For fifteen years, my wife managed the behavior room for 600 kids in an elementary school. The majority of students were economically at a poverty level and the social makeup was multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. In most cases, the father was not involved in these kids’ lives. The bottom line was, she ended up primarily dealing with the “confused, bitter, dysfunctional, misfit, rough” children. To boot, these kids usually had some tough, emotional moms. I often told her that she was crazy putting up with all the drama; however, she loved it. When one of “her” kids turned the corner, all the ruckus she had gone thru was well worth it in her book. If you are like me, you may be asking, “How did she put up with all the crap?” I can tell you one thing that she did every day because she taught me to do it. Before her day started, she put the “armor of God” on. It is a bit humorous in that every morning she would mimic as if she was a soldier putting the armor on. I often had a laugh unbeknownst watching her. You may be thinking that my wife is off her rocker! 😊Let me assure you, she is a wise woman to start each day this way and keep her full spiritual armor on all day.
In the spiritual realm, the following is the scenario as described by Paul the Apostle in Ephesians 6, “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 darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Let’s see if we can break this apart:
- “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers…powers…darkness… or spiritual forces of wickedness.” You may think your enemy is a spouse, an undisciplined kid, a boss, a relative, a former friend, a jerk co-worker, messy/rude neighbor, a politician, teacher, another political party, Iran, etc. When in truth, Paul says it is not flesh and blood. The real battlefield is in the spiritual realm “against spiritual forces of wickedness.” If you stop angrily screaming at your supposed “enemy” and start praying diligently for them, you will see positive movement.
- To be victorious in this battle, you must recognize that you are called to be a soldier who must keep your spiritual armor on to protect against the enemy.
- “Put on the full armor of God”…the emphasis is on “full,” or you will be vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks.
As we begin to put on the armor, you will notice something. There is no armor to protect your backside. An effective Christ-follower must not retreat. Do not go on the battlefield alone. You need a group of soldiers fighting with you mutually protecting each other.
You discover “Jesus has disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Colossians 2:15) at the cross. The devil is whipped and defenseless if we keep the full armor of God and our offensive weapon (“the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God”) drawn at all times. Next week, we will learn how to put this armor on, then keep this armor on and stand in victory!