Strategy is an important part of any battle, providing you understand who or what you are fighting against. Strategy can be defined as, “the art of planning and directing military operations and movements in a war or battle.” That’s all well and good. Before operations and movements can be directed you must KNOW who you’re fighting the battle against and WHY you’re fighting the battle to begin with.
Ephesians 6:12 identifies the enemy, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NASB emphasis and highlights are my own)
THAT’s the enemy! However, do we have sufficient knowledge of the enemy’s operations and troop movements or the enemy’s resources that we will face? Well, no. We don’t. On the other hand, not only is the enemy identified in Ephesians 6, but there is a strategic plan outlined as well. Let’s look at the entire passage.
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might.
- Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.
- Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
- Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
- and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
- in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit with is the word of GOD. (NASB emphasis and highlights are my own)
Now, this passage is how to prepare for battle. It is strategic in nature. This outfitting of armor is not merely intended for the individual, but for an army! Let me break this down for you, at least the way that I see it. I see it as a list of “marching orders” given in particular order.
The first “order” is to be strong in the Lord and (strong) in the strength of His might. It doesn’t say be strong in the Lord and the strength of Lonnie’s might. Be strong in HIS might.
The second order, “Put on the full armor of God.” Why? So that you can stand firm against the devil. In verse 12, as mentioned in my opening statements, the devil is identified as the enemy. Remember the last post? He comes to steal, KILL, and destroy! Same thief. Same devil.
Third order, “Take up the full armor of God”. Why, Isn’t this mere repetition. No, it’s not. This means toTake up the full armor daily so that you will be able to resist and you will have done everything necessary to stand firm. By the way, Verse 13 begins with the word “Therefore”. Whenever you see the word “therefore” you need to read what precedes it to know what “therefore” is there for. There is ALWAYS a reason! Another thing, this is the second mentioning of “stand firm” in this passage. It never says to wade into the fight.
The next order, as issued, is to “STAND FIRM”!
Having shod your feet with the Gospel of Peace? Could it be that violence is not the prescribed way to go into battle? I suppose that it would be helpful to have understanding of the Gospel of Peace. It does not mean to do nothing. It still requires action!
The third order says, in addition to everything else to take up the shield of faith. Without the faith the battle is lost before the trumpet ever sounds. You cannot fend off the weapons of the enemy without that shield of faith! It would seem then, that faith has some protective/defensive properties.
The final orders are to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Again, the helmet has protective/defensive properties. However, The SWORD of the Spirit which is the Word of God is definitely OFFENSIVE in nature. Therein is where we take the fight to the enemy!
And, DO WHAT with these things?
Verses 19 and 20 explain that. I’ll let you look it up. It’s pretty remarkable really. But that’s getting into tactics and resources. I’ll talk about that in the next post.
Now, arming the troops is strategic. Equipping warriors and teaching them about their armor, how it works and how to use it is essential! We don’t have to know the enemy’s number or movements although it is helpful to be able to recognize them. God knows the enemy’s number and movements. We are to put on the armor and stand firm. That’s strategic. Those are marching orders!
Without identifying the enemy, without being properly outfitted and trained, without some aspect of trust in the GENERAL’s strategies as HE directs HIS army, there’s not much hope to be had. God has a strategy that wins every time if we are aligned, ready, and prepared with our marching orders.
Is it really that simple? Yes, it can be. With the enemy identified and having been properly outfitted, and standing firm, as an army we cannot be overcome. But how is that accomplished? That friends, falls under the category of tactics and resources.
I’ll tie up all the loose ends in the next post regarding tactics and resources. I hope you will show up and take in that which has been given me. I’ve fought many HARD and HORRENDOUS battles with what I’m outlining here for you. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m battle scarred and I ain’t pretty, but I’m STILL STANDING!
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