We are talking today about the Armor of God. Last blog, we started by laying the foundation of Ephesians 6, popularly knows as the verse teaching us how to put on our armor to fight the evil one. We began by dissecting Ephesians 6:12, which says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”That verse is stuck right in the middle of telling us to put on the full armor of God and then followed by instructions on HOW to put on the full armor of God.
Why do we need the armor of God on? As we stated in John 10:10, the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. He has a mission to lead as many people into hell and out of the Kingdom of heaven as he can. How does he do that? Interestingly enough, he easily finds open doors through Christians! Christians that are walking in fears, insecurities, neglecting to walk in the fullness of what God created us to be.
Yes, we are in relationship with people and when there is relationship, there will always be conflict, BUT do we realize often times our battle isn’t with the person, the flesh and blood? Our battle is with the enemy and the sooner we can realize that and his schemes to conquer and divide, the sooner we will overcome our fears and walk powerfully and with the authority we have been given through salvation!
Everyone knows my sister and I are very close. We talk about everything and while we are so much alike, we fight too, and it isn’t until after an argument that we realize the enemy’s plan was to divide and we realize his tactics. Recently, we got through an “off” moment and after we started praying through it and talking, the Lord showed us what had happened… I became too laxed in my walk. We pray Ephesians 6 every morning and put on the armor of God! We can pray ever day and still not realize the authority we have and completely miss it when satan comes.
I had prayed that morning and put on my armor and when the attack came, it completely caught me off guard. Once I recognized it was attack and that the enemy was trying to cause division and strife with my sister and I, I told him in my spirit, “Ummm, I already put my armor on this morning, I’m good.” And I stayed there on the couch and thought I had fought that nasty devil off… As I sat there, more thoughts came, more attacks on my mind and it progressed and caused strife between my sister and I for a couple days actually.
What we came to notice through prayer a few days later, was that putting on our armor isn’t enough! If we don’t USE it, it is ineffective! Would you go out into battle suited up and all prepared for the enemy and as he approaches with his weapons, just stand there and wait for him to attack you when you are fully armored? No – you would pull out that sword; you would pull out that weapon and attack back!
As Christians, we have to understand that if we aren’t vigilant and on guard, especially when it comes to areas of our lives that we know repetitive attacks occur, we will never arise from defeat.
Let’s look at what that armor is –let’s study what we have access to and how to use it!
Ephesians 6:13-17– “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish 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.”
First, Paul, who wrote this epistle to the Church in Ephesus, encourages them to be strong in the Lord and HIS mighty power in 6:10. Key words – HIS power! These battles are not our own and therefore cannot be fought in and of ourselves. They can ONLY be won through God’s power and strength. Most times, we exacerbate problems because we are too weak to try and fight them in the first place. The enemy has taken something simple and compounded it in our minds, making it even bigger. His motive – to tire and weaken us so that we take our focus off of God and onto man and ourselves.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10– “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
John 16:33– “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
BELT OF TRUTH
The first part of Armor we are told to put on is the belt of truth. If you can picture a soldier in medieval times with the armor on, imagine a belt buckled around his waist and that portrays truth.
John 8:32– Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
One thing my sister always tells me when the enemy is messing with my mind is, “Is that truth or is it a lie?” Though my spirit usually knows it’s a lie, my flesh has a very hard time killing that lie off and it’s mainly because my emotions and feelings are involved. We can’t operate in feelings and emotions, yet we are taught so much by therapists and counselors and even friends, “well how do you feel? How does that make you feel?” We should be asked, “Is that truth or fickle feelings?”
I love how truth here relates to a freedom, being set free when truth is manifested. There is true freedom when we kill off that flesh. There’s another verse that mentions truth in quite a different context, but try and understand the connection…
John 4:23 -24– “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
How do we operate in truth and begin to kill off those feelings and emotions? In worship!! The Father is looking for true worshippers. Why? Because worship is our most valuable weapon!
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The next thing we are told to put on is the breastplate of righteousness. Imagine the breastplate on – it protects our heart and upper body from arrows and attacks.
2 Corin. 5:21– “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
1 John 2:29– “If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.”
Romans 6:18– “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
Righteousness is an honor that Jesus paid the price for us to have, to walk in. Righteous behavior will walk in moral integrity and mature behavior.
GOSPEL OF PEACE
The gospel of peace is the call to reconciliation, to living at peace with one another. The soldiers of the army of Christ are not meant to be fighting one another, but employing all their combined energy of the Spirit to fight the true enemy and conquer.
When we allow the enemy to divide we become ineffective in the Kingdom. This is something my sister and I have witnessed time and time again. We know that what we have is powerful and the enemy has used every avenue to try and divide, but we have stuck to God and commit to walking in unity and we believe that’s what will lead this generation into victory – unity and covenant! It takes a killing of self and flesh!
Ephesians 4:2-4– “With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.”
SHIELD OF FAITH
Faith is an essential element of Christianity. The Bible tells us that it is impossible to please God if we do not have faith (Hebrews 11:6). The Bible also tells us that the righteous shall live by faith (Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
Faith is what moves the mountains of fear and insecurity. Faith is what moves us from hopeless to conqueror. Faith, which is unseen, is desperately needed to begin any fight against the enemy!
Matthew 17:20– “…if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there, and you will see it move!
HELMET OF SALVATION
The helmet of salvation provides hope and protects the mind against anything that would disorient or destroy believers, such as discouragement or deceit. A helmet protects a soldier against damaging and deadly blows to the head. When the enemy uses his greatest weapon against you, your helmet of salvation will be what protects you!
Protection for the head means our minds need to be guarded. A thought seems innocent until it leads to action and ultimately sin.
Romans 12:2– “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you abut be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
Colossians 3:2– “Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.”
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
The Sword of the Spirit is the primary means of His delivering power in our lives. As we live by His Word, then the power of His Word is released within us. The Lord gives His Word to empower His people. If we aren’t meditating on His Word day and night, how will we know His heart, His plan of action for our lives? Being in tune with the Holy Spirit and meditating on scripture is our manual; it’s our book on everything we need to know for battle!
Joshua 1:8– “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Psalm 119:105– “Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.”
We not only have to put on the full armor of God every morning, but we should also take OFF all hindrances and fears first. Pray always and meditate on His Word. Remember that putting on our armor isn’t enough. We need to pull it out and be ready. The minute we became Christians, we enlisted in war – not of flesh, but of Spirit, and it is up to us to guard what God has given us and to walk in unity with those around us to fight the bigger enemy!