For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13
Football is not an easy game. When you play you confront all sorts of challenges--some of which seem insurmountable. Life is not easy. Living it is difficult because we are constantly facing challenges--our flesh, our inner mental hurdles, our physical bodies, and spiritual forces of evil! Do not miss the reality of what Paul says to the Ephesians in chapter 6. He tells them straight out that the battles are not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” There are times that we feel like it is flesh and blood, but it is against so much more.
Life is a battle. It is not for the weak at heart. Do you believe this? Can you affirm with Paul that the battles you face are more than what the world thinks they are? There are powers coming against you and they live alongside you in “this present darkness.”
Another vital realization, however, is that you are not meant or equipped to face this battle alone. God has provided the protection for you in His armor. Without it you cannot “withstand this evil day.” With it you are able to stand firm. Isn’t that interesting--we are equipped to withstand and to stand. We are called to persevere the attacks by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You have been granted the belt of truth to correctly know the reality around you, breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart from the wickedness you see everyday, shoes of the gospel of peace to stand with conviction in the reality of Jesus, shield of faith to reflect away all of the lies intended to stir up doubt, helmet of salvation that gives hope and assurance for the best tomorrow, and sword of the Spirit to strike down the death being spewed at you from every angle.
By God’s grace you have all of the equipment, but you have to put it on. You have to acknowledge that there is a battle and that you are able to withstand, not giving up ground, by wearing and using this equipment everyday for every circumstance.
What battles are you currently experiencing? Where are you feeling discouraged and defeated? Pray to the King of Creation, the Author of Salvation, and ask Him to join you and to empower you to use His equipment in victorious ways. It can only come through submission to His provision. Be victorious over the real battles by acknowledging them and standing firm in the grace of God.