READ: Psalm 106, Micah 4, John 10, Ephesians 6
In spiritual warfare we must be careful to wait for God’s counsel. God desires to deliver us, but if we rely on our own wisdom, leanness is sent into our souls (Psalm 106:15). If in the panic and pressure of battle and attack we will listen to God, He promises to teach us His ways (Micah 4:2) and to lead us out (John 10:3). God’s counsel and commandments have promises attached to them (Eph. 6:1) and these promises are based on enduring principles of spiritual warfare.
Abide. “Finally be strong in the Lord and the power of His might” (v. 10). The reality of spiritual warfare is that Jesus fights for us from within us. As soon as we think we can take on powers and principalities, we are doomed. Starting with “finally” we must be aware that the best way to resist the devil is to be intimate with Jesus. It is the glorious presence of Jesus that terrifies the devil and his minions. Let no one think he can battle evil if he or she is not deeply imbedded in Christ.
Prepare. “Take up the whole armor” (v. 13). We must train for war and are fools to spar with the demonic unguarded and unpracticed. If we do not have the discipline to eat right, exercise, get up early and linger with Jesus, what foolish audacity makes us think we can battle in the heavens? Wars are won on the training ground, not on the battlefield. Spiritual wars are won before they are fought by those who have spiritually prepared and have multiple weapons. You may wield the sword with excellence, but if you leave your helmet at home, you won’t last long.
Fight. “Having done all, stand” (v. 13). When we are deep in Jesus and when we have built (through training) our spiritual muscles, the next reality is battle endurance. Most battles are not won quickly and we must stand in the breach (Psalm 106:3) swinging away, repelling assault after assault. There are no shortcuts; there is nowhere to run; and there is no avoidance of wave against wave that rush against us. We station ourselves in the field and swing away until our sword cleaves to our hand–and then we fight some more. Most Christians expect short spiritual battles. Most spiritual battles take years, and we must stand indefatigable.
Trust. “Above all take up the shield of faith” (Eph. 6:16). Paul in this passage of Ephesians 6 repeatedly uses strong language: FINALLY be strong, WHOLE armor, having DONE ALL stand, ABOVE ALL take up faith. In spiritual warfare, in the end, we must trust. We must trust that Jesus will give us the endurance to fight on when no respite comes. We must trust Jesus to prepare us and train us for the challenges to come. We must trust Him to fight for us and from within us when we are overwhelmed and confused. We must trust that Jesus will win in the end.