Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
When the Apostle Paul writes the above verse, he is chained to a Roman soldier. Setting an example for upcoming generations of preachers, Paul used his circumstance to illustrate victory in spiritual warfare.
The Roman soldier fought against physical enemies; we fight against the demonic.
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).
Lesson #1: Don’t Be Surprised
A typical Roman soldier fought against opposing soldiers. We fight against both corporals and generals. There will be times in your life when you come into the sightlines of a devious and powerful principality of evil.
Are you prepared?
Lesson #2: The Whole Armor
Paul mentions “whole armor” twice in Ephesians 6:11 and 13, so it must be important. Faith without truth will lead astray. Righteousness without salvation will lead to either rigid religion or anything goes licentiousness.
The whole armor of God is truth, righteousness, discipleship, faith, salvation, and scripture.
Lesson #3: Unity
Paul doesn’t mention unity in Ephesians 6, but it is assumed. Roman soldiers fought in a legion that was divided into a maniple (smaller units usually made up of friends or even relatives).
The Roman shield would protect your middle and your left side, over-reaching to protecting half of the soldier’s body on your left. Standing alone, you would be killed quickly.
Effective spiritual warfare without unity in the church is impossible.
Lesson #4: Claim Victory
As the Romans marched into battle, they locked tight with their shields. If you were an opposing army, you would see a single battle unit of shields with pikes or spears protruding.
If you ran at this phalanx, they would throw a javelin-type spear to inflict casualties and to slow your advance. With the confusion of dead soldiers and pikes all over the ground, the Roman phalanx would quickly close, and their short stabbing spears would strike between shields.
My point: Every part of the Roman’s armor enabled a final charge to victory.
Lesson #5: Your Kind of Prayer
Paul concludes his warfare illustration in Ephesians 6 with the following passage:
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all kinds of prayer (Ephesians 6:18).
As I’ve considered the phrase all kinds of prayer, I’ve noticed through the years that I discovered different types of prayer. I think Paul learned different kinds of prayer throughout his life too.
Some of the kinds of prayer used today Paul didn’t even know about.
Praying in the Spirit with different kinds of prayer is an individual pursuit according to your calling. You have gifts of the Spirit that are unique, and praying expertise to enable your calling.
Develop your “kind of praying” this year.
Let’s battle together in 2022.