“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.” Ephesians 6:12
I’m not normally one to attribute a lot of things to spiritual warfare. Yes, I believe it exists and I believe that we have an enemy that works his hardest to see us fail, but attributing a lack of convenient parking to a spiritual attack is a little far-fetched. Sometimes, though, a lot of little things put together changes the playing field. I don’t want to give too much credit where it isn’t due, but this week has been rough. Mondays are always tough, so I don’t put too much stock in that particular bad day, but this Monday was incredibly rough. I was so tired from the weekend that I could barely get out of bed, let alone function. Yesterday was a little better, but I’ve had trouble concentrating and being on top of my game. I just seem so out of sorts and wholly unequipped to do anything this week. And this morning, well, this morning I drove to work in tears for no apparent reason except I got a really sweet compliment last night that inadvertently triggered a whole fit of incredibly low self-esteem.
But last night as I forced myself to spend time in God’s word, I felt myself being led to the passage in Ephesians where Paul talks about the armor of God. Notice the first thing he says, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…”(verse 14). Truth is the first item we must put on each morning, because if we don’t, our enemy takes the opening to bury us under a pile of lies that completely cripple us in our spiritual journey. Next, we must put on the “breastplate of righteousness,” which aside from protecting our heart, also reminds us that when we are faced with the lies and malevolence of the devil, we are to always do what is right. The temptation is always there to say, “God doesn’t reward our faithfulness, so why bother,” but as the prophet said in Malachi 2:17, we have wearied the Lord “by saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD , and he is pleased with them’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?'” That’s not true, so to avoid it, we must put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Next comes putting on shoes in preparation of the gospel of peace, which means that we’re going somewhere instead of moping about ourselves. A warrior doesn’t hide, but instead she heads out to battle well-prepared. We go in the power of the good news that Jesus is victorious over death and sin and that by His blood we are given entrance to heaven that no thing can take away. Then we carry our shield of faith in front of us so that our progress will not be impeded by the flaming arrows that Satan sends our way. We put on a helmet of salvation to remind us that this struggle is hard and sometimes we have to decide to act. We won’t always feel like being a Christian or doing the right thing, so we have to make the decision to do those things that God wants, to be the people He wants us to be. Finally, we take with us the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Because even after all the preparations have been made, we still may have need of God’s Word to cut through the lies, just like I did this morning on my way to work.
Stopped at the light at Orange-Olive and Kraemer, as tears were falling from my eyes I used the Sword of the Spirit to battle the lies that Satan wants me to believe. While I may not have won the war, I surely won that battle.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13