Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Know Your Savior
In his famous treatise “The Art of War,” Chinese general Sun Tsu quoted a proverb which said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Some today may apply this military strategy to other aspects of life, such as the corporate business world or competitive sports. But there is a very real way in which this applies to every one of us. The apostle Paul reminds us that we are caught up in a war being waged all around us. Not a military conflict or a political battle, but a war for our very souls.
Do you know your enemy? Scripture tells us that Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He has been successfully deceiving souls and leading them astray since the beginning of time. And he will not give you a free pass.
Do you know yourself? By nature, we are all blind and deaf to the ways of God, selfish, self-centered, and stubborn in our thinking. Easy pickings for the wily foe.
But general Sun Tsu was unaware of the most important player on this spiritual battlefield. “For us fights the mighty one, whom God himself elected,” wrote Martin Luther in his famous hymn. Jesus Christ has come to defeat our spiritual enemies, and he has already won the victory through his death and resurrection. Now God’s promise of forgiveness means that Satan’s accusations cannot keep us from heaven.
When doubts and temptations come your way, don’t be surprised. The enemy is still fighting on, even after his defeat. But don’t be unprepared either. Know your enemy, know yourself, but most importantly, know your Savior. Put on the armor of faith in God’s Word. You will find the strength to stand firm in the promises of his love for you in Jesus Christ. His almighty power will keep you safe until the end.
Lord Jesus, protect me from the evil one and shield me with your loving care. Amen.