What comes immediately to my mind is Ephesians 6:10-18. Each Christian today faces a great conflict.  Satan and his powerful forces are at work in this world to oppose and discredit Christians and the Gospel.  The conflict before us is spiritual, so unlike the battles of men, our enemy is largely unseen by our eyes. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (v. 12).

In Ephesians 6:10, God begins the preparation for this spiritual warfare by reminding us of the much greater power that is for us: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”  Our enemy may be much stronger than we are, but the outcome is not decided by the power of the enemy as opposed to our own. In verse 10, we see two very important facts regarding the warfare that faces us:  First, the Lord is on our side, and how encouraging and comforting that should be, because “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). However, I think there is also an implied warning in verse 10: to be successful in this kind of fight, we must fight in the strength of the Lord, and not in our own strength (Philippians 4:13).

In verse 11, we are directed to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  To battle in the strength of the Lord means using the weapons and the defenses that are suitable to the task.  These have been provided by the Lord and are described in verses 14-18.  We are told to “put on the whole armor of God.”  We do not automatically have this armor when we become Christians, but we must take it up.  I believe that the way we take it up is by constant communion with the Lord—through reading His Word and prayer.  It is through His Word that the affections of our hearts are exposed and brought under control (having our loins girt with truth); we also learn practical holiness (the breastplate of righteousness), and we learn that salvation is of the Lord (the Helmet of salvation.)  We learn that God loves us and is for us, despite what circumstances may seem to show (the shield of faith.) 

We need this armor of God in order for us to stand against the wiles of the devil.  These “wiles” are deceptions which the devil offers us, which may appeal to our flesh and seem at first to be harmless, but in the end lead us far from the path of faith.  We also need the armor to quench the “fiery darts,” which are those wicked suggestions that would question the love and goodness of God toward us. 

I believe that communion with the Lord is so important to our acquiring this armor because Satan will do all he can to interrupt that communion in hopes of getting us to put off our armor or perhaps never to take it up in the first place. To disrupt this communion, Satan may use the cares and concerns of life, infirmity, calamity, or even personal insults and irritations which depress and eat at us.  Our enemy is likely to use anything that will get our minds off the Lord’s things and onto ourselves.  We must learn to recognize this tactic and see it for what it is.  Furthermore, we need the “whole” armor, not just some of it, and we need it all the time in order to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (vs. 13.) We can’t wait until the evil day comes to put on the armor—then it will be too late.  And we can’t take our armor off or neglect it, even after a victory.  If any part of it is missing, Satan will note the deficiency and attack accordingly.

I do want to mention the last two items in some detail.  The sword of the Spirit (v. 17) is identified as the Word of God.  It is the only actual weapon described in this portion; and indeed, it is the only weapon needed or useful to the child of God in spiritual warfare.  In Heb. 4:12 we read that the “word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”  Thus we find that this weapon is quick or living, and powerful in and of itself; its effectiveness is not necessarily dependent upon the one who wields it—God’s Word can speak for itself.  As a practical example, I might feel that I lack the ability to effectively counter the arguments of an unbeliever who seeks to oppose.  I may feel that I lack the fluency of thought and speech to make good and effective arguments that will win the day.  But I need not be timid.  If I am willing to use the Word of God, even if I just read or recite a verse I have memorized, God’s Word can speak for itself and have the effect that God intends (Isa. 55:11) 

Finally, prayer (v. 18) is essential.  In discerning and fighting off the attacks of Satan, we must be dependent on the power of God: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…”  We need to be in fervent, constant prayer in the Spirit, which takes energy and commitment.  And this prayer is not just for ourselves but for all the saints. Prayer springs from an attitude of dependence, and dependence is the key factor in our Christian walk through this world given the hostile forces that are arrayed against us.  (SF)  (544.4)