Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground. And after you have done everything to (prepare to) stand, stand firm. Ephesians 6:10-13
Warrior – a person engaged in a struggle between competing forces
Armor – protective outer layer used in combat
My dad says “sometimes we have to choose between winning the battle and winning the war”. It’s true in parenting and it’s true in life. The war is made up of many battles. Can we win every skirmish? No. But we can keep the big picture in mind. My dad was referring to the parent/child relationship and relationships in general. I can win a battle – think argument, disagreement, difference of opinion and lose the war – think long term relationship/friendship, desired outcome. In a conflict with my boss over “an event”, I can prove that I am right (win the battle) and in the long term also negatively impact my employment goals (the war). I can force my child to do what I want simply because it’s what I want (the battle) and in doing so, not teach my child the process of making good self directed decisions (the war).
When you make the choice to be a Jesus Follower, you become a warrior. Please, make no mistake. We are at war. It is not a war over song selection of Bible Translation. It is not a war over dedication or baptism, to be sprinkled or to be dunked. It is not a war with undocumented workers or foreign governments. It’s not a war with Muslims, or Islamic ideology. It’s a war for eternity. It’s a war with Satan, and we know how it ends. But the battles are up for grabs, and it’s not something we can do on our own.
“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” Wow…Paul didn’t even mention me once! Maybe that’s because in a battle with eternal consequence it is God’s power that is needed and not my ‘skill’. “Put on the FULL armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes”. If I don’t use all of the tools and resources that God has given to me, then I choose to be less than fully protected. I have a weak spot. Satan loves those! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but…against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.” Satan has the end game in mind and his end game is to separate me from the love of God Almighty for forever. He wants me. He wants my husband, he wants my marriage. He wants my children and my family. “And after you have done everything to stand, stand firm.” Once I have done the prep with God to get ready for battle, then I am expected to in fact engage in the battle. Warriors don’t sit on the sidelines. Warriors don’t report back the news. Warriors don’t wait and see what happens. Warriors don’t hope for the best. Warriors understand their part in the battle plan, even when they don’t understand the plan itself or see the entirety of the plan. Warriors prepare to do their assigned task and then follow their leader into battle. Warriors lay it all on the line.
God, today help me to embrace the truth that I am your warrior. When I chose you, I chose a side. Prepare my heart now for what you will teach me tomorrow about your armor for me.