Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
As Paul finishes his letter to the Ephesians, he thinks of the greatest struggle that is before them and wants to prepare them, with spiritual strength and courage. As he looks around and sees the Roman soldiers, he finds a creative way to explain this truth.
Having established the fact that every Christian is engaged in a spiritual battle, and needs to find their strength in the Lord, Paul now calls for action. He begins his instruction by saying, ‘put on’ the armor of God. The armor of God is to be put on, piece by piece, it does not simply slip onto us when we become a Christian. We are to intentionally choose to pick up each piece of the armor and put it on, as we gear up for our spiritual battle. The reason we need to put on the armor of God is to enable us to stand against the wiles of the evil one. What are the wiles of the devil?
The devil’s primary aim and purpose are to separate man from God and to achieve this he will do anything and everything needed. The devil will do anything to keep man from worshipping God, obeying Him, leading to the glory of God. And so, the devil and his fallen angels work hard to keep us from God. The apostle Peter described him as a roaring lion, waiting to devour us (1 Peter 5:8), against whom we need to be alert. We know that the devil did not hesitate to even tempt the Lord Himself. We are not to take the devil and his wiles lightly. The devil works primarily on the minds of man.
The devil blinds the minds of man to the truth of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) causing many not to believe the gospel. He works on the free will of man to persuade them that they have the most freedom, in this most important decision, causing many to choose not to follow or accept God, often filling them with arrogance and pride.
Another age-old and yet very powerful wile of the devil is to bring in doubt in our minds. The fall of man in Genesis 3 was all about creating doubt. He brings in thoughts that cause us to doubt the nature of God, the goodness of God. He also works hard to cause us to doubt the choices we make.
Fear is another wile of the devil, causing many to go back on their faith. The fear of consequences of our choice to follow Christ, and the choices that we make each day, as we live for Him, often is a precursor to denial of the Lord, in small and big ways.
False teachings are another area of the devil’s expertise which Paul very expressly warns against (1 Timothy 4:1). The Bible clearly and repeatedly warns us to watch out and be on our guard against false teachings which are very clearly another effective tool of the devil, creating confusion in the church.
Another of the fiery darts the devil uses to wreaks havoc in our minds is evil, blasphemous thoughts. The truth is that evil thoughts come even to Christians. Responses of hate toward these thoughts, not wanting to have anything to do with, indicate that they are from the devil. Our thoughts matter. We are called to bring every thought captive, to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
We need to know and understand the ways of the devil if we are to be victorious in our spiritual warfare. May we choose each day to put on the armor of God as we battle the wiles of the devil.
Lord give me victory as I put on your armor and stand against the attacks of the evil one. I pray.