InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday, October 11, 2010
Read | Ephesians 6:10-13
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. 4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. 9And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For 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. 13Therefore, 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. 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16in addition to all, taking up THE SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God. 18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that [a]in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. 23Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
Believers are caught in a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, but the Lord has provided everything we need to stand firm against the forces of evil. Why, then, do Christians fail so often and give in to temptation and sin? I think there are a number of reasons.
We are unaware of the battle. Even if we know about spiritual warfare, during everyday life, it’s easy to forget an invisible war is raging around us. Our inattention makes us prime candidates for an attack.
We are ignorant about the Enemy. Satan is free to bombard us with one scheme after another when we don’t recognize his tactics or understand his goals.
We are untrained for warfare. Believers are soldiers whether they want to be or not. God’s Word is the training manual that gives instruction for discerning deception, resisting temptation, standing firm in faith, and walking in integrity.
We allow Satan a foothold. The primary battleground for Christians is the mind. If we begin to listen to the Tempter and consider the benefits of his suggestions, he will gain a foothold into our thoughts, feelings, and desires. Left unchecked, the foothold will become a stronghold, and we’ll soon find ourselves mired in sin.
The time to prepare for warfare is now. You cannot afford to be complacent and unaware of your Enemy, or you will quickly become his victim. Begin filling your mind with God’s Word, and obediently listen to the Spirit’s inner warnings. That’s the way to experience the joy of victory in Christ.