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Suit Up: God's Battle Plan for Victory (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Ephesians 6:10–20 - 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. 13 Therefore, 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. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in 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. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With 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, 19 and 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 

 

What does today’s passage say?

In today’s passage, Paul urges believers to be spiritually empowered by the Lord’s endless might rather than relying on their own inadequate strength (v. 10). We must recognize that we are in a spiritual battle against the devil’s schemes and properly utilize every piece of God’s armor to stand firm. With a spiritual shield, belt, breastplate, helmet, and sword available to us, we can stand protected (vv. 11-17). Paul then counsels followers of Jesus regarding the importance of praying always for all believers, requesting boldness to proclaim the gospel unhindered as the Spirit leads so more may be saved (vv. 18-20).

 

How can I apply Ephesians 6:10-20 to my life?

When believers feel weak, God promises His strength. Though trials will surely come, victory remains possible for the Christian who clings to the Lord’s power. Even when enemies attack from without or sin bombards us from within, we can stand firm. How? By putting into practice the empowering principles Paul lays out for us in these verses - truths that equip all followers of Jesus to walk in triumph, not defeat. This Holy Spirit-breathed instruction manual readies us for battle by directing our focus. Our efforts and abilities alone will always prove inadequate. But as we actively rely on divine enablement, we exchange futility for fruitfulness. Fellow Christians, take heart today! God makes glorious power accessible so His church advances while darkness retreats. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:


1.    Be Strong in the Lord and Rely on His Mighty Power (v. 10): Paul instructs believers here to tap into divine strength rather than trusting their own. As Christians we often arrogantly think we can handle life's battles solo without needing God's help. However, launching out alone often leads to disaster and defeat. The wise choice is to humbly submit to God's power instead of self-reliance. By faith, we need to decisively renounce dependence on our own strength. Pride insists on controlling outcomes and grabbing glory for ourselves. But plunging ahead independently will only mire us down spiritually. We desperately need what we lack on our own - Almighty wisdom and power to overcome darkness in our lives. So, we need to deny self, surrender our agendas to Christ daily, and follow Him wholeheartedly. Though we may feel weak, embracing humility allows His resurrection power to fill us with courage and purpose. Scripture reminds us again and again to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit for living. Relying on the Lord remains our lifeline when besieged by besetting sins, pressured by unbelieving peers, or overwhelmed by trials and distress. When we boldly trust the Holy Spirit, we can stand firm no matter the struggles we face (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 40:29, Habakkuk 3:19).


Food for Thought: Why do we as believers fail to rely on the Lord's power and try to live the Christian life in our own strength? What areas of spiritual weakness show we are still relying on ourselves instead of Him?


2.    Put on the Full Armor of God to Stand Firm Against the Devil's Schemes (vv. 11-17): Paul tells believers to fully utilize the spiritual armor and weapons that God Himself so graciously supplies. The devil constantly utilizes crafty, sinister schemes to entrap followers of Christ. Therefore, we must be alert to his conniving ways. We must be equipped and prepared to use the spiritual weapons that God has given us to defend ourselves as the devil aims deadly arrows of accusation, temptation, deception, division, and discouragement at our hearts and minds. God does not leave His children defenseless against spiritual attacks but offers divine weapons custom-designed for victory. As we actively and intentionally “put on” each piece daily, the Holy Spirit empowers us to stand firm in the strength of. First, we must tightly secure the “belt of truth”, guiding our thoughts and discernment. Next, maintaining righteous, holy living guards our motives and affections as a “breastplate”. Also, eagerly wielding “the gospel of peace” gives us sure footing to walk in our God-given identity. In addition, “the shield of faith” deflects flaming assaults from that the enemy fires at us, while salvation’s “helmet” reinforces hope and security from within. Lastly, aggressively wielding Scripture as an offensive “sword” in step with the Spirit equips us to counter any attack of the enemy. Appropriating this heavenly armor daily protects us with Christ’s overcoming strength (1 Peter 5:8-9, James 4:7, Revelation 12:11).


Food for Thought: What specific schemes of the devil commonly cause you to stumble? Ask God to reveal them. How can you be more intentional to utilize God’s armor daily?


3.    Persist in Prayer and Supplication for All Christians, Especially for Boldness in Sharing the Good News (vv. 18-20): Paul urges believers to be devoted and persistent in prayer in everything and for one another. We must stay spiritually alert and keep bringing requests to God for all our fellow Christians. But especially plead for supernatural boldness to communicate the good news of Jesus without fear or hesitation. The devil wants to silence believers' witness by making us timid, distracted, or uncertain when opportunities arise. However, the Spirit can empower us to open our mouths at the right times, making the living hope within us radiantly clear. He will bring to mind what truths to share when we ask in faith. So, we must commit ourselves to intercession for effectively proclaiming the gospel with Christlike confidence. Praying for ourselves and the body of Christ to speak out the message boldly will push back spiritual darkness in our circles of influence. It breaks off chains of despair that bind lost people and throws wide open a door for the Word of God to transform hearts. Our persistent prayers unleash bold witness that no opposition can shut down (Matthew 9:38, Romans 10:14-15, Acts 4:29-31).


Food for Thought:  What makes you hesitate to share your faith? Ask God for deeper compassion and courage. How can persistent prayer empower your witness?


Through the power of Christ at work within us, we can confidently withstand every spiritual assault of the enemy. When we daily clothe ourselves in God’s full armor and draw strength from Him through persistent prayer, no evil scheme can separate us from His unconquerable love. This passage makes clear that leaning on the Lord’s might rather than our own protects, equips, and mobilizes us. Let us join together as the body of Christ to put these great truths into practice. Determined reliance on God’s endless supply of grace and guidance refresh and renew exhausted souls.

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would help me live fully relying on and submitted to the power of the Holy Spirit each day. Reveal areas where I try to serve You while trusting in my own inadequate strength. I pray that You would help me to depend on the resurrection power You generously give Your children. Enable me to effectively put on and utilize each piece of spiritual armor You supply as I follow after Christ wholeheartedly. Build boldness within me to proclaim the hope of the gospel. Fill me continuously with Your Holy Spirit for life and ministry.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Ephesians 6:10 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

 

 

With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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