By Russ Ramsey
There is an old Scottish proverb that says, “The devil’s boots don’t creak.” We have an enemy who is subtle because he knows we won’t likely fight what we don’t notice. Here at the beginning of a study on the armor of God, the apostle Paul wants us to notice we’re in a fight.
History often names battles by where they were fought—Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Helm’s Deep. Usually the battles are not ultimately about those specific places, but about something deeper. The same is true with spiritual warfare. Our hearts are where spiritual battles are fought, but our enemy’s aim isn’t ultimately about us. What is he after? God’s glory. It’s always been this way.
So why do we who are flesh and blood get tangled up in spiritual warfare? Because, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, we exist “to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever,” and the devil wants more than anything to make us irrelevant when it comes to living this sort of life we were created to know.
Because the devil is cunning, he doesn’t usually take a straight-ahead approach. He doesn’t often try to keep us from glorifying God when we want to. Instead, he works to take away our desire to give God glory in the first place. He does this by turning our focus from God onto ourselves.
What does it look like to be consumed with our own glory? It can look like an obsession with our appearance. Or like pettiness. It can look like a critical spirit stuck in a life-sucking spiral of comparison. Self-love fosters contempt for others. It can look like a drive to manipulate because we’re afraid of those things we can’t control. What would you add?
What can we do about this? Today’s text tells us God has given us everything we need for the spiritual battle we face. He has equipped us with both spiritual armor and access to His presence. We cannot fight this battle without biblical truth and prayer, but the good news of the gospel is that we’ve been given access to God and His throne of grace, before which even the weariest and defeated disciple can find help.
As you go through this study, may God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, expose whatever lies you believe and the accusations that cause your heart to fail. May He show you the devil’s attempted schemes at work in your life. And may we all remember that though these spiritual battles are fought in our hearts, we are not Satan’s ultimate prize—God’s glory is.
God’s Word tells us who we are when our faith is in Christ. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are heirs of God’s kingdom. We are agents of redemption in this world. God is at work in and through His people. So as we fight, may we remember He has given us both armor and access to His presence.
And may God be glorified in and through our lives.