by Sophie Brint
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” – Ephesians 6:16-18
As you go about your days and weeks at school, it’s easy to get into a comfy routine. You scarf down some breakfast, meet up with your carpool ride, do the full-day-of-class scene, have an extracurricular practice or lesson, come home, chill, grab a snack, do homework, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat. Seems pretty chill, right?
If you’re anything like me, the predictable rhythms of daily life can make you feel like you’re cruising along nice and easy. But what if I told you that you’re living in wartime? Not like World War II type vibes, but a war of much higher stakes?
In Ephesians 6, Paul helps us understand that we ARE indeed living in the midst of war.
Ok, so what does this war even look like? As Paul explains to the church at Ephesus, followers of Jesus “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 war isn’t a physical one. It’s a spiritual one we can’t always see with our eyes but we feel deeply at our core.
If you have repented of your sin and turned in faith to Jesus as King of your life, you have been set free from the power of sin and brokenness. But that doesn’t mean your own sinful flesh and the spiritual darkness of the world around you instantly disappear. Rather, as Chad explained this past weekend, the Holy Spirit applies the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to your life and lives in you, equipping you to fight that darkness.
So then the question becomes “HOW ON EARTH do we fight the sinfulness of our flesh and the world around us?”
Well, what would you do before going into a physical battle? I hope you’re thinking to yourself, “put on some armor and grab some weapons, duh!”
The same is true in the spiritual battle we face every day of our lives. Paul goes on to say that in ALL circumstances – whether that be at school, in friendships, in family relationships, within yourself, or simply in the world around you – we must actively choose to protect ourselves with what God gives us as armor. Go check out Ephesians 6:13-17 for a big ole list of defensive weapons that are ours in Christ Jesus.
But what I want to draw your attention to is that in the “Armor of God” passage there’s only one offensive weapon listed – and it’s the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
If there’s only one offensive weapon listed, logic would tell you it must be pretty effective. Well it is.
The Holy Spirit speaks through the Scriptures and therefore “has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). The Holy Spirit allows us to pray IN Him, and wants us to run to Him in prayer in all things and at all times. He’s given us everything we need to know how to navigate life with truth and wisdom, as well as the ability to go to Him directly and cry for help. He’s equipped us not just to throw some weak punches against the darkness, but to fight against it WELL.
So. READ the Word. MEMORIZE the Word. MEDITATE on the Word. PRAY the Word. Trust that your Heavenly Father knows what you need to fight the battle of darkness each day and has given you exactly what you need through the power of the Holy Spirit.