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Ephesian 6

The portion of scripture that I will be focusing on is Ephesians Ch. 6 verses 10-20. Much has been written and countless sermons have been shared concerning these few passages. It is not too surprising as to why. The topic of spiritual warfare, which these verses deal with, is certainly an intriguing one. Depending on your denomination (presuming you are a regular church attendee), you might be able to count on the fact that your pastor will mention this subject matter at least once every Sunday. On the other hand, any talk of spiritual warfare might be as foreign to you as the Songs of Solomon is in Children’s Ministry. Regardless of how much thought or emphasis you might place on spiritual warfare, based on verse 12 there’s no way of getting around the fact that spiritual war is real and is happening. In this verse, we’re also clued in on who our true enemies are: spiritual forces opposed to the Lord, those same spiritual forces who we used to follow (see Ch. 2 v. 2). Now what are we as followers of Christ supposed to do with this information? We’re called to take strength in our Lord, stand and act. Now the question is, ‘what type of action are we to take?’. Arm ourselves? In a sense, yes. Vote and protest?! Maybe. Talk smack to people and try to get them canceled? Hmmm, most likely not. To get a better sense of how we are called to act, it is important to recall what the previous 5 chapters in the letter to the Ephesians is reminding us about. Once we understand this, then we will understand how to wage war, God’s way. Throughout this letter, the writer, Paul the Apostle, spends a bunch of time reminding followers of who Christ is, what he did, and about what that implies to those who have been given new life in Christ. With this new life comes a new identity and a new way of understanding reality, and hence a different way of taking action. So going back to the initial question, ‘what are we called to do in this battle? The answer is, hold on because you’ve probably never heard this before, to be like Christ; to prepare like he would prepare, to fight like he would fight. Profound huh? I imagine that most who read this will probably be thinking, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know, WWJD right?’ Haha That’s some throwback 90’s stuff right there straight up. Might I suggest that perhaps you and I (assuming you had these thoughts, I know I did) have become a bit cynical and have gotten used to hearing this that the sense of significance is somewhat lost. If you would, I encourage you to just quickly peep the following verses, as I trust that they would provide a greater perspective on what Paul was drawing from when he describes the our weapons of warfare: Isaiah 11:49, 49:2, 59:17. Paul draws from passages where the Messiah (that is, Christ) is described, dressed to the nines in His spiritual battle gear. Again, what Paul is telling us followers of Christ to do is be like Christ. Paul is saying, because you are now alive in Christ, you have been awakened to the reality of the battle at hand (compare with Ch. 2 v. 2). Additionally, he’s saying, Remember how Christ was described by Isaiah the prophet some 400 years ago? Remember how He was equipped, how He fought. Remember His armor/weapons: Truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God’ (Ch. 6 v. 14-17). Oh yeah, and make sure your keep praying always (Ch. 6 v. 18). That’s what Paul is reminding us of; this is how Christ battled, and this is how we are first and foremost called to act as His followers. I gotta be honest though peeps, as elementary as this truth is, I miss the mark big time. I’m super quick to derive rationalistic explanations and solutions for challenges and conflicts that I experience and that I see around the world. I’m often quick to leave a condescending comment than I am to pray, and by my actions imply that God is not in control. Now don’t get me wrong, there certainly is a time to take measures in the physical. However if we can remember that the battle, whether it be related to politics, is personal, or other, is first and foremost a spiritual battle that must first and foremost be fought taking the measures outlined by Paul in this chapter, we certainly will do well. We can see throughout history how things were done in the name of Christ that were anything from Christ-like and God honoring. When we take measures on our own strength and wisdom, we’ll certainly be bound to fail. This is all the more true when it comes to spiritual warfare. Father, thank you for the reminder that you are in control and in the midst of even the most tumultuous and chaotic places and events. Help us to battle the way that you have called us to with the equipment that you have equipped us. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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