Picture Scripture: Ephesians 6:13


Today’s scripture is from Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore 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.”

As we face our daily spiritual struggles, we can know that God is with us and has given us all we need to protect ourselves. We are not defenseless against the temptations and trials of this world. With the armor He provides, we can stand firm, no matter the obstacles before us.

Spiritually Overcoming


If we’re truly following Christ, we are engaged in a battle. Ephesians 6:10 opens a passage that describes us as arming ourselves for that spiritual conflict. It’s something that we have to be prepared for if we are going to survive. Paul goes on to enumerate the times we should be wearing God’s armor as we engage in a battle for our souls. This preparation helps us stand firm.

Entirely Prepared

Truth is the belt that holds our entire armor together. Righteousness protects our heart, and our readiness covers our feet. This means we are always ready and willing to do God’s work. Additionally, faith shields us from Satan’s attacks, and the knowledge of salvation protects our minds. Finally, the only weapon we have is God’s word.

Starting in Ephesians 6:18, Paul tells us to be prayerful in our preparation so that we may have the courage to withstand, and he emphasizes praying for each other. This is an act of unity and solidarity. We are helping each other when we pray. Furthermore, I’ll have little time to pursue ungodliness if I’m busy praying for others.

Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed but rather transformed. It takes effort to allow God to transform us from following after this world into being something new and better. II Corinthians 10:5 says to keep our thoughts under control, and Philippians 4:8 tells us what our minds should be focused on in the place of those things that can distract and disarm us.

Steadfast in Trials

We will face trials. We will be held to the fire, but God has given us all we need to overcome. John 15:18 begins a sobering passage where Jesus tells His disciples about the hostility his disciples will face. Sometimes, the biggest temptation we will face is that of ridicule, of simply not fitting in. Jesus went through those trials, and so will we.

John 3:17 says that Jesus came to save the world rather than judge it, and He goes on to say that those who reject Him have already judged themselves. He says His light divides good from evil. II Corinthians 7:2 begins a passage where Paul describes his own trials and the comfort He found in God and in them. In his first letter, Paul was pretty harsh with those in Corinth, but he now wants them to remember his love for them. That love is the motivation for sharing Christ’s light.

I Timothy 6:11 encourages us to flee temptation and focus on righteousness. He calls us to fight the fight of faith and to remain steadfast. Our enemy will try to shake us, but we can withstand. Hebrews 12:3 – 4 encourages us to look to Christ, who endured unto death. The Hebrew writer says we can do the same, and now we are God’s children. He loves us and is protecting our souls. There are times when we will be tired and feel beat down, but God is with us. He is always with us, and through Him, we can see victory in this spiritual battle.

lesson by Kent Ward

Preparing for Our Spiritual Battle


We are involved in battle every day. This battle, however, is not one over resources, freedoms, representation, or any of the other numerous reasons people may wage war in this life. It’s not a battle where artillery, drones, body armor, or any other physical means of offense or defense will be of any use. Instead this conflict is a spiritual one, and each and every one of us is a battlefield where the object of conquest is nothing less than our souls. This is a conflict that looks very different from what we think about when we typically think of physical battles.

Ephesians 6:10 calls on us to garb ourselves in God’s armor so we can stand firm when it feels we’ll be overwhelmed in the conflict. He gives us this armor so that we can prepare for the spiritual battle ahead of us, but, in the end, we have to remember that victory does not come from you or me. It does not come from verbal force. It does not come from winning debates, arguments, or secular victories. Rather, this is a quiet struggle that belongs to the Lord. He is our victory.

We Must Prepare

Ephesians 6:13 tells us that we should take up the whole armor of God, so that we can withstand in the day of evil. This is not a casual preparation. Think about what Jesus was talking about in Luke 14:25–33. He’s talking about counting the cost of discipleship, putting all into being His follower. This is giant commitment, and a giant commitment takes great preparation.

Unlike a physical battle, our armor is not meant to protect us from physical harm, and we do not arm ourselves with weapons meant to harm others. Rather, we protect ourselves with truth, with righteousness, and with the gospel of peace. Think about that: we prepare for this struggle with peace! The only weapon we have is God’s word, and with it we share salvation and peace with others. We overcome, not through violence, but through peace.

Our Struggle is Spiritual

This is because we are not engaged in secular battle. I can’t emphasize this enough. Our hope is not to defeat a physical enemy. It is not to protect our interests or our rights. To us, victory does not involve any enemy casualties. Our battle is not militant. Victory is in salvation. It’s in freedom in Christ and in sharing that freedom with others. No man, no interest group, no country, nothing physical is my adversary.

Back in Ephesians 6:12, Paul reminds us that we do not struggle against flesh and blood. Rather, our struggle is with the spiritual forces that would tear us from God’s love. This battle is waged within us every day. You are a battlefield. Like Paul says in Galatians 5:17, the interests of flesh and spirit oppose each other in our selves every day. The devil tries to use the powers of the flesh to bind us in chains of sin, and God would have us freed from those chains.

However, we can allow ourselves to be conquered by choosing the wrong adversaries. When we get caught up in secular struggles and arguments — even when we engage in those things thinking we’re fighting for God — we allow our souls to be conquered. Jesus engaged in a spiritual struggle every day of His life. It was a struggle to remain free of sin and to share His truth with as many as He could. In this, He overcame through the quiet peace we can only have by being close to God. Jesus could overcome because He put everything into the Father’s hands.

The Battle is the Lord’s

To overcome in this spiritual struggle, I have to give everything over to God. There is no way I can win against Satan by myself. I Peter 5:8 calls our adversary a roaring lion. I can’t defeat a lion! I’d be lucky to even scratch a lion on my own. I have to rely on my faith and trust in God when I’m tempted, when I feel beaten down, when I know that I can be defeated by myself. That’s when I need to be like Jesus in the garden and say, in all humility and faith, “Father, Your will be done.”

Your will be done. That’s when you and I can rise above the battle over our souls and find victory — when we take self out of the equation and put our trust completely in Him. Right before Peter writes about Satan being a roaring lion, he says in verse 6 of that same paragraph: “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, so He might exalt you…”

Will you do that today? Will you retreat from the struggles of this world that so easily ensnare us, so you can focus on that battle for your soul and the soul of every person you know? Will you arm yourself with righteousness and let His peace and truth reign in you so you can share it with others and help free their souls from our adversary? You can have peace that passes understanding because you know your faith, your hope, and your salvation is in He who has already overcome.

lesson by Robert Smelser