Ephesians 6 gives us the tactical advantage in our struggle with evil. We are under attack from three primary sources in our spiritual lives; the world, the flesh and the Devil. The world is the system around us. The flesh represents the ungodly impulses within us. The Devil is the spiritual force that is always allied against us. Verse 11 tells us to “put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil. We do not wrestle or struggle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.” Did you notice how many times the word “against” appeared? Five times there are forces that are mentioned that come against us. But the introductory verse tells us that our charge in this battle is to “stand up against” the schemes of the devil. What are the schemes of the Devil?

The word scheme in the Greek is methodia, from which we get the English word method. It has the idea of craftiness, cunning, and deception. He is even called the father of lies. Everything he says is designed to discourage and intimidate and bring us to despair. His only weapons are lies. I remember back in 2003 (I think it was) when “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was initiated. Our goal was to unseat Saddam Hussein. I remember the propaganda coming out of Iraq following the first thrust of American forces into the Iraqi heartland. The Iraqi representative reported, on television, that the American forces had been repelled and were forced back on every front. The next image was of U. S. Marines relaxing inside of President Hussein’s palaces in Baghdad. What’s wrong with this picture? I don’t think there had ever been a briefer was in U. S. History. Even the more elite forces of Saddam’s Royal Guard cut and ran from the advancing superiority of U. S. Forces.

In his study on this passage, Rasnake compares “Operation Iraqi Freedom” with our battle against the spiritual forces of evil. He writes, “When one is doing battle with a superior adversary, the underdog may resort to lies and deceit to try and appear more formidable than he really is, as the Iraqi Information Minister displayed. In an even greater sense, the army of God is so far superior to Satan and his minions that Satan must lie and deceive to try to intimidate and incite fear in the children of God. But we have the promise of the apostle John in 1 John 4:4 that says greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. While it is true that a sissy demon could whip any of us on any day, Satan himself is no match for the One who lives in us. All we need to do for victory in spiritual war is to ‘stand firm’ in Christ.