Ephesians 6:12–13: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

March 20th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In the Greek language, the phrase “we do not wrestle” refers to hand-to-hand combat. The picture is of 2 Olympians swaying back and forth, locked in mortal combat, covered in dirt, blood, sweat, and tears. In ancient Greek wrestling, they were allowed to gouge their opponent’s eye; so often the losers’ eyes were put out. This is the kind of spiritual fight each of us faces every day; it is personal, up-close, and brutal.

Whether we realize it or not, we are locked everyday in a personal battle with the forces of darkness, as the enemy tries to get a new hold on us. We should expect him to attack us again today in some weak area, pushing us toward pride, anger, lust, drunkenness, or just simply away from being others-centered. Paul reminds us that since our struggle is supernatural, our weapons also must be. It is only when we stand fully clothed in the armor of God, that we will be able to hold our ground against our adversary.

There will be times, perhaps today, when there is so much coming at us that standing is all we can accomplish; we can’t even try to take any new ground. But that’s okay because as we notice here, all we are told to do is simply stand. A pastor, who was also a veteran, shared a story from his time in boot camp. He was assigned to a platoon with an experienced sergeant. He said the line officer deployed the green recruits in a trench on a mock battlefield. The sergeant took his bayonet and scratched marks in the dirt on each side of each man. Then he said, “Soldier, your battle exists between these two marks. Your sole task is to defend your 24 inches of battleground. Don’t worry about everything and everyone else. That’s my job. Don’t worry about the whole battle, that the brass’ job. You just worry about your 24 inches, that’s your job.” We often become so overwhelmed by the big picture that we forget our own personal spot in the battle line. The war against our soul will be fought in small skirmishes. The real question is are we holding onto our own 24-by-24 inches?

“LORD, help us to hold the line today and stand in You.”