What It Takes to Withstand Evil
Before each specific assignment Navy SEALs are given, they thoroughly assess their equipment. Each item they have with them is chosen for a specific reason—to protect themselves, fight the enemy, win the battle, survive, and return safely. Every aspect of their equipment is of the best quality and must be in perfect working order or condition. Because all of this has to be carried with them on their body, they assemble their camouflage uniform with precision and great thought. They know they can't go into battle safely or effectively if they are missing something important or carrying extra baggage. Everything they take with them is designed to facilitate and anticipate their every need. By the time they are on a mission they are more than ready.
As prayer warriors we must do the same. God doesn't want us carrying anything that is unnecessary because it will weigh us down and hinder what He has called us to do. And we must not go to battle without the things we need in order to win. Our battle is spiritual, and what we accomplish in the spirit realm is as important as what the highly trained, prepared, and equipped soldier does in the physical. We must know our weapons and be highly skilled in using them. But first we must put on the armor God has given us in order to stand strong against the enemy.
The apostle Paul said, "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil " (Ephesians 6:10-11). He didn't say, "If you are smart you might take up the whole armor." Or, "If you feel like it and have the time, take up the armor." Or, "Try to take up the armor at least once or twice a year." God's Word says, "Take up the whole armor of God" (Ephesians 6:13). This is not suggested; it is commanded.
The Bible would not have told us to take up the whole armor of God in order to withstand evil if evil could have been withstood without doing that.
To "stand against" literally means to stand in front of and in opposition to the forces and plans of evil. It means to be the one standing after the battle. It also means to stand in preparation for the next battle. Standing against the wiles of the devil certainly doesn't mean do nothing. If we are to do nothing until He comes, why do we need to wrestle against the enemy? "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Why does Jesus give us spiritual weapons to withstand evil forces if He doesn't want us to use them?
The reason we must put on the whole armor of God is to withstand evil. We don't war against people, but against a spiritual hierarchy of invisible power.
The forces of evil are invisible powers with a structure and specific levels of authority. We are not only to use our armor to protect and defend ourselves from them—as important as that is—but also to go on the offensive against them as well. When we do that, we close doors to the enemy and open doors to the will of God to be done on earth. We advance God's kingdom.
Lord, help me to put on the full spiritual armor You have provided for me so that I can "stand against the wiles of the devil" every day. In Jesus' name I pray.
Taken from Prayer Warrior. Copyright © 2013 by Stormie Omartian. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. www.harvesthousepublishers.com. Used by Permission.
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Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author (more than 14 million books sold) of "The Power of a Praying" series, which includes The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Husband, and The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage. Her many other books include The Power of a Praying Life, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children and Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 37 years and are the parents of two adult children. www.stormieomartian.com
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