Yesterday I wrote about how Satan uses the world to lead us astray and how he uses the lie of material riches and success to distract us from the gospel truth. I often forget that it is Satan and his demonic forces that use and distort God’s created wonder to attack believers, and that we are living in both a physical and spiritual world.
The closing verses of this book (Ephesians 6:10-20) remind us that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan and his forces. Left to our own devices we would be enslaved and defeated, yet we have the full might of God to call on. We have the knowledge that God has defeated Satan through the blood of the Lamb – that is, Jesus. That victory was proclaimed on the cross and when He rose again.
Paul describes this awesome power that we can call upon by using the analogy of the armour which a first century soldier would have worn when going into battle. We are fully protected by God – the truth that we have in scripture, the righteousness we enjoy through God’s grace and Jesus’ death on the cross, and the truth of the gospel. We have the faith that God is unchanging and we can use this assurance to ward off the darts of doubt that the world throws at us. We have the assurance of salvation, and finally we have the greatest weapon of all – prayer.
The fact that we can actually talk to God and that He hears us is such an amazing gift. Satan knows this, which is why he uses the world to distract us from maintaining a regular prayer life. He knows that if we are not regularly spending time in prayer with God that before long we will start drifting away from Him.
Like any soldier we need to maintain our armour and our weapons. We need to make time to read scripture, to engage with it by hearing it explained in church, by reading Christian books and by attending a Connect Group (bible study). We need to be fellowshipping with Christians and talking about the bible, practicing telling the gospel, and above all be praying to our great God. Without the sword of prayer, Satan will eventually penetrate our armour. Prayer parries (blocks) the world’s thrusts and in turn defeats Satan.
Lord help me to become a person of prayer. May Your Spirit encourage me to be bold and to make time to talk to You, to confess my sins to You, to bring my fears and joys and successes and dreams to You. As I speak to You, may Your Spirit shape my thoughts to align with Your will and make me an effective soldier in Your victorious army. Amen.