“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’-Matthew 10:34-36
As Christians we often look at this passage, Ephesians 6:10-18, and think of it as a lesson on defending the Word of God. As I look around at the condition of the world, I wonder if we should consider this passage as more a call to arms and engage the enemy.
As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Let’s look at this passage in that light.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes.
As we prepare for battle, we are given a pep talk and the tools to do battle. Being strong in the Lord and his power, should give us heart to engage in the fight. The war has been won, and we are engaged in daily battles in which we try to win souls and keep ourselves on the right path. Taking a stand means more than passively guarding the gate. We need to step forward and prevent the enemy from gaining ground.
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 against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
If only we could see the enemy, he would be so much easier to fight. Unfortunately, he hides in plain sight. He attacks us, and we don’t realize it until we have lost the battle, a skirmish that came at us from nowhere. The enemy knows are weak points, our desires, and our needs. He sets them before us, temptingly; we struggle, and sometimes succumb to the temptation. We are weak without the Armor of God to protect us.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Once you have put the armor on stand your ground against the enemy. As you become stronger in the faith, and hone your skills, step out and meet the enemy before the attack. Witness to others, be an example in your workplace or community. Study the Bible, pray for strength, and always be on guard. Use the tools that the Lord gives you to fight the good fight.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In closing, verse 18, gives us our command to pray. Pray, for yourself, and others. Pray for strength and protection of all engaged in the battle for the lost souls, as well as, those that have been saved. As we step into the world to battle the powers and principalities of darkness we must pray for our fellow soldiers for the Lord, and for the Lord’s blessing in our endeavors.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.