Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
The command had been clear, but this solider approached war in a manner that was too cavalier. They were to be prepared to be called to the battlefield at a moment’s notice. He arrived with his fellow soldiers for a meal thinking that the call would not come at that time. Suddenly, the alarms blared. Their fort had been breached. The others grabbed their gear and ran outside to mount a defense, but he stayed where he was, unprotected and unarmed. When an enemy soldier entered the room, there was nothing he could do. He was struck on the head and pierced in the chest. As the blows rained down on him, he could not defend against them, neither could he strike back. Being unprepared and empty-handed at the time of battle would be his undoing.
We never know when our enemy will devise a scheme to try to make us fall. There is much we can do to be prepared for those moments. The armor that we wear in the spirit is crucial for our battles. God’s truth is what exposes the lies with which the devil may try to tempt us. His righteousness and salvation are what make us impervious to the blows. His word is what we use as our offensive weapon to strike our own blows on the enemy. Our faith cools the fire that is intended to consume us. The gospel keeps us firmly planted, unmovable and unshakable. These are all strategically designed to give us victory against the devil’s schemes. God makes them available to us at a moment’s notice, but is for us to be prepared to take them up and use them whenever the battle comes.
If we are honest, we will admit that there is no excuse for being unprepared when temptation tracks us down. We have the equipment and the weapons necessary to fight that battle and emerge victorious. It makes no difference that this war does not follow a schedule or a timetable we know of. We do not need to know when the battle will come in order to be ready. If we wait until the enemy tries to breach the fort, it is too late. We must train and prepare in advance of the fight. Successful combat requires a plan, and God gives us that plan. We must clothe ourselves in righteousness, meditate on the word, shore up our faith, confess God’s truth, be confident in our salvation and live according to the gospel of peace. That will prepare us for the day of temptation. Father, thank You for equipping us for the battles we face, and help us be ready to successfully fight temptation at a moment’s notice.