By Gboyega Omolayo
In Ephesians 6:10-20, we read as follows:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
This portion of scripture is usually referred to when spiritual warfare is being discussed in the Church. The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul here gives insight and instructions to the believer on the constant conflict we have with the kingdom of darkness because we are Christ’s. It is the intention of God that we win these conflicts at all times, reason why the insight and instructions were given to us.
Looking closely at these verses, we see firstly that the foundation for victory in this fight is to be strong in God and in the might of God’s power (verse 10). This is a must and it can only be achieved by putting on the whole armor of God (verse 11a) because the fight can only be fought and won by God’s power and nothing else. The fight is not physical or mental but spiritual (Verse 12a), reason why it is only fought and won by God’s power. Physical or mental strength (human wisdom) cannot win this fight any more than physical or mental solution can solve a spiritual problem.
When you have the whole armor of God on, then can you stand spiritually, strong to fight and win (verse 11b). Being strong in the power of your own might (physical and/or mental) amounts to nothing in this warfare. All ideas, approaches, teachings, doctrines and beliefs outside what God has said concerning this warfare will only produce physical or mental strength and you cannot prevail over Satan by these.
You can imagine what happens if you try to wrestle someone (Satan, in this case) who is standing while you are in a squatting, sitting or in a prostrate position. There is a zero chance of successfully ‘standing against his wiles’, his methods of attack (verse 11b) and this forecloses any chance of winning against him. Satan’s wiles refer to his cunning, deceitfulness, craftiness or trickery and all other methods that he uses in his attempt to stop believers from walking in the fullness of their inheritance in Christ. Though Satan may use various methods to attempt to defeat the believer, there is one thing common to all his methods of attack, they all aim at selling to you what is against God’s chosen path for you to believe and live after. This is how he gets his victory over believers.
For instance, God’s word says love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45a). According to God, as far as other humans are concerned, even if they are against you, this is how you treat them to make Him come through for you. Man’s wisdom however says to go against your enemies, pray against them, if you have opportunity to hurt them do so, destroy them so they will not have the chance to destroy you. This sounds mentally correct and Satan knows if you imbibe it you automatically cut off God’s help from your life because you would be living in disobedience to God. He thus does all he can to persuade believers to follow this wisdom of man and little wonder rather than things improving, they keep getting worse. Notwithstanding the prayers a believer may pray from this position, defeat in the battle is certain as the believer has put on the armor of the flesh rather than the whole armor of God and this amounts to nothing in the battle with the enemy. Without the whole armor of God, the believer cannot pray right and Satan knows, he therefore fronts and popularizes the wisdom of man as the way to go (deceit) knowing it only leads to the believer’s defeat.
Take notice additionally that the fight against the kingdom of darkness is not what makes the believer strong (see verses 10 & 11). Putting on the whole armor of God is what makes the believer strong and then will he/she be able to fight against the kingdom of darkness, win and still remain strong after winning (verse 13b).
From what we see by careful examination therefore, for you to win the battles against the kingdom of darkness, you must be strong in the power of God’s might by putting on the whole armor of God which makes you stand, contend, win and remain standing thereafter. Without the whole armor of God, you remain in a state of defeat as you stand no chance of successfully fighting from that state. So dear believer, first off, put on the whole armor of God.