Paul closes out Ephesians with some final instructions. He knows the suffering and trial await them and so he tries to prepare them for what is to come. In Ephesian 6, starting in verse 10 Paul talks about putting on the armor of God. Before he says anything about how to fight the fight he first starts with who the enemy is and it may not be who you think it is. Paul says, if you look across the aisle and see the one you are lining up to fight has “flesh and blood” realize that the real battle is not with that person. Instead, the real battle is with the forces of evil in this dark world. In light of that, Paul says, God has provided spiritual armor to fight a spiritual war. He concludes the section with a few instructions that I believe are how the battle really is fought. Here are the things he lists:
- Pray, pray and pray some more…before you do battle, during the battle and after the battle, be in prayer
- Be alert – pay attention. It is important that you aren’t lazy and that you notice what is REALLY going on around you and not just what seems to be happening at first glance.
- Proclaim the Gospel – there are certain fights we won’t have time to engage in if we are really giving ourselves fully to the work of proclaiming the Gospel to those who don’t know it rather than spend all our time fighting those who already do know it.
So know who you are fighting…it is not people and know how to fight…it is not conventional warfare…this takes prayer, paying attention and proclamation of the Gospel. If we aren’t doing just one of those, chances are we are distracted from what we are supposed to be doing. Chances are we are fighting fights we ought not be engaged in.