Armoured: Part 1
“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.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV
There are many scenarios in our lives which can cause us to come up against all kinds of challenging thoughts, emotions and desires. Any level of fear fighting and personal advancement can certainly bring to the service fear, doubt and insecurity. A reality of spiritual warfare in those moments of chaos, negativity, stress and confusion comes into sharp focus.
One area in particular that this reality can be felt is in our relationships. Recently, an incident occurred in a close relationship of mine which left me feeling a bit jaded and struggling to forgive. In the midst of it I heard Father God whisper,
“You are fighting the wrong person.”
I thought, “really God….cuz I’m pretty sure I know exactly who I’m fighting and clearly they were in the wrong.” As with all wisdom packed whispers the Father gives though, I knew I was missing something. Being entirely focused on what they did left me completely unaware of the bigger attack coming at me.
Ephesians 6 does an excellent job teaching us that the things we come up against within each other on the earth are heavily influenced and do not solely originate from one another. It states the battle is actually “not against flesh and blood” but against spiritual dark forces led by satan who comes only to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10). Now, there is the possibility of talking about this subject to find ourselves in one of two extremes – passively unengaged with the battle or overly obsessed with it. Let’s try to steer clear of both though and hopefully land where Father God wants us to.
We cannot overcome an enemy we do not correctly identify.
The devil has been deceiving mankind for a long time and one of his most effective tactics is distraction.
When he comes in and stirs something up, in our relationships for example, he is often able to convince us the problem really is the other person. As soon as it becomes a “flesh and blood” battle, we lose sight of the “big picture” we are actually fighting in. The “big picture” is what our scripture passage is talking about. The attack of the spiritual in our lives is like an incoming airstrike which we are unaware of when we are so focused on fighting each other. The bible implores us many places in scripture to “think higher” and begin to fight on the level that the attack comes from with weapons of God’s kingdom such as faith, forgiveness, humility and grace. When we refuse to partner with what the enemy is trying to do, by allowing ourselves to remain in anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, rejection etc., we start to live in the freedom Christ purchased for us. We are all broken vessels in some way and brokenness in one person draws out the brokenness in another.
This verse calls us to see life with a higher perspective and goes on to tell us how to fight and win on the spiritual level.
Jesus has won the battle for us on all levels.
“In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.” Col.2:15 NLT
And as we’re going to look at in Part 2 of this series, we can be clothed with the armor He gives us in order to overcome everything that comes at us. A helpful first step to victory is to re-direct our focus from the ground level battle we may find ourselves in, to the truth of Christ’s victory and our position in Him. He left this powerful encouragement for us in His word,
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In Him we can choose love and freedom which are the staples of His kingdom, and release them here on the earth to see darkness lose its influence in our lives and the lives of those around us.