The apostle Paul wrote a beautiful letter to the Ephesian church and encouraged them in many areas of their faith. In what we know as chapter six of that letter, Paul begins to talk about the whole armor of God, a concept foreign to most of us 21st century Christians. Here’s what he says in Ephesians 6:10-13 NLT, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”
What a powerful scripture! We are told three things from this passage - you are in a battle, your battle is not against people and finally, you need to learn to fight properly.
I think most of us have problems in all three areas. First off, we don’t realize we are in a spiritual battle. We think it’s just life, circumstances, or lack of luck. We also blame people, flesh, and blood, instead of acknowledging a spiritual world that’s set against us as Christians. Finally, most of us don’t know how to fight properly. So, what should we do?
Step one is to awaken to the spiritual battle. Know that if you are a Christian, the enemy of the cross, the devil is your enemy also. He will not be on your side, and he will always be trying to defeat you. John 10:10 NLT, states, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” No matter how disingenuous the devil may appear, his goal is always the defeat and the disgrace of the children of God.
Step two in the battle is to acknowledge that people are not the enemy. It’s so easy to fight with the person standing in front of you. To understand the spiritual forces behind what that person is saying and doing will enable you to move past the person to the real enemy. The strife, hatred and arguments between people are always spiritually motivated. While all we see are the people, we must open our eyes to the real, unseen forces trying to bring hurt and defeat to our lives.
Step three is to learn how to fight properly. I love the movie, “War Room.” It clearly defines the need to fight effectively, using prayer and the word of God. It also emphasizes that we are not fighting against people, and it challenges us to wake up to the authentic battles in our life.
Learning to fight properly requires putting on every piece of God’s armor as stated in Ephesians 6:13 it is not enough to put on part of our God provided armor – we need it all! Too many of us dress like bikini Christians, covering specific areas but leaving most of our life exposed to the attack of the enemy. Every day we need to suit up spiritually with the whole armor of God so we can move forward in victory, protected against all the fiery darts of the enemy.
What is the whole armor of God? Ephesians 6:14-18 NLT gives us this list of what to wear. “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Spiritual warfare is serious business and it’s not to be done by bikini Christians. Victory comes to the fully dressed, fully prepared child of God. Your armor has been bought and paid for in full by the sacrifice of Calvary. Daily by the power of the Holy Spirit it is cleaned, repaired and ready for you to wear. Don’t leave it in your spiritual closet. Don’t be a defeated bikini Christian.
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