For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
As you and I face the trials and adversities of life, it is very challenging to keep the right perspective. We live, move, work, serve, and struggle in the physical, material world, so that is how we tend to look at things. But the Apostle Paul reminds us that the true battle, true warfare, true struggle is not physical at all: it is spiritual. And this kind of battle is fought on our knees.
The Human Perspective
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” This statement seems to contradict everything we face. Our conflicts and challenges are often with other “flesh and blood” human beings! Our health struggles are with our “flesh and blood” bodies. The financial needs and hardships we face are in the “flesh and blood” material world. Even as Christians going through life and ministry, the natural human perspective is that we are facing “flesh and blood” adversaries or opposition. And that affects our attitudes, and even our prayer life. But Paul is trying to get us to see another perspective.
The Spiritual Perspective
In these verses Paul is introducing the concept of the armor of God (vs 11, 13). He describes the Christian’s armor of defense and weapons of attack. Our life is held together by truth, just like a belt. Our heart is protected and kept pure by the righteousness of Jesus. Our feet are covered with the Gospel that we take everywhere we go. Our faith in God and His promises protect us like a shield from Satan’s flaming arrows. Our mind and thoughts are protected by the truths of salvation and who we are in Christ. Our offensive weapon is the mighty Word of God. All of this armor is then empowered by the Christian’s prayer life (vs 18).
You see, God’s perspective on life is that it is a spiritual battle, a spiritual war, that is raging against Satan and his demonic forces and strongholds. Our enemy is not our brother in Christ, our spouse, our boss, our co-worker, our neighbor. Our enemy is not our physical body, or the IRS, or electric company. Our enemy is the god of this world, and it is a battle for the glory of God to shine in our life and in the world. And it is a battle that is fought on our knees in prayer.
I don’t know the struggle you are confronting right now, but just remember where the true battle is. Remember that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Let’s take our burdens to God, call upon Him for victory in every battle front, and invite His glory to shine and cast out the forces of darkness.