DEVOTION OF MARCH 28
READ THE SCRIPTURE: EPHESIANS 6: 10-12
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand firm against the snares of the devil.
Our experience confirms the suggestion of this passage according to which life is basically a struggle. Life never fits the rosy idealism of our dreams or the romanticism of our songs. The explanation of this struggle is much deeper than we normally think it is. The common point of view regarding our struggle is that we participate in a conflict against flesh and blood, against other men and women. But Paul tells us that the fight is not against flesh or blood, but it is something much deeper than that. The basic problem is that this is a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, and that the people themselves are the battlefield. The battle is not only visible in the wars, in the revolutions and in the waves of crimes that fill our newspapers, but it is also visible in the internal tensions and fears in the individual lives, in the neurotic problems and in the mental illnesses that afflict us today, in the fights within the family and in struggles in the church . It is even visible in nature, where all life competes in a ruthless and deadly struggle to survive.
The entire human race has fallen under the control of satanic forces, about which Paul speaks, saying: “against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (6:12), which is a most significant phrase. The image of the Bible from beginning to end is that all human beings without Christ, without exception, no matter how clever or educated or how much culture they have, are impotent victims of satanic control. Under the control of satanic forces human beings feel uncomfortable and unhappy, but at the same time unable to escape using any form of wisdom or power of their own.
But the good news is that some have been free through the coming of that “strongest” that is Jesus himself, who came, as John tells us: “to undo the works of the devil” (1 John 3: 8b). We obtain liberation through Him. Thanks to the amazing mystery of the cross and the resurrection, Jesus has defeated the power and bondage of Satan over human lives. Those who receive individually and who recognize this are free to lead a life of freedom for the children of God.
They are not free to live for themselves, but are free to fight. They have been set free to participate in the battle, which is the appeal that all Christians receive, since we have not been made free so that we can have a good time. We have been liberated in order to be able to participate in the battle, to overcome in our lives, and to become the channel through which other people are set free. How can you do this? Paul’s response is summarized in one sentence: “Put on the whole armor of God.” We have a whole supply at our disposal so that we can win in this battle. This is the amazing thing that we must learn. God has made a total provision for us to fight against these forces that have the entire world under their control.
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Father, pull out the deceptive veils that I have allowed to make me helpless in this great battle. Help me to understand that I would have no chance to fight if it were not for the work of liberation of the Lord Jesus, who has come to bind the power of darkness.
Application to life
Why is life not adjusted to our rosy romanticism and idealism? What is the true nature of the human struggle? How can we face life with confidence and freedom?