no escape from spiritual warfare (with an end note on the individualistic interpretation of this passage)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

There’s no escape from spiritual warfare in this life, much as we would like to. It’s just around the corner, though I’m thankful for times of rest and peace. Sometimes we’re not aware when it’s on us because it can be so subtle. The other times we know full well, a slam in our face.

It’s important to know this, and be ready for it, precisely what this passage is getting at. It’s going to be an off and on fight to the end. In between the skirmishes we do well to prepare ourselves as best we can. Because in the battle, it’s not easy. But what we’re called to do is simply stand and resist in the strength and power of God with the armor and one offensive weapon of God. In and through Jesus.

This is the individualistic aspect. The Greek is plural, implying that the entire church is in this battle. I want to consider that more in future posts on spiritual warfare. I am steeped in an evangelical, individualistic understanding which I wish to leave more and more behind.