Summary: There are armies armed for battle that are not of this earth. This is not a new enemy. This enemy has been around since the beginning of time. And in this battle there is more at stake than there was in all our wars combined.
Ephesians: Our Identity In Christ~part 26
Armed and Dangerous
The Armor of God
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.
12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this edarkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
We live in a dangerous and hostile world. There are many today who are armed and dangerous. Do you remember when the US invaded Iraq, and we watched on television as the night sky over Baghdad lit up with missiles and anti-aircraft fire. It was an incredible sight, and a horrifying one.
There is a scene being played out in every corner of the world much like that one. The only difference is that this scene takes place in the invisible realm of the spiritual world. Although we can experience its effects, this battle can rage on undetected by many.
There are armies armed for battle that are not of this earth. This is not a new enemy. This enemy has been around since the beginning of time. And in this battle there is more at stake than there was in all our wars combined.
Because our enemy is armed and dangerous, we must learn how to be armed and dangerous ourselves. This is the battle that counts. This is the battle we must make certain we win. It is the spiritual battle against the demonic forces of Hell.
Our Problem --- God's Enemy
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
As Christians, we must struggle with God's enemy. Too many Christians fail to understand that we are engaged in mortal combat. We are in a warfare which is very real and upon which not only our spiritual welfare but the welfare of others depends.
Our fight is not against humans; Paul says, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood. The warfare we wage is against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our struggle is against Satan and his demonic hordes.
Are you aware that we are in a life and death struggle against the demonic powers which operate this world? Did you know that there is a demonic hierarchy, much like a military or governmental organization, which is even now in place, organized to promote the agenda of Satan himself? It is true! When our text speaks of rulers, powers, and forces it is referring to the organizational structure of Satan's hierarchy. The word which is translated “world forces” is kosmokratoras. A more recognizable anglicized rendering would be cosmocrats. Many, like Professor F. F. Bruce, think that these terms refer to the hierarchy of fallen angels. One cosmocrat could have been the angel-prince of Persia who hindered the angelic messenger sent to Daniel. In Daniel 10:12-13 we read that the angel said to Daniel, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”
The demonic cosmocrats of Satan's army are deployed everywhere in our culture. They infiltrate every segment of society, both secular and ecclesiastical. They have but one purpose: to destroy God's work. Their attack takes many forms. They attack God's work directly and indirectly. They are after you and your walk with God. They are after your family and your relationships with others. They attack you through your emotions and your circumstances. And they do not sleep. It is a very real and personal struggle. In our own strength we are over-matched.
You have all personally felt the onslaught of Satanic attack in your life. Have you struggled with addiction of some kind? Have you struggled with depression or discouragement? Have you struggled with anger, or problems in your marriage? Have you felt that you are not saved, or that God doesn’t love you? This is all supernatural attacks orchestrated by satan. This is our warfare.