Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 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 darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10–12—NKJV)

Acquiring knowledge is valuable. Some say that knowledge is power. By experience you will find that your employer pays you for what you know. For want of knowledge, you innocently expose yourself to damaging personal loss.

Believers are called to be voracious learners and repositories of truth. 2 Peter 1:5 enjoins, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.” 1 John 1:8–9 reads, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Your usefulness and heavenly reward will be directly related to what you spiritually know and how you put your knowledge into practice.

The believer does spiritual battle in the realms of truth vs. error, ideas vs. closed-mindedness, belief vs. unbelief, salvation vs. destruction, and life vs. death. What we do is “play for keeps.” There is nothing “occasional” about the serious business of being a Christian in a world awash in the stormy seas of ignorance and darkness. Everywhere the believer comes in contact with his fellow man, he is accosted by foreign ideals, alien logic, sensory numbness, and the stench of spiritual death. Its fragrance is familiar to us because it is the condition of the prison from which God rescued us in His sovereign love. John 8:31–32 reads, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”

The capacity of every unsaved mind is restricted to earthbound virtues, and nothing more. These are virtues that have survived arbitrary filters set by societal mores and ingrained patterns of thought. Earthbound virtues may swerve into biblical truth when a society observes that certain moral principles, manners, and conventions are actually good for the society at large and these historical moments tend to be identifiable as periods of peace and prosperity. When society decays, the natural man is released from societal manners and convention and he begins to act driven only by his personal selfishness and “think” only with his feelings (Philippians 3:19). Even through societal ups and downs, there is no spiritual life or capacity for the unregenerate man to grasp heavenward truth. 1 Corinthians 2:14–15 explains why things that appear to be self-evident and child’s play to a born-again believer are inconceivable and ludicrous to the unregenerate man: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

Our text calls believers to remember we are in a battle, not with men—for the unsaved mind is imprisoned—but with Satan, the mastermind behind the times. Therefore, believers must be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might! Every soldier must be strong and every soldier must be armed. Take up the whole armor of God in order to withstand the wiles of the Devil. The Greek word is methodia (literally, after a way), denoting craft, deceit, and cunning device. In a similar way Paul states in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices (thoughts).”

A search through Scripture reveals that Satan’s wily devices include crafty deception:

  • He misrepresents God (2 Corinthians 11:3); robbing someone of truth’s simplicity.
  • He inveigles with power, signs, and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
  • He tempts (Matthew 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:5).
  • He wheedles his way in when you let your spiritual guard down (Ephesians 4:26–27).
  • He accuses good of being evil (Job 1:12).
  • He is the father of lies and he is a murderer (John 8:44).
  • He perverts the plain Word of God (Matthew 4:1).
  • He foments disunity among brothers (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Against these things we must take our stand.

Are you zealous for, and thirsting after, the truth? Are you aware of the scheming of the Evil One and are you determined that he will not work through you? Are both of your feet firmly planted as you wade into the spiritual conflict of our time? Trust and obey.