There are days we feel the battle’s intensity and there are days we are unaware that we are in a battle or maybe some place in between. The battle began when we turned our back on the prince of the air and sin. We had spent our days following the enemy but Jesus rescued us by his grace!
There’s a battle being waged in how we think, how we respond, and how we feel. Some days it seems much easier not to pray. My mind is distracted with everything. I oversleep sometimes and the pressure of the tasks for the day beckon my attention. Even the days when I succeed in prayer, I must begin quickly or something else will have my attention.
Occasionally, I awake with a headache and I cannot even endure the slightest of sunlight and most fragrances only intensify the pain. If it’s not that it’s backpain or some other physical ailment. I could go on and on about these but you know as well as I do how many different things can happen in a week.
All that I have mentioned only complicates the issues. But sin harms us in many ways and we do not even recognize it. In chapter 4, Paul said this: (Eph. 4:26-27) Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil…..(Eph. 4:30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Sin affects our capacity to think biblically and live godly. It makes us foolish and gullible. Thank goodness, God gave us the gift of the church.
This passage about the armor of God, is written to the church. It is “plural” throughout. Yeah…you might take it individually but we are meant to do this together. The truth is we are weak but God is strong. We need to be strengthened in the Lord to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Just how strong is the strength of the Lord? How mighty is he? I think Paul describes it well in Ephesians 1:19-20 “…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.” Mighty enough to raise the dead! And that is the power with which we are strengthened.
How do I stand against him? Do not ascribe to the world’s mantra that if it feels good do it, if sounds good go for it, and if it makes you happy it must be right. We have been given the armor of God THAT we might be able to stand AGAINST him. In Christ, the devil can now be resisted. You no longer follow him around. You are no longer his toy or project. You are Christ’s! Stand against temptation.
How do I use this armor? Let’s read the text again.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance…(Eph. 6:11-18)
- Know the truth (having fastened on the belt of truth)
- the belt…the truth holds everything together
- Remember that you have a right legal standing before God in Christ and now do what is right before Him (having put on the breatplate of righteousness
- the breastplate guards your heart
- Go in the peace of the gospel (having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace)
- the gospel of peace has prepared your path
- Trust the Lord (take up the shield of faith)
- the enemy wants you to think that you must be happy now in your current circumstances and that is all that matters but God says to trust me and one day your trials will be over
- Think what is true (take the helmet of salvation)
- guard your mind by knowing the salvation of the Lord
- Stand on the promises of God’s word (take the sword of the Spirit)
- speak the Spirit inspired word of God to yourself and to the enemy
- praying at all times in the Spirit
- This may be the most neglected weapon available to us. Prayer seems to be a waste of time. Couldn’t I be doing something more productive than bowing my head and praying? No.
KEEP ALERT WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE!
The reason this armor is so effective is because it is God’s armor. Satan cannot fight against him. The battle has been won in Christ. Now, he makes war on the saints. Our armor, our protection, is God’s armor. The very thing that does not allow the enemy to fight against him. God is holy. The devil has no weapon in which to battle with God.
Dear saint, bruised and wounded…struggling and doubting…ashamed and broken…don’t give in to the lie that you have gone too far. God loves you. He is gracious and merciful. Do not be deceived by the Liar who is crafty. Come to Jesus.
Let this song be your prayer…