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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. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

In the 1970s, wrestling came on Saturday after the morning cartoons had finished. Among the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) greats I remember were Dick the Bruiser, Dusty Rhodes, and Ernie Ladd. I don't know how much of it was choreographed, but it seemed to me the struggle was real enough. Later, inspired by watching the pros, I joined the wrestling club in middle school and soon realized that the real thing was not as easy as it looked. I frequently ended up with my face planted in the mat and the match over before the first two minutes was up. (For the record, I did win once against an older but far skinnier kid. We were the two most unathletic kids in the club.)

But today's scripture is about a different kind of wrestling, though the battle is no less real. We are grappling against opponents we often cannot see. 

Who are these unseen adversaries?

  • Principalities: Refers to high-ranking evil spirits or fallen angels.

  • Powers: Denotes demonic forces with authority.

  • Rulers of Darkness: Evil spiritual beings operating in this fallen world.

  • Spiritual Hosts of Wickedness: Refers to many evil spirits aligned against God's purposes.

The battleground is not limited to our physical surroundings; it extends to the spiritual realm ("heavenly places"). Our struggle involves spiritual warfare, prayer, and standing firm in faith.

How are we to grapple against what we cannot see? Paul says we are to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (v. 11)

Heavenly Father, we come before You, recognizing that our battle is not against mere flesh and blood. We face unseen adversaries, but You, O Lord, are our refuge and strength, providing us with all we need to grapple against our opponents.

Belt of Truth: We fasten the belt of truth around our hearts. May Your Word guide us, revealing the lies of the enemy. Let your truth be our foundation.

Breastplate of Righteousness: Clothe us with the breastplate of righteousness. Guard our hearts against doubt, guilt, and condemnation. May Your righteousness cover us.

Feet Prepared with the Gospel of Peace: Equip our feet with the gospel of peace. Wherever we tread, may we bring Your peace, reconciliation, and hope.

Shield of Faith: Help us trust You even when circumstances seem dire. May our faith extinguish every fiery dart of doubt.

Helmet of Salvation: Place upon us the helmet of salvation. Guard our minds against fear, anxiety, and deception. Remind us of our secure salvation in Christ.

Sword of the Spirit: Give us the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God. May it pierce through darkness, discern lies, and bring light to our path.

Prayer: Lord, we pray in the Spirit. Teach us to intercede for others, to watch and persevere, and to strengthen us as we wrestle against unseen foes.

God Almighty, we rely on Your strength. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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