin creates darkness and Satan operates in dark situations. Believers are admonished by Paul to carry a shield of faith in every given situation in addition to other weapons mentioned. The fiery darts that Satan can release against us as people of God can penetrate the soul, spirit and body of the Christian warrior. In practical terms, these attacks can come through words of discouragement, doubt in God’s word and fear of accomplishments. Events and situations can be created or carefully designed to offset the believers’ onward march to victory! In addition, movies, books and other messages may be used to confuse, depress, torture or inflict us and destruct faith-filled lives. God is the source of any faith that we can ever possess. God gives us His armor that we may live a victorious Christian life. It is our choice to use wisely what God has given us.
Prayer is important in every situation. The power to live and succeed depends on how we are empowered by God. Pray to become spiritually alert and to engage in different kinds of prayer that the Bible teaches. It is important that the Christian warrior hold on to God’s word and power of the Lord until the end of life. God is near and is able to give victory to all of us as believers who work to overcome Satan. Believers must continue to depend entirely on the complete power of the Lord and be wholly equipped for battle by putting on the whole armor of God!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.