“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13
Famous last words are remembered because they reveal the heart of a person. When final words fall from the lips they can provide a glimpse into the last thought that came to the mind of someone who knew they were taking their last breath. They can be inspiring or depressing depending on the content of the character of the person making the statement.
“I regret I have but one life to give for my country.” Nathan Hale, American Rev. War patriot & hero
Some people live a long time, and die short of the goal. Others die young, but live well. Final words often reveal the content of a person’s character.
The Finale can be a crescendo of orchestration that brings a powerful conclusion to a stirring piece of music. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, his preceding remarks had prepared the hearts of the early believers to receive the powerful words unleashed at the end of this masterpiece of exhortation.
In the 21st Century, Paul’s words are often lost in the honorable pursuit to describe the armor utilized by the Roman Legions of the 1st Century. When the focus of believers is placed on researching the armor, rather than obeying the marching orders, they lose the battle, EVERY TIME.
“He is just an empty suit.” This withering description is one of the worst things a man can have said about his leadership and gravitas. No matter how expensive the suit, if a man has no influence, he is undressed. That is the naked truth.
The Finale reveals the secret weapon of the prayer warrior. The source of the warrior’s strength comes from a close relationship to and dependence upon The Champion. The strength is never found in the armor, or in the knowledge of the enemy. It comes from the Lord.
Note to self: Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. Prayer is the power behind a well-informed and completely uniformed warrior. Without it you are an empty suit.
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” v. 10
Paul makes it very clear that the fight of the well-armed prayer warrior is not against flesh and blood. People can be irritating and intimidating, but it is one of the grand schemes of the devil to disguise them as the real enemy. They are not. They are hand puppets from hell. Before you punch a critic in the mouth, cut off the arm of the enemy. Pray!
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
The warfare of prayer takes place in a spiritual arena, and wise prayer warriors know they are up against powerful forces of evil. The strength of the prayer warrior is not found in an intimate knowledge of the enemy, but in an intimate relationship with The Champion, Jesus Christ, The Risen Lord.
Prayer warriors who focus their attention on the intimidating array of forces aligned against them are not strengthened but terrified. The enemy is not the least bit intimidated by a well-informed or completely uniformed prayer warrior. They are only empty suits.
The enemy has no fear in being known or seen by the prayer warrior. They fear The Champion. When prayer warriors align themselves with Him, and obey orders assigned by Him, the enemy panics. Don’t’ take my word for it.
“The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from fearless studies, prayerless work, or prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” Samuel Chadwick
The Finale is an emphasis upon The Stand that is taken, not on The Armor that is taken up. Well-armed and immaculately uniformed prayer warriors that fail to take their stand will run around in panic at the first sounds and sights of the enemy. In spite of all their armor and knowledge, they are empty suits, indeed.
“…take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
Prayer warriors stand best by closing their eyes, and taking their place in the battle line, kneeling right beside The Champion. When the enemy sees them in the battle line with The Risen Christ, it strikes fear in their ranks, and silences their terrifying shouts.
When prayer warriors close their eyes, they no longer see the enemy, but they are able to hear the voice of The Champion. Prayer resists the urge to flee in the face of the enemy, and turns to the face of the warrior towards Jesus. Taking The Stand with Jesus begins by calling out to Him in prayer, and staying there. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!