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. Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)
Do you want to be able to withstand evil that is in the world? Yes, I do? How can I do that? You are already headed in the wrong direction. I have hardly said anything. How could I already be headed in the wrong direction? Think about it. What did you ask me? Oh, I see or at least I think I do. You see what? I can’t withstand evil in the world, not by myself, that’s for sure. You got that right. How have you faired when you have relied on yourself to fight evil in the world? I have suffered miserable defeats when I have tried to fight the world’s evil with my own strength. I have been overrun. I have been trampled under. I have been laid low. I have been squashed flat. That’s true.
You must recognize one thing and do another when you are facing evil that is in the world. You have my full attention. What must I recognize? You must recognize that your battles with evil are not against flesh and blood. You must recognize the devil’s schemes. You must understand when your battles are against supernatural evil in the world. There are rulers and authorities and cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil that will war against you. Why must I recognize this? When you recognize that you are fighting against supernatural evil you will never be tempted to rely on your own strength. You will know without a doubt that you must come to rely on me. I will do that. That will be very good.
You said I must recognize one thing and do another. I did. We have already talked about what I must recognize. That’s right. What must I do? We talked about that a little bit already as well. You must come to rely on me. How must I come to rely on you? You must put on the full armor of God. Each piece of the armor I give you will make you able to withstand and defeat evil. Will you put on my armor so that you can withstand and defeat evil? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have mistakenly tried to fight spiritual evil in the world with my own flesh and blood. My efforts have led to a miserable defeat. Help me to rely on your help by putting on the full armor of God. Make me able to withstand and defeat evil in the world. Amen
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