I felt an urgent need to write this tonight. We have been under quarantine for so long. I see so many on social media crying out in one way or another that appear to be under attack from our enemy, the devil, satan himself. It was one such post tonight that stirred my spirit and got Holy Spirit flowing within me.
10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armork so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT
Do you ever pray on the Armor of God? Before we do, we need to take each piece of God’s Armor and do what we need to do to prepare it before putting it on for battle. Real Armor is prepared by a blacksmith. The metal is hardened by heat and hammering. Here’s what we need to do to prepare our Armor:
1. Be strong in the Lord – Know who you are in Jesus. Read and know these and other verses that tell us who we are in Christ. I know that many, myself included, struggle or have struggled in the last with this. It is a favorite place of attack for our enemy. He wants to keep us down by reminding us who we once were before we were made new creations in Jesus. We must remind him, “we were cleaned and made new when we received Jesus’ saving grace. Our pasts are erased. And he hold no power over us, because we’re not going to believe his lies anymore!” We must hold onto the truth and live in the freedom Jesus died to give us (John 8:32, Galatians 5:1).
2. Stand firm against all strategies of the devil – the Word is clear about our enemy’s strategies. Learn about his tactics, then you will be able to prepare a strategy in how to fight against his wiles and lies such as:
A. Memorize verses that apply specifically to the areas in which the enemy attacks you most. Apply those truths to his lies (see more on this under Sword of the Spirit.)
B. Avoid people and places that cause us to stumble. For example, if hanging with certain friends will cause you to gamble to excess or drink to excess or whatever, make new friends (1 Corinthians 15:33).
C. Worship, not just on Sundays. There is power to break strongholds when we worship Almighty God. In worship we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our lives and praise all He is and has done for us. We need to make it a part of our daily routine.
D. Pray continually. A quick prayer in the morning to satisfy our daily obligation is not going to keep us focused, fed, or free. We need to have quality time with our Father God every morning and then, keep the conversation going throughout the day. Then, close out our day with Him, to release our burdens and allow Him to minister to our needs. This is the only way to keep our spirits healthy and ready to recognize and fight the temptations and attacks of the enemy. Another of his favorites being weariness. When we are weary in body mind, &/or spirit we are more apt to give in to temptations. But we have a promise from God we can lean upon:
a. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
b. 28″Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 12:28-30.
c. “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me” Psalm 3:5.
d. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” Psalm 4:8.
3. Resist the enemy – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” James 4:7 NLT. We cannot resist the devil in our own power. We must humble ourselves before God and submit to His authority and in His power resist the devil and his schemes.To do that we need to keep our relationship with Jesus constant. Prayer is not just a life preserver for when we are drowning, it is like Jesus’ description of the Vine and branches in John 15. We as branches cannot survive or bear fruit unless we are continually connected to the Vine for water and nourishment. When we are a “healthy plant” we are better able to resist the attacks of the enemy.
A. “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” They really do exist and we cannot fight spiritual forces without a greater spiritual force, the Holy Spirit. In John 4:24 (ESV) Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” To put on the Armor, we must have the Armor made strong and prepared. So that after the battle we will still be standing firm.
4. Stand your ground – don’t flinch, don’t waiver, and do no be afraid. It’s said there are 365 do not fear verses in the Bible. I haven’t found them all yet, but I have found nearly 200. Fear is the opposite of faith. We may have a gut reaction to an event of fear, such as a fire, that’s normal and life preserving, so long as we don’t let it paralyze is. Our faith should kick in and override the fear, assuring us that God has our back no matter what the situation may seem.
Put on the Armor of God:
5. Belt of Truth – the truth of God’s Word holds the body armor in place. Truth is important in holding us together. We started the talk about truth in bullets 1 and 2. 3″We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT. As you’re about to see these are all connected in usage. We take thoughts captive by saying no to the lies satan is trying to plant and replace them with a truth from God’s Word. When I first started teaching the devil would say to me, “Who are you to teach and tell people how to live. Look at what you did (in my past).” I had to stop those thoughts in their tracks and start quoting verses to remind me I am redeemed, a child of God, loved, gifted to teach by Holy Spirit (believe me it wasn’t my idea 😉), and so on. Find the truths you need. See also bullet #10.
6. Body Armor (Breastplate) of Righteousness – we have no righteousness of our own. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Because of Jesus we have a righteousness we can live in that protects our heart from evil. That’s why all the preparation of pur armor discussed in #1-3 are so important.
7. Shoes of Peace (of the Gospel of peace) – it is only in relationship with Jesus that we can truly have peace. The shoes are the Gospel of Peace, because of the great commission. “19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28:19-20. We are to GO take the Gospel to the world (or at least our corner of it) and bring the peace of mind and heart that surpasses understanding to them (John 14:27, Philippians 4:7). And it is that same peace that will keep us standing firm in the heat of battle knowing God fights with and for us. “The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” Exodus 14:14 NLT.
8. Helmet of Salvation – protects the head, the mind. The brain controls the rest of the body. Every thought, word, and action begins in the mind. Attacks most often begin there. We need to be confident in our salvation. If we are not confident in our salvation we either are not saved or we are listening to too many lies. If you truly are saved you will not continue to live in “lifestyle” sins. This is ways of living that directly contradict the Word of God. Most likely your conscience (Holy Spirit) and other believers may be warning you about this. If you seek the Lord and your conscience is clear, it is probably lies of the enemy planting doubt in your mind. Do the capture and replacement with the truth we discussed in #4 and seek the Lord for wisdom and assurance of your salvation. “21But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus” Romans 3:21-26 NLT. This is of utmost importance for your eternity. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s arrogant to think we can know for certain if we are saved (as I was as a child). We are blessed that our salvation is NOT based on our works, but on God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). Hold fast to Jesus and the sure foundation of your salvation.
9. Shield of Faith – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Our faith is a shield against accusations, doubts, fears, the unknown, and more, because though we may not know or understand what is going on we can trust that God knows and He will be with us through whatever it all. There is often waiting involved. I wrote something the other day on my Facebook page about waiting. https://www.facebook.com/946246502168100/posts/2860047990787932/ In it I went to a passage familiar to many in Isaiah 40. I’m going to use the NLT here for a fresh look: “27O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.” You can go read the post for more details on what I wrote, but as you read this it’s obvious that the Lord is saying that He does not ignore our troubles. Then He goes on to say that as we wait on Him (His will, ways, and timing), He provides the power and strength we need to go through in whatever way is needed (fly, run, walk), perhaps they are different seasons, or perhaps it’s whatever way we choose to go through? No matter which it is, God has promised to be there with the power and strength we need as we wait on Him. We need to trust that, have faith that all His promises are true for us. Occasionally I still struggle with my Identity in Christ (#1), mostly when I am praying for something big for myself. I can pray for healing and all kinds of things for others with all kinds of faith, but when praying for myself I sometimes doubt God will do it for me. I have to remind myself whose I am and bind those pies of the enemy. We need to keep our faith strong in the Lord. “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones” Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT.
10. Sword of the Spirit – is the Word of God. We already began talking about this under “stand firm.” Read Matthew 4:1-11 to see how Jesus used the Word as the Sword of the Spirit to fight the temptations of the devil in the wilderness. There is a reason John writes, “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world” (1 John 4:1 NLT). If we do not know the Word well we can be easily deceived. The devil knows the Word and manipulates it to try to deceive us as he tried even with Jesus. The devil is quite arrogant, isn’t he? To try to deceive the Word Himself by twisting the Word of God (John 1:1-3). Read the Word every day in small bites, so you really get to know it. Use a concordance or online Bible such as Biblehub.com (my favorite) to do a word study for verses that will focus on your particular area(s) of attack. For example, we could look up fear and then can choose several verses that speak to us best for our personal swords against the personalized lies the enemy uses against us. Write them down. Read them often. Memorize them one at a time. Post them on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, car visor, at work, anywhere we will see them often, especially if that place is a hot spot for temptation. We can make artwork of them, too, to decorate home or office. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12. Someone turned the word Bible into an acronym of Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. We can find help for anything in there with wisdom from Holy Spirit to guide us. Use that sword to divide truth and lie.
11. Prayer – it’s not a piece of the Armor, but it holds everything together. Prayer, along with the Bible, is our lifeline to God. Here Paul is pointing out that we need to be praying for all believers. We are blessed in the USA that we have such freedom to practice our faith. In most countries in the world that is not so. Many risk jobs, privileges, friendships, loss of their children to the state, prision, torture, even their very lives for keeping and expressing their faith in Jesus. We must pray for them and their persecutors (Matthew 5:44-45, Luke 6:27-28). We must pray about everything with thanksgiving and a joyful attitude (Philippians 4:4-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). It doesn’t say in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we give thanks FOR all circumstances, but to give thanks IN them. Big difference. If you continue into the next verse of the Philippians passage it tells us what to think about: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” Philippians 4:8 NLT. Again a lot has to do with what we think about and our attitude. It will be reflected in our words, our actions, and our prayers. Like this: “2You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure” James 4:2-3 NLT. If we have wrong attitudes and motives in prayer they can keep them from being answered. So we will keep our thoughts fixed on the true, honorable, true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable things, the excellent and praiseworthy things.
Well there you are all dressed in the Armor of God. Does it feel comfortable and secure? Are your feet firmly planted? Did you notice that all the Armor goes on the front of the body so we can look our enemy square in the eye and never turn our back to him? No fear, no running away, no way but God’s way. Be strong, resist the enemy, and stand firm.
Blessings of Hope and Joy,
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