Monday, August 17, 2009

know your enemy Ephesians 6:10-20

August 22-13, 2009
the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 16B, Ordinary 21B

The letter to the Ephesians is rich with advice for a young church. The key is to know who we are fighting. Our enemies aren't people. It's the devil. But our enemy confuses us into thinking that people are our real problem.
I told a husband who is fighting with his wife, "You know, she's not your real enemy" and it left him stunned. Our real enemy is the Devil. The advice in Ephesians 6:10-11 to "put on the whole armor of God" may sound like poetry to some; but it's not just symbolic. It's a clarion call to stand up ready to fight against the destroyer of homes, churches, and nations with the very best tool available for our defense: the Holy Gospel.
The writer of this letter could see, with peculiar clarity, that the whole people of God are really dealing with forces with power beyond "flesh and blood" human strength. He clearly saw battle lines that have been laid out by the enemy. We fight, "...against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 NRSV
The weapons we need for this fight aren't made by human hands; rather they're God's true gifts for us: truth fastened like a belt, righteousness worn for a breastplate. The Gospel of peace as close to us as our shoes, faith as a shield against the enemies flaming arrows, salvation that protects like a helmet, and the sharpest sword of all, the Word of God.
Know your enemy and know that God fights with you in your prayer and supplication for the saints. Know your enemy and love the people around you. Amen.

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