Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV
The world is waking up this morning to news of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. This unprovoked act is going to have ramifications for all of Europe and the rest of the world. World financial markets are already experiencing downturns. Though the rest of the world knew of Putin’s intent to invade Ukraine, they could not stop him because of the military might of Russia. Yet, the people of Ukraine refused to be bullied by Putin and are ready to defend their country at all costs.
For weeks Russian forces have been gathering at the border of Ukraine. Many of the people in Ukraine, including the President of the country, did not think Russia was really going to invade their country. They were defiant, yet optimistic that war could be avoided. Unfortunately, their worst fear became reality when Russia launched a full-scale military operation against Ukraine yesterday evening.
Satan has been planning his last battle against God and the people of God since he was expelled from heaven. He is the ultimate bully whose only goal is the destruction of God’s people. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, Satan has been engaged in guerilla warfare as a tactical means of instilling fear and creating chaos in the world. The only way to stop this enemy is by putting on the whole armor of God.
In today’s text, Paul cautions the Ephesians not to take Satan and his demons lightly. He encourages them to be strong in the Lord and in God’s mighty power. The only way to defend this enemy and defend our family, community, nation, and the world against is evil schemes is by the power of the Almighty God. Satan is not afraid of worldly weapons. Thus, we must fight him on our knees and remain hidden in God through Christ.
Satan uses intimidation, deception, and fear as his most effective weapons. He wants to turn this world into a kingdom of darkness and a playground for his demons. But we must stand up to this spiritual bully by putting on the full armor of God so we can stand up to his attacks in the name of Jesus. Like all bullies, Satan does not like it when believers stand their ground against his aggression. He wants us to kowtow to his threats and retreat in fear. So, when Satan comes against us, we must remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. We already have the victory.
Let us, therefore, remain defiant against the forces of evil attacking us. When Satan comes against our family, or health, or finances, or relationship with God, or our children, we must cry out to God in prayer and use the word of God as our primary weapon to defeat him. But Satan is a formidable and relentless foe who will not give up. The good news is that God did not leave us defenseless. In Ephesians 6:14-17, the Lord gives us a strategy for living in victory despite the attacks of the enemy. Accordingly, we are to stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We must take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. As well, we must take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What strategy are you using to stand up against the attacks of Satan?
How can you help and encourage others who are struggling in their spiritual battle against the forces of evil?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I am praying for the people of Ukraine. Many innocent individuals are already losing their lives, and many more will die. I pray for an end to this senseless and unprovoked war. Please turn the weapons of war into instruments of peace. Soften the heart of the leaders of Russia so they can stop their aggression and give peace a chance.