There I was onstage as a shy middle-school camper trying to wrack my brain for the correct answer to the trivia question: What spiritual armor do we put on our backs? Now, we had all memorized the Ephesians 6 passage, and I’m pretty sure we had discussed the spiritual armor during at least one of the talks. But … I had no idea. I muddled an answer about protective armor— which caused my team to lose the coveted point. Turns out there is no spiritual armor for our backs. Nada. Nothing. Why? Because we are to stand and fight.
As a kid, that idea was concerning. The spiritual realm seemed overwhelming and, on top of that, I wasn’t allowed to retreat!
What I didn’t realize then was that in all the focus on the fun and tangible teaching of spiritual armor, I had missed the opening and closing verses of those sections. Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Then the section closes with this in verse 18: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Aha! This spiritual warfare didn’t have anything to do with me and my abilities — or lack, thereof. As Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
How can we be empowered through Christ? By prayer. We pray holy-spirit directed prayer on all occasions — especially when faced with spiritual warfare. This isn’t a rote prayer that you say over and over again. It’s staying sensitive to the Holy Spirit so you can fight spiritual battles — ours and others — through prayer.
While 2 Chronicles 20:12 & 15 refer to a physical battle, it has great application for our spiritual warfare, as well. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. … This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”
Yes, we are asked to stand and fight spiritual warfare, but not in our own strength, in God’s. The power comes from abiding in Christ, being alert and prayerful, seeing the spiritual warfare through the lense of Christ and his victorious power.
Lord, give us your eyes to see the spiritual battles around us, and help us to rise up in prayer, calling on your power knowing that you will be victorious. In your mighty name, amen.
By Cyndie de Neve
Senior Creative Director
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