It's a Battle
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.”
Life is a battlefield. Whether you can see it or not, spiritual warfare is raging all around you. These days, the attacks of the enemy are just growing stronger and are occurring with greater frequency. The good news is, (spoiler alert!!!) I have read the back of the book and Jesus wins! The bad news is, even though the final outcome is certain, the battles continue and casualties still happen. However, God is faithful and will never leave you unprotected. In fact, He has given you His armor…the very armor Jesus used when He walked this earth. The trick is learning what each item means and how to use it; but the battle is fought and won on our knees because JESUS is our victory.
It is essential for us to know not only what we are up against, but how to effectively fight the one who wants to destroy us. If that sounds a little melodramatic, then wrap your mind around this: Satan has made counterfeits of everything God ever made. He has done this to instill doubt in our minds about the Truth of God’s Kingdom. Just like little girls have an innate desire to be princesses because that is their true reality in Heaven, we long to experience the miraculous in our own lives, but we tend to be skeptical of sensational accounts we hear about miracles and spiritual battles. If all we know of the “supernatural” is that those events are frequently tricks and sleights of hand, then this “battle” in the spirit realm can’t be real, right? But it is very real; the Bible confirms it.
The six pieces of God’s Armor are the Shoes of Peace, the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sword of the Spirit, the Shield of Faith, and the Helmet of Salvation. When used together, these will protect you from the attacks of the enemy. But you must pray each day to put on that protection, just like you would put on physical armor before stepping out onto a battlefield. I can tell you from many years of personal experience, even though it may sound strange, it works…really and truly, it does. Here is how:
As you pray, step into the Shoes of God’s Peace so you are well-grounded with a peaceful heart. Filled with God’s peace, you can stand against any attack. When you are unshakeable in the knowledge that God loves you and cares about what happens to you, and that He is capable of handling all of your concerns, you will remain peaceful, even as the battle rages around you.
Buckle on the Belt of Truth, remaining honest in every word, thought, attitude, and action. Do not intentionally engage in lies of omission or commission, and bring every thought captive to God. In addition, stand in faith that, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus has given you all of the power and authority that God gave Him while He lived and ministered on this earth.
Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, confessing that it is only through the cleansing blood of Jesus’s Salvation that you are made clean. Through righteous living, the Accuser will have no grounds for bringing accusations against you. You can face any challenge knowing you have nothing to be ashamed of through the grace of Jesus Christ. You may have fallen hard in the past, but that is no longer who you are, and it is not how God sees you.
Take up the Sword of the Spirit - the Bible, God’s Holy Word - knowing that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness He used scriptures as His only offensive weapon against the attacks of Satan. The Bible is all we need to fend off the attacks of the enemy. Commit as much scripture to memory as possible. The enemy cannot argue with scripture, but he will try to trick you by misquoting it. He even tried that against Jesus in the wilderness.
Hold up the Shield of Faith to extinguish every fiery arrow of doubt, confusion or chaos. As doubts assail and chaos threatens your peace, reaffirm your belief that God is real, He loves you, and is on your side. Rest assured knowing that He wants only what is best for you, regardless of what happens. As you reaffirm your belief and trust in Him, praise Him out loud for being your sufficiency, and the enemy’s arsenal becomes ineffective in the face of God’s Truth, love, mercy, and grace.
Over all of this, put on the Helmet of Salvation which is the Blood of Jesus that covers you. When you are covered in the Blood of Jesus, all the enemy can see is Jesus when he looks at you. It does not mean temptations won’t come - even Jesus was tempted - but when they do come, you will have all of the protection you need to immediately take the avenue of escape that God’s Word promises he will always provide. Any hesitation can be a fatal mistake when dealing with temptation, so it is best to recognize the areas where you are weak and make up your mind before temptation comes that you will run away as fast as you can, calling out to Jesus the whole way until you reach safety. Temptation is lethal and can be disguised as something weak or innocent, but God will warn your spirit, and as soon as you feel that warning, remove yourself and pray until the temptation passes.
The most important - and most often overlooked - weapon is PRAYER. Pray every day; pray without ceasing. When negative thoughts, moods, doubts, temptations, or confusion just won’t go away no matter what you do, if you don’t know what to pray for, then ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you and start praising Jesus out loud…the enemy cannot withstand the name of Jesus. “Jesus, I love you! Jesus, thank you for loving me! Jesus, fill my mind with your thoughts, my heart with your desires, and my mouth with your words!” Pray out loud! At the spoken name of Jesus, every enemy will flee, every knee must bend, every head must bow, and every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! He, alone, is worthy of praise, honor, glory, and power; he, alone, deserves your faith and your service, because he, alone, can protect and save you from every temptation and pitfall.
If you find yourself in a crisis of belief, ask God to show you the TRUTH of who Jesus really is, and ask for His help as you pray: Jesus, I want to know the Truth about you. Tear down every stronghold of unbelief in my life and replace every lie with Your Truth. Help me to know who you are and what you have done for me. Forgive my unbelief and help me open my heart to know You and receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for not ever giving up on me. I ask this in Your name, amen.
Prayer: Father, thank you for loving us and equipping us to live in this world where the enemy continually threatens us. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your salvation and the protection it brings us; please strengthen us for this fight. When the battle rages around us, help us to stand strong, empowered by your Holy Spirit, and equipped with your Truth. Forgive us of our sins, cover us with the blood of Jesus, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and arm us with the full armor of God. Fill our minds with Your truth, our hearts with Your desires, and our mouths with Your words so that we will be the mouth, hands and feet of Jesus within our sphere of influence. And, finally, fill our hearts with Your joy and love because we know Your joy is our strength, and there is nothing in Heaven or earth that can stand against Your all-powerful love. We love You and praise You because, through Your sacrifice, You have already won this war. We ask all of this in the almighty name of Jesus Christ, amen.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
"Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” Luke 10:18-20
“’Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.” James 2:19
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10