There is an Enemy
Did you know that we have an enemy? A force who is constantly making an effort to derail us from our relationship with God?
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)
What we learn from Ephesians 6 is that there is a realm – or world – that we cannot see and a battle is waging there. This is called the spiritual realm, and it is where this enemy of ours operates. From the beginning of time, there has been an enemy trying to pull people away from God (Genesis 3).This enemy’s name is Satan, which translates to mean adversary. You may have heard him called Lucifer or the Devil.
In our reading today, we discover that the enemy is a thief prowling around looking to steal, kill, and destroy. On a day-to-day basis you may feel and experience opposition, distraction, and temptation. In some cases these experiences are self-inflicted by bad decisions on our part. However, we often write off the enemy’s schemes as just “the struggles of life.” But as we become more aware of the enemy and his schemes, we can begin to put a name to these experiences: spiritual warfare. Warfare can be a startling word, especially when it is something happening in the spiritual realm where we cannot physically see it. This may sound scary or defeating, but we serve a God who loves us and has prepared us for this fight!
The enemy is trying to destroy our life, but through salvation we are given the gift of safety and defense from his attacks. We learn more about how we are kept safe as we continue reading Ephesians 6. In a letter to the church of Ephesus, Paul explains that we have spiritual armor from God that will equip us to be strong in the Lord and battle against the enemy and his efforts to derail our lives.
“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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)
This armor is just as important as the clothes we put on in the morning. It is important to be intentional about calling out the enemy and asking God to protect us from spiritual attacks, allowing us to experience freedom like never before. You don’t have to live a powerless life thrown back and forth like the waves of the sea as the enemy tries to derail any progress you make. We are more than conquerors in Christ!
Romans 8:36-39 As it is written:“For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Use the PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield) acronym to spend time in prayer.
What questions do you have about our enemy and spiritual warfare?
Are you aware of the enemy’s presence in your life?