Today’s New Testament lesson has some densely packed verses concerning spiritual warfare. We need some pegs to be able to hang all the ideas and concepts. There are three major imperatives or commands for every believer and every church: 1) Be strong in the Lord because we are in an invisible war; 2) Put on the whole armor of God and make preparations for spiritual battle; and, 3) Take up your spiritual weapons and do battle.
We are to be strong since Satan and his wicked spirits are highly organized for evil with devious schemes and stratagems designed to blunt our spiritual growth. We are to put on the necessary armor of truth, righteousness, and peace to defend ourselves against the inevitable attacks. We are to use our spiritual weapons of faith, salvation, and the word of God to advance against the darkness.
These are non-negotiable commands given by General Paul. He is serious about this because the spiritual forces we are up against are wicked, cunning, and they do not observe any kind of Geneva Convention rules when it comes to war. Therefore, we are in need of some spiritual boot camp that equips us to engage the enemy of our souls. Each and every day we need the training that comes through careful, sustained and thoughtful examination of God’s Word and focused prayer. Basic spiritual disciplines will help arm us for the certain attacks. The goal is not simply to read and utter a prayer, but to take off the old street clothes and put on the armor provided by God.
Holy God, I am your soldier. I pray that words would be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that your ethical kingdom will prevail here on earth through the power of your Spirit. Amen.