I had the privilege of attending a women’s conference a couple weeks ago and the worship band sang a song, “Surrounded,” and some of the lyrics went like this, “This is how I fight my battles, this is how I fight my battles…It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by you.” I’ve been nosing around the sixth chapter of Ephesians the last few months and this goes right with this battle song, instructing us to put on the full armor of God, to fight the battles with the tools God gives us through himself as well as his Word.
How’d you like to join me over the next few weeks to unpack this Whole Armor of God business that Paul writes to the Ephesians? This most certainly applies to us today since we live in such a fallen world. Y’all, I ain’t no scholar or theologian. I don’t have a degree in Biblical Studies. I am just a plain ole gal that loves God and loves to study his Word. #BibleNerdsUnite I will be sharing what I learn or what the Lord is telling me, and ladies, God gave you all the most beautiful minds, I encourage you, to get your Bible out and dig into for yourself, ask the Lord what HE would have YOU to learn from him or about him. And please! Share it in the comments below! Beautiful things come from different perspectives and unique stories! Sound good?!?
We’re starting off in Ephesians Chapter 6, verse 10. Paul has just given instructions to the bondservants and masters, how to work together and get along. And now, in verse 10 he gives a final exhortation or instruction to all Christians, including you and me, Girly. I can picture Paul getting all serious, maybe trying to get their attention like a teacher would with 30 First Graders, “If you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap three times” and the room gets quiet. All eyes and ears on Paul. He says in the straightest face, in a gentle tone, “Here’s the dealio, there’s this spiritual warfare out there.”
The most fabulous thing is that he starts off telling us to be strengthened BY the Lord and by his vast strength. Paul is not instructing us to just be strong, learn to be strong, or “You can do this!” He means business. The word “strength” here (Endunamoo in Greek) means to receive strength, to be strengthened, to increase in strength or to be bold, headstrong. From where are we to gain the strength? How do we increase in the strength we already have in us? We find it in the Lord. We do this by tapping into his power, his might, his strength, his dominion or being (Kratos, Gr). God doesn’t do strength or mighty, he is strength and mighty. The power that Paul talks about here is the same power we are promised as mentioned in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you…”
Where do you find strength and the will to keep going? To be Mom? To be the Mrs? The employee? The neighbor that may or may not be difficult? The student? The volunteer or ministry leader? The woman that you are?
I often forget that I have the Holy Spirit’s power within me as I go about my daily life. So many times I try to do things according to my own little puny strength. By my own mind and thoughts, that are going this way and that, constantly. It turns out, I’m not doing a very good job at doing this life, the life God created for me and the life he has called me to, relying on my own will, strength, power, and might. This has nothing to do with muscle or head knowledge. This is God telling us, “You are mine, I created you and this whole world, every living and breathing thing. I am above all.” Sometimes we think our stuff is too small or too big for God. We have weird pictures in our head of this God that seems so far away. God doesn’t have just a little bit of strength to pass around. He has vast strength or might, ability, or force (Ischus Gr). Did you notice that? He has immense strength; of very great extent or quantity of strength. He has the ability to strengthen us, to empower us, to embolden us in every aspect of our lives. He wants us to be singing with our fist up in the air above us, when feeling all disheveled, weak, and/or weary:
“It’s getting, it’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic
It’s getting, it’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic
I’ve got the power
I’ve got the power.”
Paul is starting us off in victory, reminding us where our ultimate strength comes from. The strength we need to fight the battles of life–loneliness, addiction, shame, comparison traps, busyness, wayward teens or young adult children, illness, financial troubles, temptation, conflict in relationships, and just plain dealing with a broken and fallen world. Plain and simple. The enemy is all over the place, just waiting to devour any soul he can. And, if we give him the smallest little window, he will. So we need the Lord. We need to put on the full armor of God to stand against the enemy’s evil schemes (v 11). Paul is reminding us here in Ephesians that our struggles and battles are not against flesh and blood (v. 12). Some of you may think, um, whatcha talking about Willis? Flesh and blood represent other humans we do life with or that we interact with. Disagreements in marriage? We tend blame our partner. Dealing with a difficult and entitled teen? We think it’s their crazy hormones or the friends they hang out with. Yes, sin is in every person, BUT, our struggles is against ” the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Darkness, here, is a metaphor for that which is ignorant of respecting divine things and human duties, ungodliness and immorality (Skotos, Gr) and depravity, iniquity, malice, and wickedness (Poneria, Gr). (I like learning the Greek words because #BibleNerdsUnite, hope you do too.)
Do you recognize some of this nastiness in our world? In your community? In the schools? In marriages? In families? Paul tells us to put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD so that we can resist the devil, his evil schemes and after we have put on this armor and fought the battle, done everything, prepared everything, guess what? We take our stand. And sister, we will still be standing firm when we get through that battle. Then, we’re equipped for the next one. This armor of God is meant to be worn. Every day. Always. What is this armor we’re talking about? Tune in next week! We’ll learn more. Review Ephesians 6:10-13, write your comments or thoughts below!
I love digging into God’s Word with you! I am not going to be ill-equipped for life’s battles any longer and you won’t either! I pray you find victory in God’s strength today. I pray as you tap into His power, strength, and mighty power, you’ll be ready to put on that armor and next week we’ll learn what each piece of that suit of armor means for us. Oh, I’m so excited!
Hugging you so tight,