NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

HOW GOD HAS ARMED US

Ephesians 4–6

God’s Story

Through Paul, God challenges the Ephesians to live up to their calling—to live in the reality that they are in Jesus, and he is King over all. Their unity, provided by God’s Spirit, must be protected. Jesus has given the church lots of different gifts; but there is just one body and one Lord, and he can unify us through his ever-present Spirit.

As believers, we are to put off the way we used to live, but we can’t just change our behavior—we have to renew our minds and our way of thinking with the truths that Jesus taught. For those in Jesus, as citizens of his kingdom, there is a new way to live. Certain behaviors—like lying, slander and sexual immorality—don’t fit in God’s kingdom. They’re of the kingdom of darkness.

Different roles within society—wives, husbands, children, parents, slaves, masters—are to showcase God’s love differently as they live in his kingdom.

We are to stand in the truth of who God declares us to be the way a soldier stands firm in his armor. This armor helps us recognize and battle against the schemes of the kingdom of darkness. These evil forces are out to hurt God by hurting us. God has armed us with his truth, but we must actively live in it and fight under its protection.

The King’s Heart

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

We live in a warring world. The forces of darkness are against God; since we are God’s, they are against us. While we are battling “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Jesus sits at God’s “right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:20-21). And “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

Jesus already has authority over every power of darkness. And we are in him at God’s right hand. We battle, yes. But God has given us everything we need in the fight—including the victory. And as we seek him, he will teach us how to stand in his power.

Insight

Paul wasn’t advocating slavery in Ephesians 6:5-9, but rather was giving instructions for a situation that, while not God’s ideal, still existed in the fallen, broken world.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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