Ephesians 6:11, 12
Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of wickedness…
Have you ever played “Kick the Can?” It’s a game that my dad taught our youth group when I was in middle school. The rules are simple and almost everyone has played some variation of the game. In fact, it’s much like “Capture the Flag,” much cooler though because my dad taught it to us.
Two things were necessary if your team was going to win the round. First, you had to be readily prepared, and second, it was imperative that you knew who the enemy was. My friends and I were diehards when in came to being “readily prepared.” The game was often played at night so dark clothes and a small flashlight were a must. Anyone foolish enough to wear white or brightly colored clothing was a sure hindrance to their team. In the same manner, if you didn’t know who the enemy was, the dark clothing was pointless. (If you walk up to the enemy in black, he’ll tag you just as fast as if you were wearing white.) Playing the game without either of these necessities made winning very difficult.
Unfortunately for you and me, life isn’t a game. In fact, it’s much better described as a war. This seems to be the implication that the Apostle Paul is alluding to while writing to the Ephesians. He commands them to put on the full armor of God, that they may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Beyond this, verse twelve is a reminder that this battle is not against “flesh and blood,” but against “spiritual forces of wickedness.” If we are to win the battles we face against Satan’s temptations, it is a must that we both put on our armor and we know who our enemy is.
That you are reading this is a great start in being “readily prepared,” but you cannot make the words of another human being your only spiritual clothing. You must read the Word of God for yourself on a daily basis. Beyond that you must pray. Spend time with the Lord, asking Him to help you fight off the temptations that come in your direction. He is the greatest of all protection. Anyone who is foolish enough to begin their day without Him will find wining the battles they encounter extremely difficult. In the same manner, you must know who you are fighting. Paul reminds us that jealous friends, vicious rumors, neighborhood bullies, and difficult parents are not the enemy. It’s not the “flesh and blood,” but the “spiritual forces of wickedness.” Rather than fighting with your friends or spreading false rumors about them, you should be praying for them or approaching them in a godly manner. There are many on the battlefield, but only one enemy of your soul. Make sure you know who he is and what his weapons of choice are in your life. Again, ask the Lord for help and He will be your victory.