10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying 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, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.Ephesians 6:10-20
Paul began this letter to the Ephesian Christians on a high, cosmic scale, and he finishes in the same way. I suspect that this is because he knows that we can focus so much on the ‘here-and-now’ that we forget the big picture. I suspect that we need to be drawn back to the cosmic context for who we are so that we can continue to plug away day-by-day.
Put simply, with our identity assured (‘in Christ’), with the household of God gathered, with the rival to God beaten (‘the ruler of the kingdom of the air’), nothing would please God’s enemies more than to see God’s household splinter. Like a headless snake who thrashes around, and whose severed head can still bite, the devil is attacking. And God has given us the resources to stand firm as his assured household, with our identity secure against him. So, walk fearlessly by standing firm!
There are seven tools mentioned here: belt, armour, sandals, shield, helmet, sword, and prayer. In the next seven days, read the reference to each and write down one way you will use that tool on that today.
Father, thank you that you provide all I need, all we need, to stand firm against anything this world and the devil might throw at us. Grant us the confidence we need in the tools you have already provided, and the gumption to use them. Amen.