You are reading the Ephesians Project. Read more from this series of articles.
- introduction to paul’s letter to the ephesians
- ephesians 1:1-14: greeting and spiritual blessings in Christ
- ephesians 1:15-23: thanksgiving and prayer
- ephesians 2:1-10: by grace through faith
- ephesians 2:11-22: one in Christ
- ephesians 3:1-13: the mystery of the Gospel revealed
- ephesians 3:14-21: prayer for spiritual strength
- ephesians 4:1-16: unity in the body of Christ
- ephesians 4:17-32: the new life
- ephesians 5:1-20: walk in love
- ephesians 5:21-33: wives and husbands
- ephesians 6:5-9: bondservants and masters
- ephesians 6:10-20: the whole armor of God
It was an adventure indeed, full of courage from unlikely, small people, bloody battles, bravery and daring and the strength and victory that comes when those on the side of Good stand their ground.
Bilbo Baggins’ words at the end of the film bely the thought that he is anything but finished. When commended by Thorin for his bravery, Baggins’s smiles and says,
“I think the worst is behind us.”
Little did he know.
Those were the last words of the movie, but gave a hint that there is more danger, wickedness and battling ahead, as well as Victory.
Paul’s final words to the Ephesians in Chapter 6 are probably his most important, speaking to us about the battles ahead.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 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.
14 Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this,
take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (ESV)
Be mindful of this, Paul urges us:
- “be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power.” (not your own.)
- Put on your armor, as our Messiah wore his. Isaiah 11:4,5 speaks of the Branch from Jesse, Jesus, and what he wore. “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”
In Isaiah 59 when the Lord saw there was no one to intervene (v. 17) “He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head…”
With all this armor on, Paul encourages us to:
- “withstand” in the evil day
- “stand firm”
- And “Stand therefore”…
There were many orders from the leader wizard Gandalf in the thick of Orc attacks and goblin-chasing melees in this film. Raging wolves, clever goblins and demonic creatures all threatened to thwart their adventure towards the mountain ahead.
“Stand down, men!” Gandalf would often shout, and they would hold their place and fight.
“Stand together!” was hollered in the thick of the forest, surrounded by fierce enemies. They would group as one, wielding powerful weapons against the onslaught. How 16 small dwarves and one Hobbit defeated the hordes against them was nothing short of a miracle.
Life is not a movie and we fight a real Enemy every day. He is unseen and often gets to us in the intangible places—our head and our heart. We have not only the power of the Lord, his Word to fill us, but we have his Holy Spirit.
Paul’s urging is to “pray at all times in the Spirit”—that part of the three-in-one who knows what we ought to pray, who prays from our groanings, who knows the mind of God when we don’t.
Pray in English, pray in a heavenly language, but pray all times….
That eternal connection is our lifeline in battle.
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