Summary: An outline of the struggle we have with spiritual forces and how we overcome them.
The Armor of God: The War & The Enemy
The Danger is Real
Eph. 6:10,11 - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (KJV)
The word “wiles” is where we get our word “methods.” Meaning, this is the word for specific tricks, traps and schemes that Satan will use to destroy us. He knows our weaknesses and he knows how to get to us, to make us fail in our lives. You have been thoroughly and expertly examined. The enemy knows what you are prone to, He studies you like a a geologist studies the land, or a druggist studies chemistry, or a meteorologist studies the changes in the weather. He makes note of your inclinations, your habits, your weaknesses, what makes you mad, what makes you sad, what causes you to doubt, what causes you to sin. Satan can never move the hand of God but he can always move the hearts of men if we are not grounded in Christ.
If you are a Christian you are called to go to war! If you are not one, you are a prisoner of war! Every day is a battle! Every day presents its own set of challenges. Some bigger than others, some battles last several days, some weeks, others months, and even years.
Ill. I battled epilepsy for years, and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed.... until finally after a car accident led me to a good neurologist, who said we will try this new medication and if it doesn't work we will try brain surgery. I was devastated! But we never stopped praying, and looking back I realize it was about the time Kandy and I came to the Lord for salvation. That's when the seizures were getting worse and more frequent. The one thing we must realize is that, just as you are determined to rid demons out of your life, they are just as determined to stay and cause you trouble.
The armor of God is something that is not to be put on and off like a pair of jeans, our Christian life is not one of glamor or fashion, where we walk a runway to be admired. We don't wear evening gowns and tuxedos, we wear armor. And once it is put on it should be left on. If the enemy is waiting for our most vulnerable moment then it doesn't make sense to take the armor off. This analogy that Paul uses is meant for us to focus on the importance of these lifestyle characteristics that will defend us against the enemy in a very real war! Notice He is of a spiritual realm – beyond any human ability. So, to think that we can defeat him by conventional, human means is ridiculous. It takes spiritual defenses to protect us from spiritual forces. .
The Enemy Is Strong
Eph 6:12 - “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The King James version reads “We wrestle not”.... 'struggle' & 'wrestle' intimates that this battle is not one that is a long distance war. It's not one where we can drop bombs from high above or send drones over seas to war for us. No, this struggle is very up close and personal. This struggle is not against flesh and blood, it is not against anyone or anything tangible, the real struggle is against a demonic hierarchy, a satanic government designed to steal, kill & destroy.
So what is it that makes him leave you alone? First of all there is not a one and done method. But just as we depend on Christ daily, there are two things we rely on to stave off the enemy. Submit to God and Resist the devil.
Submit to God's will
James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you”. Paul says To be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, In order to be strong in the Lord we must submit to the Lord and His will.
Resist the Devil
This is why Paul commands us to put on the full armor of God, not leaving any of it off, so as to withstand the full force of the devil's schemes. Paul tells us that we are fighting in a hand-to-hand struggle to the death and the only way we can overcome is through Christ and his spiritual armor. Be assured, if you have no other enemies, the devil and his demons are all the enemies you’ll ever need. You can’t outlive them, or outwit them, but in the Lord, you can outlast them if you stand firm in your faith and resist them. The race we run is not a competition to see who comes first. It is a race to be endured until its over.