Nations at war after decades of pain are in our world today. It wasn’t something I thought about while living in Seoul. Once in a while a reminder would jump to mind. Walking beside a tall wall with barbed wire I went to pick up pizza. Barbed wire and pizza, how can the two coexist? I had walked that direction many times without even processing the juxtaposition. What I see and what I am aware of do not determine what is actually present. My understanding of reality is limited.
Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
Maybe you would be more aware if you took the same walk. Perhaps you wouldn’t let your guard down and order pizza when you are so close to war. You might not ask, "What war?" For me it wasn’t the awareness of earthly war that pricked my soul. It was the tragic reality that I was (and am) in a spiritual war and I am too often caught up in the earthly desires to remember the reality of warfare.
Dear one, no cease fire has been signed over this spiritual ground.
Paul comes to the close of his letter to the Ephesians with a word of preparation and warning. Our strength comes from the Lord. God has provided us with His armor. Why? We are to put on His armor that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
We have been told who we are through Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 2:5). We are reminded that we are one in Christ (Ephesians 2:19-20; 4:4-6). We have been taught that God’s power is greater than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). We have been trained in how to live as Christ-followers (Ephesians 4:1-3) in every relationship (Ephesians 5:1-2, 20-21). Now we are reminded that we are at war, and equipped by God for it.
God wants us to stand firm. He gives His children what they need.
He trains and disciplines us.
II Corinthians 10:3-4 ESV
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
A civilian picking up pizza is one thing. A soldier showing up for war without the proper equipment on is another.
Thank You for adopting me. Thank You for equipping me for the battle. Please help me to live out my faith, more aware of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
When have you found yourself suddenly aware of the spiritual war we are a part of?
How are you choosing to remember your identity in Christ and the provision of armor?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 6:10–13; 2 Co 10:3–4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 176). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.