May 31, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Let’s go back to Ephesians 6 and camp out there for the next several blogs. You see, this is the classic scriptural passage dealing with The Armor of God. Paul introduces the subject in verses 10 and 11:
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
We have learned in earlier blogs that the devil is wiley. If you examine closely the description of “…the anointed cherub who covers…” in Ezekiel 28:12 through 19, it becomes evident that God lavished adornments on this angel – who is named Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 – which added to his beauty and station. In Matthew 10:16 Jesus said to His disciples,
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as
serpents and harmless as doves.
The Lord is not saying that snakes are especially smart! But snakes in scripture are often a reference to Satan (see Genesis 3:1, 14, 15; Revelation 12:9, 14, 15; 20:2). What He is saying is that to survive in the world as His witnesses, Jesus’ disciples need to have the wisdom of the devil – but not the venom. The implication is that Satan is wise and wily! And he plays us as skillfully as Yo-Yo Ma his cello – if we let him!
So we are told “…to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11). Obviously, we can’t do that ourselves! He is much more powerful than us. Jude warns us in Jude 1:8 and 9 about ungodly men posing as Christian leaders and teachers. One of their characteristics was their light despising of authority – both human and spiritual:
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil
of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil when
he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling
accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Now Michael the archangel was no slouch! He is a high and mighty angel! But he respected the dignitary before him – yes, the devil is here called a dignitary (“one who holds a high position” – Webster). Michael rebuked Satan in the name – and so in the power – of Jesus! So must we!
So we are told in Ephesians 6:10, “…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” If that was it, with no further specific instruction, it would be no better an exhortation than saying, “Have a good day”! Sure we are to “be strong in the Lord”. And that strength must be “…in the power of His might.” But how….?
How? As I said at the beginning, that is the subject of the next couple of blogs. And when we learn how to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…”, then Paul will also see Ephesians 6:13 fulfilled in us:
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.
The battle is intense and exacting! Every piece of armor is important! Its proper use requires knowledge and training! But the result at the end is that you and I will be found standing – not a casualty lying dead on the battlefield of life! And though there may be wounds and battle scars, we will stand to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:23).