“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13 ESV)
We, the Church, are on the frontlines of a huge spiritual battle. The media, the government, and our cultural and educational systems do not recognize it preferring to solve the world’s problems through worldly means, not by following the Word of God. It seems that the devil is out there running amok and we Christians must be diligent and alert. We must not fall victim to the lies he spreads in the media and elsewhere. We must daily be in prayer and the Word, not just for ourselves but for the sake of the lost.
Saint Paul understood this great spiritual battle. He did not want us to underestimate the temptations that stand in the way of living a life that is pleasing to the Lord, temptations which seem worse today since they are so pervasive and readily available via the internet. These are placed in our path by Satan our adversary. He is so crafty that he knows just how to accuse and tempt us and just who to use to do it. He influences his slaves to accomplish his ends. His slaves include those in high places of earthly authority who wreak terrible havoc and inflict violence and terror on all of humanity. He is at his best when he convinces people that he does not exist. Then they think they are in control, exercising their free will, their rights. They are not prepared for the devil nor can any resist him.
Paul wants believers to always be vigilant and on our guard, thoroughly equipped for the battle at any moment and ever in prayer. We are to put on the spiritual armor of God which Paul likens to the armor of a Roman soldier. We must use this spiritual armor to defend ourselves against the assaults of temptation and doubt. We are also to wage spiritual battle offensively to free souls from the darkness and slavery of sin.
The truth of the gospel is foundation for it all. We must be ever mindful that we who are in Christ possess His righteousness by faith and that our salvation is assured. Such assurance will protect us when the devil tries to convince us that we are too evil for God to love us. Paul points out that the boots we wear are the gospel of peace. These signify that we are to be always walking in the peace of God and extending it to all we meet. The offensive weapon we have is the word of God. When we speak it in prayer, preaching, teaching, counsel, and conversation, it cuts deeply into the souls of men, revealing and exposing their sins and causing them to repent, to die to self and become alive by faith to Christ.