1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (KJV)
Colossians 2:15 – And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (KJV)
During a past frightening experience, a young, panic-stricken woman unexpectedly walked into the home where our weekly Bible study group was in progress. She was hyperventilating and her hands were shaking. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the middle of a strange situation, but we were able to calm her down by talking and praying with her. Though we were lacking in spiritual maturity, nonetheless, God led the woman to the right place at the right time for His purpose. None of us was advanced in the Word, so this was a new experience in which I believe the Holy Spirit was teaching us about spiritual warfare.
I could empathize with the woman's affliction, since I, too, had suffered from panic attacks (although not quite as severe) throughout my teen years and well into adulthood. But by God's grace, my faith has made me a much stronger person. Moreover, with a better understanding of spiritual warfare, the adversary no longer has a stronghold.
Today's Scripture reminds us of the glorious triumph that is ours through Christ's finished work on the cross. He has spoiled principalities and powers, giving us the ability to defeat the enemy. He has crushed the head of the serpent in fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. And Revelation 12:11 (KJV) declares the believer's final victory: "they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."
So then, what is your testimony? At one time or another, we all face periods of adversity and situations beyond our control. How can we best be prepared for the enemy's attacks? The following is a list of defensive items we need to have in place from Ephesians 6:14-18:
- The belt of truth to keep our armour secure
- The breastplate of righteousness to keep our hearts from sin
- The shoes of the gospel of peace to walk in the right path
- The shield of faith to protect from the evil one's flaming arrows
- The helmet of salvation to cover our heads with the knowledge of the Messiah, who alone has the power to save
- The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, giving us the confidence and authority to proclaim: "It is written."
And finally, along with those items, we are urged to remain alert and to pray at all times, persevering and trusting in Almighty God to deliver us from evil.
Prayer: Lord, by Your power alone are we able to defeat the enemy. Your pure love will cast out fear, and in Your name, there is healing, peace, and victory. Now fill us with eternal hope as we look to You, the strength of our hearts, our refuge forever. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen.