Difficulty of the enemy’s opposition
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the ruler, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.
My son, of whom I am shamelessly proud, serves a major Texas city as a police officer. Throughout his career, a shift begins at 8:00 PM, then extends through the dead and dread of night. To prepare for each 10 hour run, he gears up. A belt with a set of tools and weaponry (pistol, taser, etc.). Backup weaponry in his vehicle’s trunk. Bullet proof chest protection. Well-made shoes. Should he serve as security at a demonstration that may include confrontation or violence, headgear, and perhaps a shield.
Police, Fire/Rescue and Emergency Personnel, Military — all who serve to protect and preserve our lives and theirs put on gear. They wouldn’t dream of operating in a world of life-ending contingencies without it. They must anticipate what is not yet seen and has not yet happened, but inevitably will. Each day the news chronicles the relentless “war” on law, peace, safety.
Gear provides greater strength. When used properly, it prevails in situations which otherwise would spin out of control. When working together with others well outfitted, the likelihood of a strong stand multiplies.
All of these realities speak to the daily spiritual battle every disciple of Jesus Christ faces. Christians need great equipment. They need to put it on and they need to use it. And, better together. Please notice that the enemies Paul lists are plural, organized, have plans of attack (i.e., the devil’s “schemes,” methodia or “methods”).
Keep reading in Ephesians 6:13-17. Think about the specific equipment God himself has provided. Discuss the gear with fellow disciples of Jesus with whom you want to stand strong. Does truth hold your equipment together. Faith ready for a crisis? What’s protecting your head? The word ready should a fight with Satan erupt? Prayerfully put on the gear daily. (6:18-20). Don’t leave home without it. Be strong together. Stay strong.