THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 6:10-20

“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.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

While we are engaged in a warfare that involves three great enemies (the world, the flesh and the devil), Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians concentrating on the devil.  He calls this age in which we live “this present darkness,” because of the presence of Satan and his evil spiritual forces.  Satan is God’s great enemy who is determined to destroy God’s people.  The Bible teaches that there is a personal prince of evil who is great and sinister.  He is a fallen angel who has great power.  We must never underestimate his subtle ways and his deceptive strategies.  We are exhorted to — “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (v. 11).

We must also realize that Satan has a host of demonic beings — “the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  Thus we read, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” for our battle is against demonic forces who are at work in this world.

We must know all we can about the enemy so that we can be victorious. Paul warns us about “the schemes of the devil” (v. 11).  His methods are crafty and he can be very subtle at times.  He even reveals himself as “an angel of light” (I Corinthians 11:14) in his attempts to deceive us.  One of his common schemes is to mix error with truth.  This is what he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden — “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?'” (Genesis 3:1).  His attempt was to mix a little truth with a lot of error.  His aim was to get Adam and Eve to question God’s word and by doing so his aim was to get them to disobey God.  Satan does all he can to get us to question God’s truth and His faithfulness.  He wants to distract and mislead us from following Christ and from obeying Him.

Satan knows our weaknesses.  He attacks us when we are vulnerable.  He throws his flaming darts of doubt, distrust, temptation, idolatrous desires, and deception at us.  Because of this we are admonished to — “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith…” (I Peter 5:8,9).  Because we live in this present darkness and have these evil forces at work against us, we must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might and put on the whole arm on of God, that you may be able to stand against he schemes of the devil” (vs. 10,11).

Lord God, prepare me for the spiritual battles I will face today.  Let me be sober-minded and on the alert for the schemes of the evil one.  I know my enemy is great, but You are far greater.  Let me draw my strength from You and put on the armor that You have provided for me.

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