Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
We live in a fallen world that is filled to the brim with evil, darkness and corruption. The bible teaches us that the devil himself, Satan, has a degree of rule in this world during this time and he is making full use of it (Ephesians 2:2). Now I am fully aware that many people do not believe there is a literal devil. When I first became a Christian, I spoke with one of my old college friends about faith in Christ and the reality of the devil, and he informed me that if there was a devil, that he had the devil on his leash and was in no way under his control. The reality was that the devil had him on his leash and was using him for great degrees of immorality and evil purposes, but my old friend was blind to this reality. This is how Satan works, he deceives people into thinking that they are in charge while he uses them for his wicked devices. Let us not forget that the Bible teaches that the devil is the “father of lies” and can appear as an angel of light to trick people into falling under his influence. I did not see his hold on me until after I came to faith in Christ, and then it all became as clear to me as the nose on my face! I had been deceived and used by the wicked one! If you have never surrendered to Christ for salvation and forgiveness, you are also under the spell of the devil whether you realize it or not. Once we become Christ’s, we are set free from the power of evil and we have the Holy Spirit in us that is greater than the power of the world, the flesh or the devil. Now, once saved, we must learn to live by faith and let God’s strength be our strength; this is done by daily surrender to the will of God and taking your complete identity as being a servant and family member of Jesus and not your own free agent to do as you like. This is what the above scripture is revealing to us; we must rely on God’s strength, never our own. If we rely on ourselves, we shall surely fail God, people and ourselves and find ourselves in deep trouble. The epistle of Paul to the Ephesians continues on to list the spiritual devices God has provided us to give us victory in our life of faith. Here is a listing of these:
Gird your loins in truth, as in God’s Word and Jesus, so you “stay put together” in life’s battles. “Girding the loins” was the belt that held all the clothes together and was where the sword was attached.
The breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus, and our obedience to Him, that protects our vital organs from Satan’s attacks as he seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
Our feet shod in the gospel of peace is when we go wherever God sends us to bring peace and truth to others with the gospel message and also reminds us of our true purpose in life.
The shield of faith blocks the arrows and darts of the devil and it reminds us that we belong to God and God cannot be defeated by Satan as Jesus already beat him at Calvary.
The helmet of salvation is to protect our head from damage as to whether we are truly saved or not. Once our head is hurt, we become disoriented and confused and are easy pickings for the devil. We must know we are His!
The sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, the Bible. As a sharp and dangerous weapon, be careful in how you use it when dealing with people, but it is our offensive weapon go strike Satan as Jesus did in the wilderness.
My friends, the bottom line is be sure you belong to Jesus and rely only on Him, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God to lead you in life. The devil will trick any of us if we turn from God’s ways to living how we want. Trust Him and His love for you as you live by faith, even in the midst of spiritual warfare. It is the blessed and protected way!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek