Text: Eph. 6:10-18
Introduction: The devil, according to legend, once advertised his tools for sale at public auction. When the prospective buyers assembled, there was one oddly-shaped tool which was labeled “Not for sale.” Asked to explain why this was, the devil answered, “I can spare my other tools, but I cannot spare this one. It is the most useful implement that I have. It is called Discouragement, and with it I can work my way into hearts otherwise inaccessible. When I get this tool into a man’s heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire.” This is how the devil works. He does not have to attack you physically. If the devil can get you to stop doing what you have to do for the Lord, he wins. So he will use any means necessary to discourage you. But God this morning is going to show us how to fight against the enemy’s attempt to discourage us and break our spirit. Here Paul gives a final word to the believers at the church of Ephesus. Paul is encouraging the believers to strengthen themselves thru the power of God to fight against the enemy. But the fight we face is not normal fight. It is spiritual battle. We can not use human weapons in a spiritual battle. They won’t work because they are not strong enough. So God gives us spiritual weapons to fight a spiritual battle. This is what Paul teaches us today. Paul is speaking to the church at Ephesus in military terms to show how to fight against enemy like soldiers in the Lord’s army.
I. You have to be empowered by God’s strength v.10
As believers our victory is secure through the cross of Calvary. However, it has to be won thru battles. The enemy job is to deceive and disrupt God’s plan by waging war. This is why Paul is encouraging us to be equipped to do battle with these instructions. The apostle tells them to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. This is better translated to be endued with strength from the Lord and the force of his ability. When fighting the enemy we can not rely on our own strength. If you do, you will be like the sons of Sceva. You are much too weak. This is our problem. You are deceiving yourself if you think you can beat the enemy on your on strength. You need power outside of you that is greater than you. As believers, we have the ultimate power source available to us. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! Our problem is that we have been beaten us down so much and it seems that God is not doing anything. And we think the enemy is just as powerful as God. We have bad theology. But last I checked that if the enemy had all power, he would have took you out a long time ago. The enemy has some power but God has all power. And you are here to testify that it was not by my might nor by my power but by His Spirit… That power is available to you thru the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. As a believer you are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. That is a position of power. Like a soldier who has been put in position to exercise their authority by the commander, we as believers have been put in spiritual position given the authority of our heavenly commander who has power over heaven and earth. You have been empowered for battle by the power of the Holy Ghost!
II. You have to put on your gear v. 11a
One thing about soldiers is that even though they have been strengthened and empowered by training. They still are not complete to fight without being in gear. Here in the text, Paul tells the Ephesians believers to put on your gear, the whole armor of God. Not just some piece but the whole thing. A soldier out of gear is not ready to fight and will not only jeopardize themselves but others in their command. My brothers and my sisters, you got to be prepared for the fight by making sure that you are in the full gear God gave you. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh. When you are fighting with the enemy, your flesh can not be exposed because the enemy will slip thru any opening. That is why some of us in Christ get into trouble because we were not fully clothed. You got to be covered in full gear. Ask your neighbor are you covered? You have put on other stuff to fight the enemy and it has not worked. You put on liquor, drugs, sexuality, anger and money. You even put on a front and nothing worked. God is saying now put on Jesus and watch him work. My beloved put on your gear and get ready to fight!
III. You have to know who you fight are fighting against v. 12
Since the troops have been strengthened to fight and have the right gear, Paul now lets them know the field intelligence for the battle. My beloved you have to know your enemy because you enemies know you. Paul tells the church that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, this thing is not human. My beloved, you are not fighting against a human. You are fighting against something that can influence and that is not Godly. So when you see something that is hindering God’s will and plan, recognize it is spirit and not human despite who is doing and what is being done. Paul is saying you got to know what you are up against. Test spirit by the spirit. That is wisdom so you know how to fight. I can’t fight it with my fist or with my mouth. This is a spiritual fight. I have to fight it with my faith.
Look at who Paul is telling us we are fighting with. First are principalities which are demons who have oversight of the nations. You are fight against evil in the government. Next are powers which are demons who possess and oppression human beings. Then you have rules of darkness who are over Satan’s business. And finally spiritual wickedness in high places refers to those in religion who pervert God’s people. How are you going to fight this kind of mess with human weapons? You can’t! Therefore, you have to go spiritual on them! And use the weapons God has given us. Any good soldier knows how what his weapon can do and how to use his it effectively. With that confidence, you are ready to fight. This leads to our next point.
IV. You have to be confident and take a stand v. 13-17a
A good soldier has everything he needs for battle (the power, the gear, the field intelligence etc.). But it is no good if he does not use it. That is why Paul in the text says “take unto you”…i.e. use you armor God gave and take a stand. My beloved, don’t be phased by the devil because you got what it takes to defeat him. Use your weapons and stand! God has equipped you with the right war gear that has some defensive weapons for you to stand against the enemy’s. Paul runs a litany of what we have as believers so we can stand confidently against the Deceiver. Paul first tells us to stand with you loins girted with truth. This is a belt that keeps your armor together. Paul is saying tighten up with truth. A tight belt means that soldier is ready to fight. I feel sorry for some of young brothers today. They don’t have truth around them and their lives are sagging. Satan is a liar, but the Christian who knows the truth will not be deceived by his tricks. Know the truth and the truth…Next it says “having the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protects your heart. What this is saying is that the believer’s heart is protected by the righteousness Jesus. He imputed his righteousness on you. We have to continue to walk in the light of Christ because He is your righteousness not giving the Accuser any opportunity to attack. Next is that you feet is shod with the gospel of peace. These are your war boots. When you walk in the gospel peace spread the good news of Jesus you will destroy the evil with love! Then Paul tells us taking the shield of faith that will quench the fiery darts of wicked. Faith will put out all unbelief and doubt. Then Paul tells us to cover up our head with the helmet of salvation. The helmet covers up the mind. This is really where the attacks begin. But your mind is covered because God has giving you the mind of Christ according scripture. So you can think about all those things which are true, honest, just, lovely, pure, good report and if there is any virtue or any praise think on these things! He will keep you in perfect whose mind is stayed on thee. So put your helmet on! My beloved, this you defense against the enemy! Now you are ready to…
V. You have to be ready to counterattack v. 17b-18
Paul in our text gives us 2 offensive weapons after the defensive his list. In v. 17b, he tells us to take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and wielding it! Exert you authority! While you are doing that he also tells us to pray in the power of the Spirit and don’t stop praying staying alert and persistent. When fighting against the enemy your word is your main weapon and your power comes through prayer. Speak truth to his lies. Shed light over his darkness with the word of God. Send him back to the pity of hell where he belongs. He is resistant to the Word and weakened by the power of God. My beloved use your weapon to counter attack! You have to stand being steadfast, unmovable always abounding in the work the Lord. Resist his attack and temptation!
Close: One thing I learned since I have been saved is how to fight. God taught me how to fight. I learned is that I can’t fight like I use to fight. I can’t use my fist. I can’t wrestle down on the ground. I can’t use a gun or a knife. I can’t raise my voice and cuss. I don’t work! I don’t even stand straight and tall. When Paul says stand in the text, he is talking about being fixed and establish in position. I learned what that position is. That position is my prayer stance on my knees! When I am on my knees I am ready for war. I am ready to do battle! Let me tell you what happens on my knees: I submit to God on my knees. I am protected on my knees. I am anointed on my knees. I am strengthened on my knees. I get a revelation on my knees. I get wisdom. I get love. I am armed and dangerous on my knees! On my knees I denounce, reject, bind, loose and resist Satan. I pulled the enemy down on my knees! But I ask, seek, thank, forgive, sing, worship my God forgiving me victory! I pull blessing down on my knees!