The opening chapters of Ephesians describe how we have been blessed with all sorts of what Pastor John MacArthur calls supernatural spiritual benefits. According to chapter 1, we are redeemed (verse 7). According to chapter 2, we are God’s masterpieces (verse 10). Chapter 3 reminds us that we are fellow heirs of an eternal inheritance (verse 6). Then chapter 4 comes along and challenges us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). In other words, live as if we are a redeemed masterpiece of God with an eternal inheritance.
How do we live this way?
In anticipation of us asking that question, Paul continued writing. In chapter 5 he says, “Follow God’s example . . .” In other words, imitate God. Walk in Love. Walk in the light. Walk in wisdom. Walk in the fullness of the Spirit.
Well, not only do we have supernatural spiritual benefits as believers, we also have a supernatural spiritual enemy.
In anticipation of us wondering what to do with this reality, Paul continued writing. In chapter 6 verses 10-17, we learn about the armor of God to which we have access. The only way to “stand firm” against our enemy’s schemes is by using these weapons God has provided. They include the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
This is great! We are redeemed masterpieces of God with an eternal inheritance. Yes, we have an enemy who is out to steal from, kill, and destroy us, but our wise Creator has blessed us even more with His armor. What more do we need? We are all set, right?
Notice that Paul did not conclude his letter in verse 17. He kept writing.
Why not stop after informing us that we are redeemed masterpieces with an eternal inheritance equipped with armor capable of facilitating our victory over any scheme of our enemy? What more do we need to know?
Here it is: Paul opens this book of the Bible calling us ascend as we praise God and he closes it by calling us to fall to our knees “and pray . . .” to God (Ephesians 6:18).
Paul is reminding us that, yes, we are blessed redeemed masterpieces with an eternal inheritance equipped with our armor . . .
AND . . .
Sin. Is. Powerful!
Satan’s force is so strong and real that we need constant submission to God in prayer.
Bottom line: We must remain dependent on God.
When my youngest daughter was sick with pneumonia, the pain got so bad, this 4-year-old asked her daddy if she could “please stop breathing.” He told her, “No, honey, you can’t stop breathing.” Breathing is important. To stop breathing is to stop living. Breathing is how we open our lungs up to vital elements our bodies need.
Prayer is as essential to the believer as breathing. To stop praying is to stop “[living] a life worthy of the calling we have received.”
Ephesians 6:18a says, “and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Praying in the Spirit means to pray according to the Spirit’s leading.
It may hurt sometimes. It may feel uncomfortable. Sometimes you just want to stop. But you can’t. Instead, deal with the cause of the pain and discomfort while remaining committed to the practice. Prayer is how we open ourselves up to the flow of God’s power!
Try it today. Try it now! Just as Paul could not stop writing and my daughter could not stop breathing, we cannot stop praying!
Praise God for all of the blessings. Take up and use all of the armor . . . AND PRAY!!