In seminary, I had a Greek professor that drilled a mantra into our heads. Every day he reminded us,“You must have the right tools for the job.” There was even a song and a video to further bring this point home. What he meant was, when parsing Greek verbs and drawing countless diagrams you must have the right study tools to get the job done. Not employing the right tool for such a job would leave you frustrated having wasted way too much time and energy. This mantra can be applied in almost any circumstance but I want to focus our attention on the necessary tools for the job of spiritual warfare. When combating the countless plans of the enemy that are so prevalent in our world today. You must have the right tools for the job!
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are engaging in a spiritual battle not against flesh and blood. However, it seems the body of Christ is more often waging this war with the wrong tool of self-sufficiency. The evidence? Just take a look at our behavior on social media outlets. We are quick to argue, name call, and shame even other Christians instead of digging into our spiritual arsenal. Even worse we have mistaken each other for the enemy forgetting that there is a cosmic battle for good and evil happening right before us.
A closer look at Ephesians 6: 10-13 gives us a glimpse into the nature of the battle set before every believer. Paul reminds us that we are to clothe ourselves with the full armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil. In this battle, the devil is commanding his troops attempting to block us on every side so that we cannot complete the work God has given every believer to do. (Ephesians 2:10) The word “scheme” has a connotation of craftiness. It is with this craftiness that Satan is constantly attempting to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) Dr. Thomas Constable says, “The body is at war with a spiritual enemy. We do not just walk, but we also war”
Ephesians 6:12 “ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”
Paul paints a picture of an unseen battle that we are a part of whether we have signed up for it or not. Paul is saying, what may look like a human fight, against racism, against abortion, against fatherlessness and more, is truly a supernatural fight that is promoted by Satan and his demons who stand against the will of God.
This is a hard pill to swallow at first. It seems illogical to consider that there is a cosmic battle for your soul. However, my former Pastor, Dr. Tony Evans, often says, “If all you see is what you see then you don’t see all that there is to be seen.”
You cannot fight a spiritual battle with the flesh. You must fight a spiritual battle with spirit. This is what it looks like to use the right tool for the job. I do not wish to convey that true evil is not linked to individuals in our tangible world. Yet we have been told that what occurs on earth is attached to a battle larger than our reasoning, larger than social media arguments, and even larger than protests, and civic action. While these things can be useful tools, we have to see what lies behind the battle and fight accordingly.
I recently watched a video that describes our current climate from a spiritual perspective. Like a heavy fog, confusion and deception had fallen over God’s people. This fog was a representation of Satan’s schemes. As he and his demons moved about, the people of God were being poked and prodded amidst the fog. Each blamed the other, but they couldn’t see the true culprit of their pain.
I believe this analogy is pertinent to the body of Christ in such a time as this. We are constantly poked and prodded with division as we mercilessly split between the sides of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, maskers and anti-maskers, Republican or Democrat, and the list goes on. We have been utterly preoccupied with demanding to get our point across at all costs without considering the spiritual nature of the battle and the spiritual nature of our true opponent.
Yet God doesn’t leave us without hope. Ephesians 6 states that God has provided for us heavenly armor to stand against the attacks of Satan. While it is God who provides this armor for us we have to be cognizant of putting it on. When we forget to suit up properly we do not allow scripture to inform our response to everyday problems. For truly apart from Him, we can accomplish nothing. (John 15:5)
As you review the armor of God you will notice that there is only one offensive piece provided-That is the sword of the Spirit, that is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17) It is with the Word of God that we defeat the temptations of Satan and his army just as Christ mirrored for us in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) It is by meditating on God’s word day and night that we learn to keep his commands (Psalm 119:9) It is by the Word of God that our minds are renewed (Romans 12:2) and we become equipped for completing God’s work God’s way.
I am not suggesting that we stand idly by while the whole world erupts in a culture war. However I am suggesting that we realign ourselves with the proper tools to fight the battle and consider who our true enemy is. For if we don’t use the right tool for the job, Satan’s fog of confusion will only continue to hinder our impact on the world.