Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
This passage on the armor of God comes at the end of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians and is a conclusion or a culmination of the entire message. From the very beginning of Ephesians he has been challenging these believers to be united with God in Christ. Christ is already victorious and our desire is to know the power of his resurrection. The battle has already been won, therefore as God’s children we are now called to “stand firm.”
The language of this passage is about the body of Christ and how we are to be united together as a corporate army and not individual warriors. This isn’t a passage about our personal battle with spiritual warfare but about the victory that Christ has won and how the church is to live into that victory. We are not to wander off as a lone soldiers in the battle for they become vulnerable and are generally picked off or captured by the enemy. The body of Christ is to unite together, each one donning their spiritual armor so that there are no weak spots where the enemy can attack. Only in this way can the church, and hence God’s people, stand firm.
The enemy’s desire is to divide God’s people for he knows that our strength lies in our unity. Too often we think about our faith in very individualistic terms. Not only do we have an individual responsibility to grow in our faith, but we owe it to the greater community. We will only be as strong as the weakest among us. That’s why the community of faith has a responsibility to unite together and help one another grow.
This means that God’s people need to look for opportunities to build one another up so that together, we can stand firm. When God’s people pick at one other, we are simply weakening the whole armor. Instead of poking at our weaknesses we ought to be doing everything that we can to build up the weaker area. It’s also not time for us to take off on our own, for we may soon find ourselves in enemy territory and unprotected.
Let’s pray that God opens our eyes to see those within our community of faith who may need to be encouraged and strengthened today. It is the only way that we can all stand firm.
Lord, please help me not to be the weak spot in the armor. Amen.
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