This Week’s Passage: 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. 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. 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.
As I ponder this passage there are three words that catch my attention:
1) “Finally ” v.10 – Paul has had a lot to say about a lof things in this epistle. In chapters 1-3 he talked theology. In chapters 4- 6 he talked praxis. As he brings things to a close and talks about the armor of God he helps the Ephesian believers (and us) to know what we are up against as we bring theology and praxis together. Finally, he says, don’t underestimate the fact that you are in a war. Finally, he says, don’t ever discount the fact that Satan is real. Finally, he says, don’t ever forget that the power of the living God dwells within you.
2) “when” v. 13 – Paul pleads with us to make sure we are armored so that “when the day of evil comes…” Not if, but when! We have a tendency to get lulled into a false sense of safety because the war we fight is an invisible war. We don’t see the flaming arrows of the evil one. We don’t see the forces of evil around us. So there is this question mark that we live with. “If”? Paul wants to make sure that there is no “if”. It is emphatically “when”. And more likely than not I would suggest that the “when” is NOW. The day of evil is upon us.
3) “stand” v. 13 – When Paul wrote this the church was very young. This is only about 30 years or so after the resurrection and the beginning of the church. Already Paul has watched friends fall by the spiritual wayside because they have become infatuated with the ways of the world and the lure of the evil one. He is crafty. He is a schemer. And his lies are shrouded in truth and his deceitfulness masked by beauty. He wants us to be aware of what the enemy is up to so that we too do not become a spiritual casualty. When all is said and done and the war is over he wants us still to be standing.
So he tells us what we need to do in order to stand. It would be wise for us to pay attention to what he says next. Ponder prayerfully.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 6:14-20