Summary: 7th in a series on Spiritual Warfare
Chico Alliance Church
September 10, 2006
Pastor David Welch
"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 7
I. Be Aware
III. Be armed & aggressive
A.Be fully empowered
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10
All the armament in the world will be of no benefit if we don’t have the strength to use it.
We must first understand our power source. This is a supernatural battle that requires supernatural strength. The kind of strength necessary for this battle can only come from the Lord. Paul instructed them first to be empowered by the Lord. He used a passive tense verb – be strengthened by someone. Be strengthened in the Lord. Be empowered. The kind of strength necessary to do battle with the enemy only comes through vital spiritual connection with Christ. Once we have been empowered, we need to be armed. That is the second command in the passage repeated twice.
B.Be fully armed (Put on / Take up God’s complete armor)
Put on the full armor of God, vs 11
take up the full armor of God, vs13
Paul clearly explained why we must employ the full armor of God.
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Vs 11
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Vs 13
The reason we need to be empowered in the Lord and protected by his armor is so that we will be able to stand and resist. We need both God’s power and God’s armament in order to engage the enemy. Paul instructed the believer is to be fully armed in order to engage the enemy.
In between the two commands to appropriate God’s armament, Paul described the enemy we must be fully armed to engage.
Paul employed a word indicating a fierce face to face conflict. Because of the use of that word, last week I indicated that our battle with the enemy is ultimately a personal battle.
I have subsequently realized my interpretation was not correct. Paul’s use of the word “wrestle” still indicates that the battle is personal and up close. However, there is no such thing as an army of one. The war that Satan wages is a war against the church.
The battle may be personal, but the war is communal. We are called to fight side by side.
Paul’s call to prayer in the midst of this battle is a call to the church to continually intercede for one another. I’ve come to understand that this war must be one that we fight together. We must fight side by side. Our fight must NOT be against each other but against our mutual enemy. Individual warfare goes against everything God designed the body to be and do.
So the armament that Paul outlines in this passage is not so that we can personally resist the devil but so that we can go to war for each other as Kingdom warriors.
Paul is very clear that we are to do everything we can to stand and resist the enemy.
Stand firm therefore (in light of our mutual war)
The command to stand is clear. It means to engage the enemy. Here is where a new perspective on spiritual warfare is forming in the depths of my soul. The command to stand is not a command to stand and wait, or be ready for the enemy’s attack. The command to stand is a command to take a stand. Any battle that focuses only on defense is ultimately doomed to fail. A football team may have the best defense in the world, but without offense they will always lose. God never intended us to just sit around waiting for the enemy’s attack. The church must go on the offensive. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail.” Where is Jesus going to build his church?
He is building his church smack dab in the middle of Satan’s territory. We must march against the enemy’s strongholds and smash through his gates. Ultimately every war is about territory. God calls every believer, as a soldier in his army, to regain the territories captured and held by the enemy.
Even though God gave Israel the Promised Land, they had to take personal possession through warfare. They had to destroy fortresses and annihilate enemies. Satan has established and operates out of fortresses in our life, in our families, in our church and in our community. We must demolish those fortresses and evict the captors. I have always understood this armor as primarily defensive save the sword at the end. The reality is we take up this armor in order to go on the offensive. The armor is all for the purpose of offense. The armor described by Paul here is intended to demolish the fortresses of the enemy as we march against his strongholds. Yes, each piece of armor does protect us, but each piece of armor deals a decisive blow to a particular scheme of the devil.