Ephesians 6:10-21 is a familiar passage where Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of truth, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Armored head to toe, ready for battle. But against who? Most think we are armored to take our stand against the daily temptations of the Devil. But did you see verse 13 or did you read right past it. Contemplate that verse for a while. According to verse 13 our battle is not simply against Satan. Notice there is a list of foes we are fighting. Each entity on the list is plural, and worse yet, all are promised! Paul tells us that our struggle is against: rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. This is not a series of different names of Satan. It is a list of foes in addition to Satan that are aligned against you and me. Out for our very souls.
In verse 13, Paul tells us why we put on the full armor of God “so when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Paul promises days of evil and describes the battle. First, we ready ourselves and stand braced against the onslaught of evil. Then, we engage the enemy by doing everything as Paul describes. After we engage the enemy (do everything) we should still be standing if we are prepared for the onslaught. But what exactly is Paul referring to when he says “everything”? Verse 18 tells us one effective battle tactic is prayer. What other tactics fall under Paul’s “everything”? It is important for us to identify those tactics so were are standing after the onslaught. Paul exhorts us to be active combatants not passive.
Verse 13 tells us, sometimes our goal in this world is just to be able to stand after the battle. If we only focus on the pieces of armor in this passage, we miss the power of the passage. To not know what we are up against causes us to underestimate our enemies. Failing to acknowledge and prepare for the foes will leave us unprepared to withstand the intensity of the battle. What do you need to do today to make yourself ready for the onslaught? How many pieces of armor are you wearing today?