There are numerous conflicts and wars in the world today. There are terrorist acts where people with evil agendas seek to kill innocent people. You are probably not directly engaged in these conflicts, but all true Christians are still engaged in a war. The war we are engaged in is a spiritual war and not a physical war. Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our main enemy is the devil; another name for him is Satan. The name devil implies an accuser or a slanderer. The name Satan implies the adversary or the enemy of God. There are many on the devil’s side; they are listed in Ephesians 6:12 as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. As we do not see God, we do not see these spiritual forces of evil. And yet, we see the evidence of their work and their influence on mankind. We may face people with evil intent or with a desire to follow sinful ways or who stand against the truth of God, but we need to remember that our warfare is a spiritual war and not a physical war – “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood”.
Let us look at a few scriptures that describe our interaction with the devil. 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” Ephesians 4:26-27 “’Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” There are times when we are especially vulnerable to the devil. They include when we are spiritually weak and when we are not wise to beware of his snares. It seems that when we get angry we are especially vulnerable to the influence of the devil.
Our spiritual armor in our fight is described in Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The spiritual armor includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, combined with prayer to God and being watchful with perseverance.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” One of the greatest weapons we have is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). We need to use the word of God to pull down spiritual strongholds, cast down arguments and bring our thoughts into the obedience of Christ. This requires us to be strong in the word.
Do not be ignorant as to the spiritual warfare that you are engaged in. At times you may be fighting your own battle with the devil to stay true to God and at other times you may be fighting against those who oppose the truth of God. Either way, “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”