10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 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 6:10–13 (ESV)
What’s the most intense battle you’ve ever been a part of? I ask the question that way because I assume that all of us have clashed with someone or something in our lives. Battles can range from the “rock-paper-scissors” variety where the winner gets the last stick of gum, all the way to the life-and-death battles fought between opposing armies and nations.
I’ve had my share of fun and not-so-fun battles, but I’d have to say the least enjoyable of all the “fun” battles I’ve willingly participated in is, paintball. I have terrible aim. I freak out and run away with my tail between my legs when I’m being shot at (which isn't smart because then I open myself up to even greater chances of being shot in a spot where my clothing is not thick enough to prevent welts). And because I’m not “into it,” I don’t have all the fancy protective equipment, automatic weaponry, and strategic experience of the people who probably see me as an easy target with my lame rental gear and body armor made of 3 old sweatshirts and my “lawn-mowing" tennis shoes.
Why am I going on about all this “battle” talk? As you can see from the verses above, this week’s message is all about the spiritual battle we are in as Christians. You see, unlike my experience with paintball, we have every reason to engage in spiritual warfare with confidence and courage, knowing that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. This is the first message of a summer-long series entitled Called: Stand Firm, which will bring us right to the end of the book of Ephesians. This series will function like a spiritual boot camp, showing us how to stand firm, the nature and tactics of our enemy, the weapons of our warfare, and the strategic position and posture that will give us confidence as we fight. I encourage you to prayerfully read Ephesians 6:10-20 and prepare your heart to engage in battle by listening to the worship set.
Can’t wait to see you on Sunday!
Pastor of Worship & Arts