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. Ephesians 6:13
They called him the “silent stalker.” He was a ruthless killer who quietly stole into houses and killed his victims. Our family was living in the area where he was striking, instilling fear into a rather tranquil, quite ordinary neighborhood. But when this happened, things changed almost overnight. Motion-detecting flood lights appeared. Bars were put on windows, and those who could afford them installed alarm systems.
A silent stalker, a ruthless killer, was on the loose and until he was finally apprehended, everyone was on “red alert.”
The book of Genesis tells about a “silent stalker” who preyed on innocent victims in the Garden of Eden. One who was ruthless and cunning, who will eventually be brought to justice, is still out there. The Bible describes this one as Satan, or the devil. He still takes more than his fair share of victims.
Should we live in fear of his attacks? No, because the Bible says that greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. So how should we respond to his cunning?
First—be informed. That’s where Scripture tells you far more than I have time to mention, giving you insights to his intent, his game plan, and his operation.
Be alert—that means you should have your head up and observant. This means you call good what it is and evil what it is as well. Of course, this requires discernment. C. S. Lewis taught that you have to know what a straight line is before you know what a crooked one is. It is no wonder that the text of the Bible has been called a canon, and the Greek word means a “rod or a rule” by which you evaluate truth and measure life.
Then be cautious. Simply put, you don’t want to give him an inch of territory. That’s part of James’ advice about resisting. Frankly, this has a broad array of applications including what comes into your home on TV, the Internet, the movies you see, and the kind of entertainment you indulge in. It also means you come down on the side of caution rather than push the envelope. This means as a parent you sometimes have to say, “I’d like to say yes but I love you too much to let you do this.”
Next, be confident. Remember, armed with only a slingshot David went out to do battle with a giant because his confidence was in the Lord. You don’t do battle with the devil as a sort of party game, or you may end up wounded and bleeding as did the seven sons of Scieva, which you read about in Acts 19. “Are you not afraid of the devil?” a Sunday School teacher once asked a tough little kid, trying to scare him into the kingdom. “I suppose so,” he nonchalantly answered, but if you bring one around my size, I’ll fight him any day.” The problem is you’ll never meet one your size so realize your strength has to be in the Lord–which brings us to the next point.
Be prepared. Arm yourself for the conflict. Acknowledging the spiritual battle which life is, Paul told the Ephesians what to do to prepare. Read it for yourself in Ephesians 6. Take the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. In other words, realize God has made provision for your welfare. Put on the protection of what Christ did – His righteousness or His uprightness.
Be aggressive. The greatest protection is strength within. That means submitting to God’s purpose for your life and letting Him be Lord. Remember, the battle is not yours but the Lord’s. That’s what counts.
Resource reading: Ephesians 6:10-18