We live in a world that places the high value on projections of power and influence. With a deep sense of awe, note is carefully taken of the tallest buildings, the largest ships, the greatest armies, the fastest aircraft, and the most sophisticated computer networks. Those who have “the goods” have the respect (and more often than not, fear) of the “lesser thans.” Whoever holds the biggest and best has the freedom to go wherever and whenever they want, unencumbered by and indifferent to all others. Even some churches are not immune to this headlong pursuit of “bigger and better.”
Then there is Paul, an apostle of Jesus, who was “in chains” and under house arrest for preaching the gospel. Surrounded by Roman Soldiers—members of the mightiest and fiercest military force the world had yet known—he was prevented from moving about freely and limited in his access to others. In the midst of his imprisonment, Paul writes to the Ephesians, urging them to grow in faith until they understand “what is the height, and length, and breadth, and depth” of God’s mysterious love.
Hanging on to faith in a world where might makes right is a daily battle. But Paul wants his readers to know that the fight is not on the same field of battle that the world chooses. 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. Knowing the nature of our fight, and who we are fighting, allows even the powerless in this world to become champions of faith.