Rules of Engagement
King Solomon, the wisest man ever, admonishes us that it is not wise to go charging into battle without a plan (Pro 20:18). There is a popular Latin saying that embellishes this gem of wisdom: 'praemonitus, praemunitus' loosely translated: 'forewarned is forearmed'. The scriptures firmly remind us on the dangers of being ignorant. It sends God’s people to the grave (Job 36:12), sends them to exile (Isaiah 5:13) and makes them perish (Hosea 4:6). We cannot afford to be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes when waging war against him. In order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan, we ought not to be ignorant of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).
The Battle Belongs to the Lord.
“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (2 Chronicles 20: 15-17).
Our call is to take our position and see the Lord valiantly fight for us. Take a position of faith. Be convinced the battle is the Lord's. Any demon that comes against you has to come against Christ in you. Position yourself in prayer and take on the spiritual armour.
After taking your position, you need to stand firm. Stand still and await God’s mighty deliverance. “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” (Exodus. 14:13-14)
After Moses saw the victory of the Lord, He stopped complaining about his enemy’s activity and celebrated the deliverance of God. He sang a song and said that “the LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:3.
Standing still means not wavering as you rest assured that God is handling and perfecting all that which concerns you. Stop feeling as though you needed to take matters into your own hands. Do not try to ‘help’ God by devising human schemes of winning the battle. Stop all your efforts to deliver yourself. Acknowledge that God alone can save you. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10).
The Battle belongs to the lord. It is the Lord's battle to fight – not you. “And I commanded Joshua at that time, 'Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. So will the LORD do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing.” (Deuteronomy 3:21). “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles." (2 Chronicles 32:7-8) “For thus says the LORD, ‘Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.’” (Isaiah 49:25).
The Full Armour of God
It is widely accepted that the main theme of Ephesians is the church, which is the body of Christ. Most theologians regard Ephesians to be a circular letter intended for many churches. It was written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment and the armour seems to be in direct correlation of that of the Roman Empire's soldiers.
Later on, having been imprisoned by the emperor Nero, Paul wrote to encourage the young pastor Timothy in Ephesus. Timothy was facing severe conflicts in his ministry at Ephesus, and the relentless opposition from heretics, apostates, and persecutors was weakening him. Just like any Christian who experiences difficulty because of following Christ, Timothy needed to be reminded again of his task— to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Paul encouraged and challenged him to endure with him, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3).
As soldiers in the army of the Lord, that is what we are called to do. Paul's words to Timothy are your marching orders too, therefore, you need to strive to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus. You need to put on the full armour of God. The full armour of God helps us to stand against the schemes of the devil. The Greek word translated schemes is methodia, which gives us the English word method. It refers to craftiness, cunningness, and deception.
We have to put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground. The day of evil will surely come. Paul says, ‘When, not if, the day of evil comes because nothing is more certain than the conflict in the heavenly realm.
The armour of God also helps us to hold our ground after the battle. Four times in Ephesians 6: 10-14, Paul urges us to stand firm in the battle against the devil's schemes. Paul ends this clarion call by exhorting us to pray fervently for ourselves, for each other and for the work of the Church.