When you become a Christian you not only have new relationships with people. You also have changed relationships with evil powers. At one time you were playing on their team, even if unwittingly. But now you’ve been ‘’transferred’’ (Colossians 1:13, 14). You are kicking the other way. It’s war! (This new antagonism is expressed in the word ‘’against’’ (11, 12).
A freshly minted Christian said to the famous preacher, Spurgeon: ‘Mr. Spurgeon, now that I am a Christian, how much of the world must I give up?’ The wise Christian leader replied, ‘Don’t worry; the world will give you up!’ Someone pointed out that when you become a Christian you make a whole lot of new friends, and that’s good. At the same time, you make a whole lot of new enemies, and that’s not so good! Not all those enemies are in ‘earthly’ places, although it might often feel like they are.
We Christians are in a war that is more real, more vicious, and more savage than any fight between nations or people groups. I sometimes think that we would be shocked if God were to lift the veil of time, and give us a peek at what is happening behind the scenes.
Thank God, we have all the strength we require to stay standing in this spiritual battle, and not be knocked off our feet. (You will notice this emphasis on standing in verses 11, 13 and 14). We find our strength; this ‘’mighty power’’ (15), ‘’in the Lord’’ Himself. Essentially, to ‘’Put on the full armour of God…’’ (11 and 13) is to put on God (see also Romans 13:14). The armour is made up of characteristics of God and His Christ. It is unusual weaponry for an unconventional war. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, and think about David’s sling and stone!). So, yes, the ‘’struggle’’ (12) is real, but so is the armour God supplies. We have to choose to ‘’put on’’ these spiritual qualities, day by day and even moment by moment. It’s been said that no-one will ‘drift’ into holiness. Nor will they drift into victory. There are regular choices to be made to resist the devil and be like God and His Son Jesus. We choose, by God’s grace, to be people of truth (integrity), righteousness, faith and peace who take the good news of the gospel into the world. We determine to live as saved, prayerful people of the Word. God will help us to make the right choices and fend off the evil one.
It has been pointed out that prayer may not be a piece of the armour, so much as the ‘atmosphere’ in which we put it on. But that seems something of a technicality. Every Christian who has got hold of prayer and used it knows what a mighty weapon it is. It is instructive that Paul regularly asked for the prayers of his fellow-believers, and these requests were by no means a formality. He believed that the prayers of other people would make a material difference in his own life and ministry. He was almost constantly in trouble, and often in danger. He knew he needed courage and that the intercessions of others would help him be a brave soldier of Christ.
Prayer: Help me to pray today like it will make a difference, for I am led to believe that it will.