Ephesians 6:10-20, Ps. 144:1-2,9-10, Luke 13:31-35
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10)
“We are soldiers, soldiers of the Lord, we are soldiers, fighting for the Lord, in the name of Jesus, we shall conquer…” Every Christian is a soldier. We fight, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. We fight against that thief who “comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy.” (John 10:10)
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus, after being told that Herod was planning his assassination, refers to Herod as a fox. No matter how good we are, we would have enemies who would hate us not for the good we do, but because they have been won over by the thief – the deceiver whose only goal is to destroy.
After killing John the Baptist for preaching the truth, Herod was hungry again for the head of Jesus. What did Jesus do to Herod? Believe it or not, your goodness is a threat to certain persons and if they cannot bring you down by destroying your name and reputation, they would try to attack you physically. St. Paul tells us that in this battle, we must be fully dressed for action and our attire should consist of the following:
1. THE BELT OF TRUTH. Honesty, sincerity, and integrity are powerful weapons. The devil is scared of those who would never compromise or bear false witness.
2. THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Another powerful weapon is living above sin. Jesus told us to be perfect as God in heaven is perfect. Living a holy life is not a burden, but something that gives us an edge over the kingdom of darkness.
3. SHOES OF EVANGELISM. Jesus said that those who are not for him are against him. (Matthew 9:38, Luke 9:49). This means if you are not consciously and deliberately spreading God’s kingdom, you are literally working for the devil. Talking to people about Jesus is a weapon.
4. THE SHIELD OF FAITH. Truth be told, trials (negative circumstances) are part of life. Faith is a weapon, one that is needed to conquer the devil during moments of trials. You should say: “O devil, I will not bow to you, even though I am walking through a valley of darkness right now, I know God is with me, even though I can’t see anything now, I will not follow you”
5. THE HELMET OF SALVATION. Another great weapon is the sacraments. Have you been anointed with the oil of salvation in Baptism, Confirmation, or Holy Order? Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb; Holy Communion? Do you frequent the fountain of God’s mercy; Confession? Are you living with a spouse without the proper blessing of Holy Matrimony? Many Christians do not know that each of these sacraments carries specific blessings capable of dealing with the devil.
6. The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the WORD OF GOD. The word of God is a sword you use not just to defend yourself but to fight in the spiritual realm. Pray the Bible. Speak God’s word over whatever situation or condition you are going through and you will come out victorious.
7. PRAY IN THE SPIRIT AT ALL TIMES. Prayer is a weapon that makes other weapons effective. Sure, a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, by your almighty power, grant us victory over the enemy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 30 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ephesians 6:10-20, Ps. 144:1-2,9-10, Luke 13:31-35)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu