10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
There is a lot of stuff in these verses, but I want to focus on one major thought. That thought is that the battles that we fight in this world are Spiritual ones. I think Paul is using these words here because of all that he has said prior. It would be so easy to take Paul's words and then just try to go out and do it on our own. Try to be that good Christian. Try to live up to being a good wife or mother or husband or father or child or slave or master. But that is not enough!
When we go to war, whether it be with another, our own sin, or whatever, we must do it in the Lord and in His strength (vs. 10). Look at the weapons we use. Most are defensive, the only offensive one being the sword of the Spirit.
Wouldn't we rather that God had told us to use tanks and bombs and mortars and torpedoes and flame-throwers and so on? Don't we want God to tell us to attack! But what I see mostly here is this, protect yourself. Guard your heart. Make sure that you stand firm.
Perhaps a part of the picture here is God saying, stay close to me. When you go out, make sure I am in the lead. We are only the foot-soldiers, not the general. So when Paul says that he is an ambassador in chains, perhaps he is speaking of the prison chains that bind him. Perhaps he is also speaking of the chains that bind him in service to the Lord.
Keep me close Lord, and help me to follow you always, and never take the lead.