Ephesians 6:10-23: Armed by God
Read Ephesians 6:10-23 before reading this blog.
After addressing the beautiful things God has in store for us as believers, and explaining how to live this Christian life, Paul begins this last section saying “finally” or in the NLT: “a final word”. Finally, now that we know these things, we must make sure to stay strong; stay strong in the hope of our promises and stay strong in our walk, for the devil is real and so is his power. If you have just given your life to Christ like the church of Ephesus, you must put on the armor of God, for you are a prized possession. There is a battle in the Christian life that we must fight, continuously. If you do not remain strong and aware, with your confidence in the Lord, the battle will be a hard one to fight. But now that you have picked to be on God’s side, you will be eternally protected.
Joining The Bright Side
When you are new to the faith, the devil will try to steal you back, because well, he misses you. He will do what he can. He will attack you, maybe attack your family, attack your thought life. Perhaps you’ve noticed this happening to you. That old, toxic, boyfriend from your old life you now suddenly miss. Maybe a loss of secure income. Random fights with your family or friends. A recurring temptation that’s suddenly made itself widely available.
Once I put my faith in Jesus Christ, my life got harder. My family got into the biggest fight we’ve ever had, splitting us apart. I was constantly being questioned and judged on my faith. I moved to a new city and could not make friends. Away from family, I was extremely lonely and isolated. My cousin committed suicide. My aunt was diagnosed with a glioblastoma. I got into a really icky 3-week dating relationship that was exceptionally difficult to leave. I lost work. Many months I barely made rent. My aunt died, and so much more. This all happened within my first 8 months of becoming a Christian. Everywhere I looked, there was an attack. But I tell you, never in my life have I felt so protected after I joined the winning side. Jesus was clothing me in protection from satan’s horrible fiery arrows and my faith skyrocketed. None of these situations were permanent and God always provided. In this Christian life you will have battles, but you have to recognize who they’re from and you need to recognize who will protect you.
How Can You Be Attacked?
You cannot believe in God without believing in the devil so you have to realize that both are at hand in your life. Where are your weak spots? Places that you don’t fully rely on God? That may be a spot that the enemy will use to attack you. For many that can be finances, romantic relationships, body image. Look to seek confidence and rely solely on the Lord in these areas.
Here are some common ways the devil and his demons attack you: Deception (John 8:44), Division (John 17:22), Diversion (Matthew 10:28), Discouragement, and Doubt.
The devil will do his best to tell you you are unloved, unworthy, that you’re alone. And he will do his best to push you into addiction, self-condemnation, and suicide. These are not from God. Because these are not from God, you can fight them with God. 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Here’s How To Fight Your Battles
Put on the whole armor of God. God gifts us a whole set of armor, sending us into battle with all we could need. If we ignore this battle, we probably won’t win but if we put on our protective gear, we’ll be ready for the attacks.
Remember how Paul wrote the Letter to the Ephesians in the custody of Roman soldiers? He was probably looking at their own armor and realized how beautifully God has equipped us.
-Belt of Truth (vs. 14). Truth gathers up our garments so that we can fight effectively. If we do not have the belt of truth on, everything becomes undone. A belt alone is not armor but it holds all the undergarments together.
-Breastplate of Righteousness (vs. 14). Righteousness protects our life, our beating heart, our vital organs. “Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God. Its chief meaning concerns ethical conduct”. Without righteousness, the target of what keeps us alive is left naked.
-Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (vs. 15). The Gospel provides the footing for everything we do. It is truly our firm foundation. However powerful the rest of your body is, if you are wounded in your feet, if you do not fully believe and walk in the truth and reality of the Gospel, you are easy prey for the enemy. “The military successes of both Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar were due in large measure to their armies’ being able to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain.” (Wood)
-Shield of Faith (vs. 16) This shield in ancient times wasn’t a small shield but rather a large one that protected your full body. In ancient warfare, the fiery arrows were launched in the beginning of an attack not just from one side but rather from all around. The one with the arrows had the goal to injure, confuse, and cause panic, hoping that you would give up your shield. But not only does the shield of faith protect you, it actually extinguishes the arrows.
- Helmet of Salvation (vs. 17) This isn’t the only time the helmet of salvation is mentioned in the Bible. It is actually mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 which says “But since we belong to the day, let us... put on the hope of salvation as a helmet.” This is mental. If we do not put on the hope of salvation to guard our thought life, the enemy can easily attack us through doubt and discouragement.
-The Sword of the Spirit (vs. 17) This is our only offensive weapon. The rest is protection. The only thing we have to hit the enemy with is God’s Word. If you look throughout the Bible, every time Jesus is tempted by Satan, He fights him off with scripture. This is why absorbing and applying Scripture to your life is so important. The right verses will pop up in times of need and Truth will replace the lies.
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit tells us our glorious standing by maintaining in faith. What does it look like after we use the Lord’s armor to fight our battles?
· We stand in grace (Romans 5:2).
· We stand in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1).
· We stand in courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13).
· We stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24).
· We stand in Christian liberty (Galatians 5:1).
· We stand in Christian unity (Philippians 1:27).
· We stand in the Lord (Philippians 4:1).
· We should stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12).
The enemy has very unoriginal tactics. As Christians we can often relate to the afflictions of one another since the devil likes to use the same arrows. Never be afraid to ask for prayer or share the battles you’re facing, a lot of us can often relate and speak truth to one another where the enemy has spoken lies. As a sisterhood, we are called to gather one another and help carry each other’s burdens, helping one another to stand firm after the battle.
1 Peter 5:6-10 “ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”
With your Word equipping me, I pray in the Spirit. I thank You for the great Letter to the Ephesians and all that it has taught me and will continue to teach me. I ask for Your help, Lord, to give me the strength to carry out all that you have called me to. Holy Spirit, renew my mind, my thoughts, and my attitudes. I ask that, whenever I speak, you give me words so I can proclaim your Gospel. So that I speak words of gentleness, kindness, and encouragement to others. I ask that you give me a hunger for your Holy Spirit, filling me with your heart for all the Lord’s people. Help me to declare your Word fearlessly in words and in action. Keep me alert to the tactics of the devil and fully aware that you who is in me is greater than the one in the world. I pray for dependence on you Jesus, that your Truth would resound so deep within me. I pray to stay clothed in your armor all the days of my life. Protect me and keep me from temptation, doubt, and discouragement. Thank you for the beautiful life you call us to and thank you for the way you shield us from the attacks of the evil one.
In your loving name we pray,
Remember, honesty and vulnerability will help to fight the enemy off.
Where is a weak spot the enemy continues to attack you?
Now what truth can replace that?
Name one time the root of a thought became a tree in your mind because you didn’t pluck it out.
Take some time with God, in prayer. Ask Him to reveal to you a lie the enemy has been placing in your head. Ask for His truth (Scripture) to overcome that lie and replace it.