Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm agains the schemes of the devil. (Eph. 6:10-11)
The epistle to the church at Ephesus proclaims the glories of God the Father working in the church by His Son, Jesus Christ (3:21). These glories are seen in the faithful execution of the unity of doctrine, a faithful lifestyle (which is in direct contrast to the world), a proper relationship of the brethren, an exhibition of the relationship of Christ and the church in our homes, and our relationships to those outside of the church. It is instructive and cautionary that the Lord Jesus concludes His inspired message through Paul with an exhortation to stand against the wiles of the devil. The implications of this are manifold.
1. The Evil One is constantly striving against the churches of God. He is ever seeking to cast tares within the fold; goats, wolves, and false brethren. He is consistently pressuring the congregations of our Lord to not glorify God in their relationships of the church, the home, and those outside of the church. Seeds of bitterness are cast with more earnestness by the Evil One than the Church of God casts her seed of the true Word in the field of the world. He is tireless in this activity, and tossed to and fro children of God are susceptible to his deceit (4:14).
2. The methodology of the devil is his wiles. They are his craftiness and deceitful scheming against the people of God. The devil strategies against God’s people, attempting to cast an accusatory spirit, words of hate and bitterness, and meticulously tearing down the church of God and our homes. This occurs by degrees until the house collapses. Thoughts of sensuality and profaneness are hurled as fiery darts into the minds of God’s people. Brethren, since they are his wiles this means that our “brilliant intellect” alone cannot defeat such a created being. We must be immersed with Truth and our life hid in Christ, the embodiment of Truth. We must think Truth, live Truth, speak Truth, ponder Truth, and bring every thought into captivity to the Truth. We must be characterized by a lifestyle of Truth and truthfulness. We must have our loins gird about with truth. It is this belt of which all the other parts of the armour hang.
3. Our only means of resisting this onslaught is by the God-provided armour. It is His strength. It is His power of might. This resistance is by the strengthening of our inner man (3:16) by the Spirit of God through the Word of God. Brethren, we must realize that the onslaught of fiery darts can become so intense that the only evidence of our having on the armour of God is that when the onslaught is exhausted – we are still standing.
God’s people must walk their pilgrimage as in warfare; not a warfare with Christ, the church of the living God, or His people, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (6:12). We must be in our Bibles. Are you reading through your Bible this year? Do you have personal study time in His Word? Are you engrafting those Words into your thinking being transformed into His Image?
We are not in times of peace. The battle is raging and the reward is either life eternal or everlasting destruction. May every one of us lay hold onto eternal life.