At almost every place of employment, there are people designated to train new hires to the specifics of their new job. Each work group has many “important” things that a new employee must know to ensure that they are meeting job standards and safety. One training requirement is the dress code. Every work group has a standard, and it is established based on activity and job duties. The Church is the same way. There is a dress code. The living, breathing, true church of God has a dress code that is the same for every saved individual, regardless of job, gift, talent, or ability. The church dress code is not about what clothes are worn or how we look on the outside. The dress code is in our lesson today. Paul encourages the church to put aside their physical outward dress code and suit up for spiritual battle. God calls us, saves us, and dresses us for success!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Paul has spent five chapters revealing the mystery of the church and how the church should walk, talk, and act in this new dispensation of Grace. He reminds us of all that God has done and the plans that He has laid out for our future. His Holy Spirit glorifies God through the use of gifts and talents, which He gives to each individual according to His plans and purposes. Finally, brethren, to sum up the matter, Paul says be strong. Strong in what? In physical muscle, doctrine, or successful leadership? No, be strong In the power and might of the Lord. It isn’t about what we can do, it is all about who He is and what He does through us. He is our strong and mighty tower, He is our fortress and salvation.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
We dress for battle. Put on the whole armour of God - not just part of it. You need it all to stand in the strength of the Lord. Notice that it takes both the armour and God’s strength to stand against the tricks and snares of Satan. God will not put it on for you. The task is something we must do. As a side note, in Isaiah, God himself prepared for battle with his own armor. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.(Isaiah 59:16-19). He gives us the same outfit of protection.
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.
We wrestle. It is not a question, it is a statement. We do not have the option not to participate. We will either wrestle prepared or unprepared. Stay focused on who the enemy is and not on feelings, or pursuits. Try the spirits. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3) . Satan is not limitless in power, and he is not the opposite of God. He is the accuser. He tries to discourage us with our failures. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. His tactics are not new, but they are perpetually effective. He cannot separate us from the love of God, and his authority will have an end. We are not fighting people (flesh and blood). Don’t get distracted. Stay focused.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
Dress for battle; prepare for victory. Protect your vital organs with God’s truth and righteousness. Learn of Him through His Word, the gathering of the church, and His Holy Spirit. Before you step into the fray, know the plan. Understand the enemy. Be fully persuaded by the abilities of God. Then stand still and watch God do what God does.
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
Be ready at all times to walk forward in the good news of Jesus Christ, the foundation of your life. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!(Isaiah 52:7) Not only where we walk but how we walk requires attention. Walk in readiness and the peace of God. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way (Psalm 37:23) .
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Every piece of this armor has a purpose. All pieces of armor work together. The battle can be won or lost by the fiery arrows of fear, evil imaginings, lies, wrong thoughts, misunderstandings, and pride. Faith says I may not see the solution, but I know God has a solution. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Use the shield!
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Cover your head and your thoughts. Our Salvation keeps us focused. Guard against discouragement and the defeat of doubt. The sword of the Spirit; the word of God. Know it, study it, but most of all, practice what it teaches. Learn as you apply it to your life. How gracious is our God to remind us over and over that His work, His word, His plan, and His truth is enough? Our part is to put the armor on and wait for the direction of our King.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Continual, unrestricted access to God, we often neglect. Whether we pray individually, silently, out loud, in a group, alone, or at church, PRAY. It is not magic or ritual it is our open heart talking to our all-knowing God. It allows us to say to him our deepest fears, regrets, and our sincerest praise and worship. When the armor gets heavy, prayer will polish it up and fix the vulnerable places. Can we even begin to understand the enormity of the power of prayer? It's not about the time it takes to pray, it's about how deeply we feel we need God and believe that He directs our paths.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!