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 devil’s 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. –Ephesians 6:10-12
Years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Africa for a safari. One of my strongest memories was getting up early one morning and taking a hot air balloon ride up over the Masai Mara in Kenya, viewing the vastness of the African wilderness and the animals from above.
We touched down in the middle of the wilderness and waiting for us was an incredible brunch. I remember looking around overwhelmed by the glorious beauty. Of course, as I looked around, I noticed there were men surrounding our picnic carrying large guns. I asked what they were for and it was explained to me that they were there for our protection. Sitting out there with the glorious sunlight and the atmosphere, it was hard to believe that there was anything out there from which we would need protection.
Sometimes, it is hard for me to picture or pay attention to the evil forces that the Bible talks about. It is easier to focus on God’s love and His provision than it is to think about the reality of Satan and the dark world that Paul talks about in Ephesians. However, as I read the Bible, I am reminded again and again that Satan is the father of lies and the father of deceit. He is real and he is lurking in the shadows ready to pounce the second we let our guard down. And it seems like the easiest time to let our guard down is when things are going well, when life seems peaceful and we feel invincible.
Paul delivers a very strong message and I want to encourage you with it. We must be ready for the devil’s schemes. We must not ignore the fact of his real existence. At the same time, we do not need to be afraid. We simply must be on guard, be prepared and most importantly, rely on the incredible power of God so that we too can stand firm when temptation and trouble comes our way.
1. How do you feel Satan tempts you and lurks in your life?
2. In what ways can you put on the full armor of God each day as Paul talks about in the remaining verses of Ephesians 6?
John 8:43-45; Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:10-19; 1 Peter 5:8