Paul reminds us we are ambassadors for Christ and the kingdom of God. He also reminds us that we are engaged in spiritual welfare.
1. What happens if we remain ignorant to spiritual reality?
Ignorance to spiritual reality is one of Satan’s strategies of deception to prevent us from victory. The bible tells us clearly that Satan is a roaring lion, waiting to devour the believers. What happens when we remain ignorant to spiritual reality?
First, personal spiritual problems. In search of happiness and completeness, we turn to other people and the world. This is the state of Genesis 3, of self-centeredness. We deceive ourselves into thinking Christ finished everything and therefore I am free to live however I please. Everything from how we understand and hold on to the word is centered on ourselves and what’s most convenient for us. Our self-centeredness is everyone’s personal spiritual problem.
Second, family problems. There are problems that are passed down from generation to generation: anger-management, abuse, addiction, mental-illness, physical-illness etc. If we are ignorant to spiritual reality, these problems will continue to be passed down while we engage in the wrong fight.
We need to realize that there is a spiritual battle going on right now that God calls us to engage in. Open your eyes to the spiritual reality of the world: everyone is drifting away from God. Take a close look at your personal spiritual state.
2. Where is this spiritual battle fought?
“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.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Our fight is not physical, but spiritual. This battle isn’t just happening during demon-possession. The spiritual battle happens in all aspects of our lives, whether at home, church or work. We cannot let our guard down until we return to our eternal home. When our spiritual sensors are low, we take on barrages of Satan’s attacks: disbelief, doubt, ignorance and numbness. However, when we are spiritually aware and have our guards up, we can have victory.
3. How can I have victory?
Victory belongs to the Lord and Christ gives us guaranteed victory. All we need to do is stand in Christ and receive strength that comes from above. How? Put on the full armor of God. When you play football without proper protective gear, you’re asking to get hurt. In that same way, we need to put on the armor of God to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks. Paul uses the equipment of Roman Soldiers.
The belt of truth. The belt is the foundation of their armor. Our foundation and truth is God’s word, that Jesus is the Christ. To put on the belt of truth is to completely submit to God’s word in all circumstances. God’s word is alive and there is power gained when we submit to God’s word.
The breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protects our vital organs. We must protect ourselves not with our own righteousness and strength but with righteousness which comes from faith in Christ.
The shoes of the gospel of peace. In sports, shoes help us perform better. Do we have true assurance and peace everyday from Christ? Then we can carry that peace with us into the field.
The shield of faith. We are not immune to Satan’s attacks. We need to defend ourselves behind Christ.
The helmet of salvation. Assurance of salvation. We easily doubt and question the gospel and God’s desire for world evangelism. However, when we have assurance, we can never be shaken.
The sword of the spirit. Our weapon is the word of God.
“Praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication” We must remain spiritually alert through prayer. Paul urges us to pray for the saints, for our fellow congregation members. God blessed our church to be one body and one team.
Through the word and prayer, let’s shake off our spiritual numbness, remain alert and engage in the spiritual battle.