Isaiah 20-22 Ephesians 6
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NCV)
In ancient days, kingdoms battled each other. David’s great sin happened when it was “the time of year when kings normally went out to battle.” (1 Chronicles 20:1 NCV) Jesus talked about the battles we faced when He talked about the gates of hell not being able to withstand the assault Christians should make on death. As Paul concluded his letter to the Ephesians, he reminded them where their power came from and who the enemy was. Paul put it quite clearly: our power comes from God and our enemy is that evil trickster, the devil.
In our modern, scientific world it’s not sophisticated to believe in the existence of the devil. Most people will agree that evil exists, but they doubt it can be attributed to the devil. I think that’s one of his evil tricks. The source of the evil we face as human beings and especially as Christians is the devil. Make no mistake about it. Sometimes we act as if our enemy is a person that opposes the gospel. Since our natural reaction is to hate our enemy and seek to destroy any enemy, we begin hating people. People that Jesus loved and died for. When we get distracted from keeping our eyes on Jesus, we lose focus of who the real enemy is. Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, as Paul continued, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness. Those who oppose us aren’t the enemy, they’re the tools of the enemy. Our job isn’t to destroy our enemies; our job is to love people. When we love people, especially those who oppose us, we’re bound to get hurt. God protects us from the pain by giving us His full armor to protect us, encourage us, and give us strength for the daily battles we face.
Lord, Your power is greater than any evil the enemy can muster. Help me to look at people who oppose the work that You would promote and realize that the power of Your love can bring people from the enemy’s side to Yours. Keep me strong in the battle, heal the scars when they come, but most of all, help me to love people like You do.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.