"10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For 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. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace."
"16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying 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, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak." (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Dru! via photopin cc)
In the case of the Spirit, He is in us and we follow His lead. We do nothing except follow. In the case of the angels, we are unaware of how or when they help us, but we trust His word that they do. We do nothing because we don't know they are there. In the case of the armor, we must do something- put it on and wield it.
Whatever portion or part of the armor you need today, wield it. I am wielding the shield of faith so as to extinguish the darts of the evil one. Barnes Notes explains beautifully why this one is the most important of the suit of armor:
"Faith here is made to occupy a more important place than either of the other Christian graces. It bears, to the whole Christian character, the same relation which the shield does to the other parts of the armor of a soldier. It protects all, and is indispensable to the security of all, as is the case with the shield. The shield was an ingenious device by which blows and arrows might be parried off, and the whole body defended. It could be made to protect the head, or the heart, or thrown behind to meet all attack there. As long as the soldier had his shield, he felt secure; and as long as a Christian has faith, he is safe. It comes to his aid in every attack that is made on him, no matter from what quarter; it is the defense and guardian of every other Christian grace; and it secures the protection which the Christian needs in the whole of the spiritual war."Look at the part of the verse which states we are fighting against the "cosmic powers." Does that make you feel like a superhero? It should, partly! It is Christ in us who overcame and overcomes the cosmic powers, He is THE Superhero. But it is completely amazing that He uses us in the battle! Life on earth is really a long training session in Gladiator School, lol.
When He sends us out as sheep among wolves, He does not leave us alone! (Matthew 10:16). He does not save us just to leave us alone in the middle of the pasture with a pack of wolves out to get us. We are not alone. Oh, the wolves are there, and will try hard to devour the sheep, but those who endure and hold fast will be shown in the end to be the righteous ones. (Matthew 10:26). Meanwhile, we have armor, and help.
The passage above goes on with even more tremendous ammunition- prayer! Verse 18 reminds us of the power of prayer as we do our acts for God. Never feel like you're 'bugging God' with too many petitions. We are told to do so. 'Make supplication at all times in the Spirit'. Oh, wait, that was another very present help that's listed in the passage! The Spirit! He is so gracious to send all these helps!
When you have the whole armor on, stand firm. After all, He sent His Son to retrieve us from the clutches of the evil one. He overcame so that we would not be snatched out of His hand. He sends squads of angels. He gives armor. He sent the Spirit to dwell in us. He gave us each other to encourage each other. He encourages prayer, listens, and answers. He sent His word to strengthen us and equip us. Wow!
He sent His grace, which is sufficient. His grace alone is sufficient to win the battle. Yet how much more abundantly does He equip us to withstand these present evil days!
Stand firm. Have faith. Love God and Fear His name. You will be all right :)