…who has blessed us with spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,
according to the working of His mighty power. Ephesians 1:3 & 19
Promptly in his letter, Paul takes the Christian reader to the dimension beyond familiar terra-firma. We learn of the reality of heavenly places. We also learn of the spiritual battle constant to us. Our victory, solely through Jesus, is certain (Col.2:13-15), yet we are engaged in this conflict until home in Heaven. In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us to armor-up, to be strong and engaged. It is sad when a Christian, perhaps even for a long time, is still weak. Being strong in the Lord has nothing to do with the length of our salvation. Our strength sources from “His power toward us” and the “working of His mighty power.”
Pastor John Stott comments on the absolute need of strength for the believer.
Wobbly Christians who have no firm foothold in Christ are an easy prey for the devil. And Christians who shake like reeds and rushes cannot resist the wind when the principalities and powers begin to blow. Paul wants to see Christians so strong and stable that they remain firm even against the devil’s wiles (Eph.6:11) and even in the evil day, that is, in a time of great pressure. For such stability, both of character and in crisis, the armor of God is essential.
Interestingly Paul penned this letter while in guard of Rome. He had been in the company of Roman soldiers for years. He knew about armor. Roman armor was to protect the soldier’s body from the weapons of the enemy. Because we fight a spiritual battle only spiritual armor can protect us. The Christian’s armor protects the soul. Armor is useless hanging in the closet; be it ignored or studied, it must be put on deliberately, thoughtfully and intelligently. If donned, it protects the mind, heart, soul, spirit, conscience and will.
This armor is not our armor, it is God’s armor. You can’t provide it yourself. You can’t muster up enough mental, emotional, or physical strength–utterly impossible since it is a spiritual battle. And a spiritual battle requires spiritual armor.
The battle has eternal ramifications, but it also affects the here-and-now. The greatest joys come from the greatest victories, and the great victories come from the great battles—when they are fought in the power and with the armor of the Lord.
Be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of His boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armor so that you may successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack.
For our fight is not against any physical enemy. It is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. (Ephesians 6:10-12, Phillips)
Armor-up and Maranatha!