Monday, October 21, 2013

No Spiritual Streaking Permitted!

Ephesians 6:10-20
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 
 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

When it comes to our spiritual battles, standing in victory begins with having a proper perspective.  We must first and foremost have an attitude of dependence.  This is tougher that you might think because we live in a culture that is all about being self-sufficient. Instead of being confident in our own power, position, degrees or knowledge, we must be dependent on the power of God.  We are to be strong “in the Lord” and we are to be strong “in the power of His might.”  Here is the point - our strength is never sufficient to oppose Satan but the Lord’s strength is always more than sufficient for our spiritual battle. 

Remember, it’s not the amount of strength that we have that counts but rather the source of that strength.  In Revelation 3:8 Jesus tells the church at Philadelphia that though they have “little power,” that He will open a door of opportunity for them that no man can shut.  Paul understood this as well in Philippians 4:13 where he says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Through His cross and resurrection Jesus has already defeated Satan and his power over sin and death (Romans 5:18-21; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Hebrews 2:14).  We now can depend on His power.

This also involves depending on God’s protection.  Verse 11 tells us that to take advantage of the strength of God, believers must put on the whole armor of God that He supplies.  Paul writes this letter to the church at Ephesus while in prison in Rome.  He was probably chained to a Roman guard when he wrote these words and was inspired by the Holy Spirit as he looked at the guard’s armor. 

There is a big difference, however.  When a Roman guard went back to his barracks at the end of the day, he would most-likely take his armor off for the night.  He would then put it on again when it was time to go back on duty.  That is not the case with this spiritual armor Paul is speaking about.  The word “put on” is written in a tense that speaks of putting it on once and for all.  It isn’t a uniform that we only wear to work or only wear on game day.  We are to put on our armor and leave it on.  We are to live in our armor!  Why is this the case?  This is crucial because we live on the battlefield.  We never come off the battlefield. 

When you sit in church – you are on the battlefield!
When you go home – you are on the battlefield!
When you watch TV – you are on the battlefield!
When you sleep – you are on the battlefield!
When you go to work – you are on the battlefield!
When you go out to eat – you are on the battlefield!
When you shop – you are on the battlefield!
When you play – you are on the battlefield!

It is so important that we understand our spiritual armor and wear every piece of it 24/7.  With it on, we can “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  The word “stand firm” is a military word that describes holding a critical position while under attack.  Jesus told the church at Thyatira the same thing in Revelation 2:25 when He said to “stand firm till He comes!”  We do this – we stand firm against Satan’s attacks – by depending on the protection of God which is evident when we live in our armor.

According to 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is like a "roaring lion" stalking his prey.  That is right!  The forces of evil are stalking us.  That is why Paul said earlier in Ephesians that we are "not to give the devil any opportunity" (Ephesians 4:24).  According to Paul in chapter six, when we wear our armor we are protected against the schemes of the devil.  The word “schemes” is where we get our word “methods.”  Satan has a playbook!  He is crafty, cunning and deceiving.  He knows just how to attack us and he is stalking us, waiting for that moment when we take a piece of our armor off. 

As a Christ-follower we must understand that there is no spiritual streaking permitted!  We must live in our armor 24/7 because we live on the battlefield 24/7!

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