Our topic is the armor of God. A very important part of being prepared spiritually for the “End Times” is being dressed in and utilizing the whole armor of God for Satan will be extremely powerful and even more deceptive because he knows that his time is short. Therefore, it is necessary to lay a foundation in Jesus Christ so that we can engage the enemy. Without a firm foundation it would not only be futile but disastrous. Let me remind you of the story of when some Jews attempted to drive out an evil spirit in the name of Jesus that turned nearly fatal. “One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are ye?’ And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded” (Acts 19:15-16). So before we go any further, it is absolutely essential that you know that you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus. It may be necessary to reevaluate your theology on which you hang your belief to ensure that you have properly laid a foundation on which to stand firm. You might be asking why I must engage the enemy. It is apparent from scripture that he is already engaging you and if you do not learn how to stand firm against him then you will live a defeated life. You will suffer the consequences. Clearly Satan’s mission is to destroy the church and to convince you that you have no need of it; that you are quite capable of standing alone on your own spiritual journey.
Friends, this is a lie of the devil because once he separates you from the church then his mission is to cause chaos in your life and to attack you at every weak point. You will soon discover that it is Satan or his henchmen that can cause doubt, confusion, anxiety, depression, fear, and temptation to sin. It is he that can bring forth evil thoughts, such as thoughts of suicide, or cast you into a bed of sickness. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Furthermore, Satan can use structures, traditions, and institutions in the world for his evil purposes. This has become quite evident throughout history that traditions and evil institutions have caused spiritual bondage, slavery, and mass murder. It is clear from Romans 13 that the social, political, judicial, and economic structures were meant to be a minister of God to keep lawlessness and all manner of evil in check. Therefore, God’s holy children were advised to be subject to those in authority. Yet by the time we get to Revelation 13 it is evident that these same institutions have become demonic while the state has become an ally of the devil. Because of this we must keep reminding our self that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers that are behind much of what we see in our world today. For the most part, they have been taken captive to do the will of Satan to wreck havoc in the world. It is up to the church as God’s new society to question the standards and values of contemporary society, challenge them, and demonstrate a viable alternative. At the same time, we must continue to bring our fight to the real enemy that stands behind the evil in our world who is manipulating and using those in power to accomplish his purpose.
Obviously we cannot stand on our own strength. We are very small and insignificant in our struggle against one so powerful, so why are we called to join the battle? Evidently the first reason is we are being attacked, which should give us reason enough to throw ourselves completely into the fray. Secondly, we are members of God’s holy church and fellow citizens of the Kingdom that’s under siege by Satan himself. To stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow brothers and sisters in our struggle against the enemy will not only bring relief to ourselves but will help deliver those caught in the snare of the devil. It will put the enemy to flight as God’s Kingdom steadily advances to every corner of our world. This is not a fight that you can ignore. If you do, it will leave you as a wobbly Christian with no stability, having no foothold in Christ making you an easy prey for the devil. It will also put you in constant danger of being indoctrinated with the many false doctrines and heresies sweeping our planet. It’s time to join the battle and take your stand.
So how do we stand against such a powerful enemy? The Bible says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). When we are faced with such a monumental task of waging war against Satan himself, then we need to take stock of whatever resources we have at our disposal. The battle belongs to the Lord. It is initially His battle from the beginning long before man was ever created. God has used His people to defeat the devil down through the ages, giving them great power and strength seen as miraculous. Jesus Christ withstood all of the devil’s temptations and went on to defeat him on the Cross of Calvary. There is great power in the Godhead to bring the devil to his ultimate destruction. This mighty power created the universe, condemned the world in the time of Noah, brought down kingdoms, and raised the dead. It’s this power that’s available for engaging the enemy. We access this power in Christ to strengthen the inner man with determination and courage necessary for spiritual warfare.
It must be reminded that any attempt to stand in our strength will end in failure. We have no sufficient strength of our own. Our natural courage is as perfect cowardice, and our natural strength as perfect weakness, but all our sufficiency is of God. As we learn total dependence on God, by not trusting in our own strength, then we are ready to put on the whole of armor of God. Let it be said here that picking and choosing which piece of armor we wish to put on will not do and will never allow us to stand firm. It will be essential to put on every piece of armor. The Bible says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). To stand firm against his assaults, you will use multiple pieces of the armor at the same time. For example, if you are struggling with evil thoughts put into your mind by Satan, then you could use simultaneously the breastplate of righteousness by walking in righteousness before the Lord, guarding your eyes and ears by focusing your mind onto the holiness of God and all that is pure. You would raise up the shield of faith to remove any doubt thrown at you by the devil and to believe God’s promise that you will not be tempted beyond what you can handle. You would take up the sword of the Spirit to rebuke the devil by quoting an appropriate scripture from God’s Holy Word. Finally you would bend your knee in all prayer to ask for God’s grace to stand firm against the devils attack. So you see, it is not just one piece of armor that comes into play but many of the pieces working together to help you repel the evil thought instigated by the devil. Although it is clear that the devil can instigate the thought in your mind, you have the power from God to rebuke the thought and replace it with something very beautiful.
A thorough knowledge of the enemy and a healthy respect for his ability are a necessary preliminary to victory in war. Similarly, if we underestimate our spiritual enemy, we shall see no need for God’s armor; we shall go out to the battle unarmed with no weapons but our own puny strength, and we shall be quickly and shamefully defeated. The devil can cause many problems for the Christian. So let me encourage you visit our website over the next eight weeks as we look into each piece of the Christian armor and how to effectively use it against a most powerful enemy.
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