BROTHERS and SISTERS, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the Gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Our life, both physical and spiritual, consists of our relationship with other people, as well as our struggle against the powers of darkness. Some people tend to believe in the existence of God, or a general higher power, yet deny the existence of evil spirits. Just like there are people who believe that there are good and evil spirits, but refuse to accept the existence of God.
Saint Paul, who had his fair share of struggles against God (when he was still a Church-persecuting Pharisee) and against the evil forces (after his conversion to Christianity), reminds us that "our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh." That is, our enemies are not other people, no matter how much pain and suffering they might cause us. Our enemies are "the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers of this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." These are some of the names of evil spirits, meaning demons.
All that is true and beautiful and holy is absolutely abhorrent to the demons. They can't stand it, and they can't stand when we attempt to strive for truth, beauty, and holiness. Therefore, Paul says, "put on the whole armor of God." Get ready for a fight! Paul describes each article of a soldier's uniform so that we would not forget anything.
And make no mistake, it is a war. Once we decide to join Christ and His Holy Church, we enter into this war. This does not mean that if we don't join Christ that we will avoid this spiritual war. Yes, demons hate God, but they desire to seduce to their side anyone and everyone, regardless of their allegiance to God. It is basically impossible to remain neutral.
There is one thing certain, though - Christ promised that those who preserve for His Name's sake will be rewarded with salvation. Satan, on the other hand, can't promise anything because, as the master of chaos, he can only destroy.
So, let us put on our armor - belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes to make us ready to proclaim the Gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Holy Spirit, which is the Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself, our Lord and God.
Yours in the Lord,
Father Aleksey - your friendly Singac priest