by Steven Chan
In his epistle to the church at Ephesus the apostle Paul explained that “our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).
Brethren, we are involved in a fight – but not one that is ‘flesh and blood’, i.e. not a physical one; rather it is a spiritual one. In view thereof, the Bible tells us to “take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand” (Eph 6:13).
God provides us with His armor – our protection is from God – but we must make the effort to “take up the whole armor”. God has assured us that He has provided us with the “entire or complete” armor for our protection. The question is whether we have actively taken up or put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand and not fall, as we face the spiritual powers of darkness, “the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).
The Bible warns us that the devil is real and he is actively seeking to ensnare us: “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet 5:8).
What are some of the schemes or snares of the devil?
In I Tim 3:6, in listing the qualifications for members to be appointed as elders by the church, the Bible said: “not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” The ESV renders it as follows: “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil”. One of the wiles of the devil is to take advantage of any Christian who is “puffed up” or “feels the sense of the self-importance” or “feeling of superiority – arising from whatever source such as in doing good works, preaching, working very hard for the cause of Christ or self-feeling of supposed humility”. In I Cor 4:6, the Bible warned that “ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.” That’s why the Bible warns in I Cor 10:12: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” It is sad to see those who have fallen due to being “puffed up” one against another. Let’s be careful with how we feel about ourselves lest we be puffed up and become the target of the devil.
Again in I Tim 3:7, the Bible also said that a member who may be appointed to be an elder “must have good testimony from them that are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil”. A Christian’s conduct among those who are in the community, who are not believers, is important. He should have a “good reputation” – not having a conduct unbecoming of a Christian; otherwise, the Bible warns that he would fall into “reproach and the snare of the devil”. This means that if one does not have a “good name” among unbelievers, the devil can use that to trap or ensnare us. No Christian should be described as “dishonorable” or such like.
There are many other schemes or traps that the devil can use to ensnare us. We should not be unaware of what the devil is trying to do to capture us to do his will instead of God’s will (2 Tim 2:24-26).
Let’s take the full armor of God by equipping ourselves with “truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, the word of God and prayers”. Do remember that we need the whole armor – and not just one or two or a few parts of the armor– as then we will not be fully equipped to fight against the devil. God’s armor is mighty indeed: 2 Cor 10:4-5: “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Let’s then endeavor to stand against the wiles of the devil.