Mao Zedong opined that “the only real defense is active defense”, meaning defense for the purpose of counter-attacking and taking the offensive. Often success rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack. This principle is paralleled in the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.
Some martial arts emphasize attack over defense. Wing Chun, for example, is a style of Kung Fu which uses the maxim: “The hand which strikes also blocks.”
It basically means, the executing a defensive style can lead to a good counterattack “offense” and in thus the best defense will lead to a great offense.
I. The Whole Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
a. 6:10–18 Spiritual Warfare, FAITH’S WARFARE. Paul admonishes us to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the forces of hell. It is clear that our warfare is not against physical forces, but against invisible powers who have clearly defined levels of authority in a real, though invisible, sphere of activity. Paul, however, not only warns us of a clearly defined structure in the invisible realm; he instructs us to take up the whole armor of God in order to maintain a “battle- stance” against this unseen satanic structure.
b. All of this armor is not just a passive protection in facing the enemy; it is to be used offensively against these satanic forces. Note Paul’s final directive:we are to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (v. 18).
c. Thus, prayer is not so much a weapon, or even a part of the armor, as it is the means by which we engage in the battle itself and the purpose for which we are armed. To put on the armor of God is to prepare for battle.
d. Prayer is the battle itself, with God’s Word being our chief weapon employed against Satan during our struggle. (*/2 Kin. 6:8–17) D. E.
II. The Power of Prayer
a. Ephesians 6:10–20 Reminded that believers draw their strength from the Lord and His power, this final section warns that our life in the world involves standing strong against evil powers aligned against us.
b. 6:10 Finally implies not “in conclusion,” but rather “insofar as the rest of life and its challenges are concerned.”
c. 6:11 The charge is to “brethren” (v. 10), not only each individual, but with corporate implications for the whole church.
d. 6:12 Not. . . against flesh and blood: One of the church’s greatest demands is to discern between the spiritual struggle and other social, personal, and political difficulties. Otherwise, individual believers and groups become too easily detoured, “wrestling” with human adversaries instead of prayerfully warring against the invisible works of hell behind the scenes. Heavenly places recalls earlier references to:1) spiritual resources available to the church (1:3); 2) Christ’s authority over evil (1:21); 3) the church’s being seated together with her ascended Lord (2:6); 4) the Father’s will to display His wisdom through the church to the confounding of evil powers (3:10). On these grounds this passage announces the church’s corporate assignment to prayer warfare, in order that evil will be driven back and the will of God advanced.
e. 6:13–17 The metaphor here is based on the armor and battle dress of the first- century Roman soldier. Clearly the military metaphor is intended to show the reader that we are engaged in an active battle now. Though some suggest that the viewpoint of a continuous aggressive struggle minimizes the accomplished victory of the Cross, it in fact asserts that victory all the more. All spiritual warfare waged today is victorious only on the basis of appropriating the provision of the Cross and Christ’s blood (Col. 2:15). 1) Personal faith that positions itself against evil and 2) aggressive prayer warfare that assails demonic strongholds are two distinct and complementary facets of spiritual life.
f. This entire passage lends further support to this perspective: “To stand against” (v. 11) means to hold at bay aggressively or to stand in front of and oppose; “wrestle” (v. 12) means to engage actively in one- on- one combat; “to stand” (v. 13) means to be found standing after an active battle; and “stand” (v. 14) means take your stand for the next battle.
g. 6:15 Preparation refers to that which is already accomplished and ready.
h. 6:16 The wicked one is a direct reference to the personal assault of Satan against believers.
III. Ephesians 6:18 Prayer “in the Spirit,” INTERCESSION.
a. Any prayer that is directed, energized, and sustained by the Holy Spirit is a prayer that is prayed in the Spirit. It falls into the same category as being in the Spirit, speaking by or in the Spirit, and singing in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit:1) will be according to God’s will (1 John 5:14, 15); 2) will glorify the Father through the Son (John 14:13); 3) is based upon God’s character, ways, and Word (15:7); 4) comes from a clean heart (James 5:16); 5) is prayed in full assurance of faith (1:6); and 6) is asked in Jesus’ name (John 14:14). Such prayer will always find God’s answers. (Ezek. 22:30 /Is. 66:8, 9) A. J. D.