I’m a mom to three boys. You know what that means, don’t you? No matter how often I remind them to be gentle and compassionate, they always find a way to remind me that God made them ALL boy. In their world, sticks become swords. Chopsticks become wands. Peanut butter sandwiches become guns. And no one had to teach them how to make those awesome sound effects either. It’s like they were born with it. Be warned, friends: if you stop by our house unannounced, there’s a pretty high chance you’ll walk into a living room full of pushed back furniture to make room for a night of “college wrestling”, and it doesn’t even have to be the weekend.
Somebody please tell me you can relate. Geesh.
The theme is always the same. There’s a dark side and a light side. Good versus evil. And on a good night – if I’m lucky- true heroism shines through, and they rescue their little sister from the bad guys. They’ve figured out that she can play a pretty good little Tinkerbell when she puts her mind to it.
It’s crazy, but they never seem to run out of stories to act out. Even if the bad guys were defeated the night before, another villain inevitably arrives to take the last one’s place. But somehow they’re ready. They know there will be a struggle, but they’re determined to stand their ground. And without fail?
The good guys always win.
There’s a huge contrast between those boys and this lone girl of mine. If given the option, she prefers to “mommy” her baby dolls all day, every day. She’s a born nurturer, and she doesn’t need prompted to love and sway and sing and pat until the cows come home.
But every so often, if the cast needs another player, she puts on her cape and joins forces with the boys. It may not seem as natural to her as playing babies, but she doesn’t let that stop her. She’s tough and determined and focused when she needs to be, and when summoned, she’ll rise to the occasion.
In Ephesians this week, we’re reminded of another battle that’s raging as we speak. But this is no make-believe battle fought with sticks for swords and pan lids for shields. It’s the battle between good versus evil alright, and Satan is trying ever so strategically to convince you to join forces with him.
He tries to tell us that because we’re women, fighting in a battle is really not our first preference. He messes with our minds and convinces us to compare our lives with others until we’re dissatisfied, depend on our emotions far too much, desire for people to like us even if it means compromising, struggle with where our confidence and value come from. He finds us where we’re weak (and oh, you better believe that he knows), and tries to lure us over to his side.
Ephesians reminds us that with Satan, we can’t just be a spectator in the battle. Ladies, it’s time to suit up. To choose which side we’re on, then to intelligently prepare for battle. Let’s show Satan that with Christ we’re tough and determined and focused, and we can rise to the occasion. What are some practical ways you and I can do that? John MacArthur gives us a battle pep talk in his sermon here:
1. Remember that the death blow has already been dealt – Christ has defeated Satan. Amen! (1 John 3:8)
2. Remember that the power that defeated Satan is dwelling in you! (1 John 4:4)
3. Be watchful and steadfast in your faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
4. Don’t give Satan a place in your life. (Eph. 4:27)
5. Don’t be ignorant of Satan’s devices. (2 Cor. 2:11)
6. Flee the devil when you see him coming. (James 4:7)
We can be ready. We know there will be a struggle, but we can be determined, with the power of God on our side, to stand our ground. And about that battle?
We know Who has already won.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
At His feet,