Read: Ephesians 6:10-20
The following is adapted from a post first published on 20th December 2016 under the heading ‘What is your weakness?’
Consider: Ephesians 6:10-20 sets out details of the armour of God and the necessity to utilise each of the items given to us by God for use in the spiritual battle in which we are engaged.
Now we come to an aspect of Christian living which few want to acknowledge and confront: do you know your area(s) of weakness? You can be sure that if you put on the whole armour of God you will be well-equipped for the battle, but you can also be sure that the enemy (Satan) will be trying to gain victory over you.
Think again of the analogy of the soldier being dressed for battle. The armour and weaponry is the best that can be provided, yet if there is any chink in the armour there is the potential to be wounded or even defeated. Is the same true in our spiritual battle? Ultimately Christ has already won the battle against Satan through his atoning death on the cross and his resurrection. However, we all know that Satan does not act as if he is defeated and will do anything to weaken the witness of a Christian.
Thinking of the chink in the armour we can focus on those human weaknesses that can pull us away from God. The chink in the armour might be the smallest gap, the smallest weakness (in our own eyes), but Satan can catch us out by targeting temptation at this area. The term translated as ‘flaming arrows’ in the NIV is rendered in other translations as ‘fiery darts’. The darts may be small, but the area being targeted is lacking protection and is vulnerable.
So what could be an area of weakness? Elsewhere in the Bible it says: For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16 NIV). Whether it is physical satisfaction, desire for wealth and possessions, or power and status, we all need protection from putting these before God.
It is very easy to consider oneself immune to such weaknesses, yet what starts as purely a chink in the armour can result in a person falling into sin. So what is our protection? Look again at Ephesians 6:13 and notice that we are told to ‘… take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’.
Too many people think that faith is based upon how strong they are. However, it is based upon the certainty of what Christ has done for us. So the shield of faith does not depend upon your or my strength, but purely on God’s strength. That’s why it can extinguish the devil’s flaming arrows (fiery darts).
Pray: Father, protect us from having areas of hidden sin in our lives. May your Holy Spirit reign in our lives, so that we rely on your strength alone to combat the devil and the temptations he will throw at us. Amen