Put on the Whole Armor of God
Believers have been endowed with amazing strength which is referred to in Ephesians 1:18-20. There, Paul prays that we might know the greatness of His power to those who believe, “according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” God wants us to know His strength, not our own which when handling demonic influences is no help at all. And this is why in the passage before us, Paul names our real enemies and encourages us to prepare for battle—for battle is what the Christian life is and it must be met with the full armor of God.
First, we are commanded to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” The Apostle does not say, “Be strong” or “Buck up!” We are not encouraged to do anything in our own strength; we are encouraged to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Anything less is useless. Why is this? Because we are not battling flesh and blood; our enemies are the entire demonic host arrayed against us—which is really quite horrifying when one considers it. We foolishly think that our enemies are people, and then sinfully accuse them in our minds. They are only tools in the devil’s hands. And Paul describes these as “rulers,” “authorities,” “cosmic powers over this present darkness,” and “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Jesus called Satan the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and Paul called him earlier “the prince of the power of the air” (2:2). Granted, people may behave as demons and do so of their own (severely incapacitated) free will, but it is the demonic realm that is behind them and stirring up their darkened minds and hearts.
But Colossians 2:15 tells us that our Lord has “disarmed the rulers and authorities.” Yes, they are still active and shall be until they meet their appointed end (Revelation 20:7-10), but their power has been broken for the believer. He is to put on the “whole armor of God” and stand firm against temptation and all the wiles of the devil. And we can stand firm. The believer has been given the power through the Holy Spirit to withstand these temptations. Sin is always our fault. Sin for the believer occurs when he refuses to put to use the resources which are his in Christ Jesus—that greatest gift being the Holy Spirit who girds us with the implements of warfare we shall discuss tomorrow. We have our part and the power within us is the power that raised Christ from the dead. So let us be strong in the Lord that we may withstand in the evil day—and they’re only getting worse.