The Next to the Next to the Last Word

Ephesians pic 1Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6: 10-12

cliff notesFinally is a word of summation. This word takes my mind back to summaries in the Cliffsnotes yellow jacketed pamphlets that were checked out of the library because a literature assignment wasn’t finished.

This may or may not be a confession.

The synopses were the short and sweet of the oft complicated plot lines. They captured all the structure, organization, and arguments in a nutshell and guided us in understanding the theme of the literary work.

We are given the opportunity to be sure we have understood the theme of this letter. What are Paul’s statements of summary?

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

IN the Lord. IN His mighty power. Again and again and again, this truth that we are positioned in the sphere of Christ is hammered home. Does “in” describe your relationship with the Lord?   Have you powered up by immersion?

Put on the full armor of God.

The phrase “put on” reminds us of the two steps of our walk…take off, put on, take off, put on. In this summary Paul exhorts us to put on the complete, entire, total package of God’s armor. Are you trying to pick and choose what parts of God’s provision you want? Paul says that is not possible…it’s a package deal.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.

Our battles are not against our spouses…or our children…or our bosses…or our neighbors. PEOPLE are not our problem. Our problem is not with what we see; it is with evil authorities and cosmic powers. So why do we respond to others as though they are a problem? We need this reminder that our battles are a spiritual struggle of epic proportions. We need a spiritual response.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous” Ps 34:19a

As disciples of Christ we have more battles than non-disciples . We have spiritual battles in addition to the normal conflicts of life.

Many are the afflictions.

Yes, but do not say “amen” just yet.

“But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19b

And all God’s people said…


About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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