Monday, August 7, 2017

Armor of God Part One / Spiritual Warfare


I am excited to introduce a new series on the Armor of God.  Please join me in the upcoming weeks as we look at each piece of the armor, the history behind it, and what it means for the Christian.  If you stick with me, you might even learn about some secret weapons.

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The Battle:

Why do we need God’s armor in the first place?

Any parent will tell you the most used word in their kid’s vocabulary is the word “Why”.  When we as believers ask this question, sometimes we get an answer, sometimes we don’t.  In the case of spiritual armor, and why we need it, the answer is clear.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

For the believer, the battle is for their minds, for their witness, and for their ministry.  For the unbeliever, the battle is for their very soul.  The battle is real, and we are experiencing it minute by minute, every day.

The Enemy:

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1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I don’t want to focus on our enemy, but we can’t really talk about the battle until we know who our enemy is.  I want us to never take our eyes off of the One who has defeated Him, but also we need to keep our eyes open to what is happening around us so we can stand firm against him.

First, he is a defeated foe.  As we see in this passage, he has limits.  Yes he has power, but by using Jesus’ name, he can only go as far as God will allow him to go.  This says he is seeking someone to devour, but it does not say he is devouring them.  Take heart, he may be a lion, but he is a chained one, and God has given us the tools to walk in victory.

So what can he do? His goal, told to us by Jesus Himself in John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I believe part of him being a defeated foe means he can’t literally kill us, and so what he does, is try to kill our abundant life.  He tries to kill relationships, our joy, our will, and he tries to kill out testimony and ministry.  How does he do this?  By destroying things in our life.  He plays havoc with our minds, he casts doubt and fear into our lives, causing us to doubt our salvation and ourselves.  By using our human frailties, he tries to fracture every relationship.  He estranges children from their parents and destroys marriages.  He steals our peace with God, he robs our very joy and he steals our witness…if we let him.

I heard a good analogy recently, (I wish I could remember so I could give proper credit). It is that, like a chess game, it is possible to declare “check mate”, but still have moves left on the board.  It won’t change the outcome, but the game can still be played for a while.  That is how Satan is.  “Check mate” has been declared at the cross, but he is still moving his pieces around the board.  He will never change the fact that God has won.
Photo by Patty

The Attacks:

He does not play fair and will always attack us where we are the weakest.  I have suffered from migraine headaches for many years, and it seems like I get a headache at the exact time when I need to be healthy for ministry or something important.  I have never suffered from depression before, but in the last few years since I lost my husband and father, my grief has made me susceptible, and when I least expect it, I have severe bouts of depression.  These attacks were so great, that I really thought something was wrong with me.  For me, the way out has been through study, prayer and fasting.  I find I need to constantly put on, as well as keep my armor on daily.  For those who suffer clinical depression, this is real, please seek the help of a medical professional.

How do your attacks come? 

What is your biggest battle?

God has given us tools, the armor, to help us.  In the weeks to come, we will look at each piece. 

Next week:  The Belt of Truth.