Having introduced his big point in 6.10 Paul now starts to unpack it piece by piece:
“Clothe yourselves with the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”
(Ephesians 6.11-12, NET)
The first exhortation is to clothe yourselves with the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Notice that Paul doesn’t counsel the believers in Ephesus to be ready if the schemes of the devil appear in their lives, but simply so that you will be able…The unwritten truth here is that these schemes exist and are already present.
Temptations and trials will undoubtedly cross our paths and often in intangible and untouchable ways (v.12). Spiritual warfare is a reality for the born again believer and Paul is urging the Ephesians – and us – to be ready to face it by [clothing ourselves] with the full armour of God.
Yes, opportunities to sin will be presented to us daily and will often find their root in our great enemy (1 Peter 5.8) but despite this discouraging reality we have in the Lord everything we need to be strengthened and to stand against the schemes of the devil.
If you are ever on the fence as to the effectiveness of the resources you have at your disposal, whether this is a fight that you can really win, or if you’re even on the right side, read Revelation 19.11-20.10 and be encouraged to stand!