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 6:13 ESV)
We who are members of God’s family through faith in Christ are engaged in spiritual warfare against Satan and his many followers. That is not an invitation. That is a fact. We learned this yesterday. Therefore we need special protection and weapons. We cannot be victorious in this battle in our own strength. Satan is much more clever and much more powerful than we are.
Because of this we are commanded to take up the whole armor of God. It is only through God’s resources that we can withstand the onslaught of attacks that are guaranteed to come to anyone who is God’s child. Notice we are to use the whole armor of God. If we fail to utilize even one of the resources that God gives us we are likely to fall.
Notice that in this verse and also in Ephesians 6:11, which is similar, that we do not attack Satan. We cannot defeat him. Rather God tells us to stand firm. We are to defend ourselves. We are not to go on the offensive. God commands us to stand and nothing more. When Satan sees that we will not succumb to his plans he will flee [James 4:7]. Of course he’ll return. And when he does it will be with a more potent strategy [Luke 11:24-27]. The Christian life is one of constant resisting of Satan’s his lies and temptations.
Many people, including some Christians and even pastors, deny the existence of Satan. But the Bible makes it clear he is very real. I’m sure Satan is delighted when people don’t believe in him. If one does not believe in him then that person will be totally susceptible to his schemes and will be useless for God. Satan has that person right where he wants him.
Not only is Satan real, but he is pure evil. The name Satan means “adversary”. The word translated “devil” in the New Testament means “slanderer”. Satan is against God and he lies to us – God’s children – in a futile attempt to thwart God’s plans. This is exactly what he did in the Garden of Eden [Genesis 3:1-5].
Satan’s temptations seem innocuous [1 Corinthians 11:14-15]. In fact, they often seem beneficial. But despite how it may appear, there is no truth in him [John 8:44]. When we fall victim to his lies we are falling right into his trap, damaging ourselves and others.
Paul makes an interesting reference to the evil day. Sometimes this New Testament phrase refers to the general evil world we live in, notably the end times when evil will be set loose. But really any temptation to sin is an “evil day”. When we are tempted to cheat on our taxes because everyone else does – that is an evil day. When we tempted to look at pornography because no one will know – that is an evil day.
Every day is an evil day. Sin is always crouching at our door [Genesis 4:7]. In heaven we will be removed from the presence of sin. Until then we are still susceptible to its enticing power. And only God’s resources can protect us.
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