Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all fiery darts of the wicked one.
As believers and followers of Jesus, we can experience spiritual warfare. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that this world is under the influence of the one he calls the “prince of the power of the air” who is Satan. In addition, Peter reminds us that Satan also goes about like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour. Both Paul and Peter used these images to help us better understand the spiritual warfare that we face because we have become children of God. We live in a world which is at enmity with the Lord, and when we place our faith in Christ, we suddenly change allegiances. We are no longer part of a dark and dying world under the influence of Satan, instead through faith we are adopted into the family of God, becoming joint-heirs with Christ. And because of this we are no longer at enmity with God, but instead we become sojourners open to spiritual attacks. Because we belong to the Lord, we are now at enmity with a dark and dying world and the one the Apostle Paul calls the “prince of the power of the air.” These attacks can be especially severe, causing us physical and emotional turmoil and pain.
But we must never forget the Holy Spirit who dwells in us is stronger than Satan and his demons. And because the spiritual warfare can be severe Paul is reminding us that we need to treat spiritual attacks from the enemy in the same manner as soldiers in battle. The difference is our armor was created for us by God. Moreover, Paul explains to us that we already have victory in Christ, so much so that our spirit which has been made alive in Christ is already seated with Jesus in the heavenlies. And everything we need for the battle has already been given to us in the armor of God, which we access through prayer and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks to us about wrestling, he is using a term that speaks of hand to hand combat. Stressing that the enemy we face will use all deception, trickery, and wickedness in order to get us to fall away from the faith. They will discourage us, create chaos with those we work with and cause strife where they can. All this to get us to turn our backs on Jesus and the gift of salvation which He alone can provide. Satan and his demons know the end of the story. They know where they will spend eternity, they know the time is short, and their goal is to get as many of us to join them as possible. So these scriptures were written for our benefit to show us how to prepare for the spiritual attacks we know will come.