For the Christian, life is now an all-out battle. If we believe anything different, we’re just fooling ourselves.
The stakes are high. In fact they’re as high as they can get. This invisible enemy has brought an oppression to humanity that only the armor of God can defend against, and only the blood of Christ can destroy.
You might be thinking that this is crazy talk. With entertainment that’s permeated our culture–such as Ghost Whisperer and paranormal reality TV that’s hokey at best, you might be tempted to confuse fact as fiction. After all, hasn’t modern science brought us out of the dark ages of ghosts and demons? That stuff is all just folk lore right? No, not at all. In fact the Bible is very clear about our enemy, his tactics, and what it will take for us to defend against his attacks.
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.
This passage reminds me of an awesome hymn text that accurately describes the reality of this battle.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
Battle Armor On
We can’t go through life ignoring this battle. If we are to have any part in reflecting a true and accurate picture of Christ, we must put on the armor of Christ and defend ourselves against our unseen enemy.
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. –Eph. 6:11
Luther was right. If winning the battle depended on us and our human strength, we would certainly fail. But we’re called to put on the armor of God. Let’s suit up by looking at a breakdown of Ephesians 6:14-18.
The Belt of Truth
Don’t believe Satan’s lies, and don’t dwell on things that are not true. This will only lead to doubt, and potentially bitterness and anger.
The Body Armor of God’s Righteousness
From a practical standpoint, we are not righteous. But truly, if you are a believer, Christ has made you righteous before a holy God by his own blood. No one–not even Satan–has the power to take that from you.
Shoes of Peace
This is a peace that comes from the Good News (or the Gospel). This peace will come as we preach the gospel to ourselves daily.
Shield of Faith
I’m pretty sure that putting on the first three will put you in a good place to lift your shied of increased faith. And when you’re lacking faith, don’t be afraid to ask for more. Christ’s disciples did!
Helmet of Salvation
Your head (mind) is the most vulnerable point of attack. Make sure you wear your helmet! In other words, continue to pursue a fuller understanding of your salvation through Christ.
Sword of the Spirit
This is my favorite. Finally…enough with the defensive gear. I need a weapon! The sword of the Spirit IS the Word of God. Know your Bible. Know the promises of God. Know how Christ expects you to live out your faith. Know how to biblically resolve conflicts. Know how to deal with your past. Know your salvation. Your Bible is your sword.
The Final word on Spiritual Warfare
Paul gives some final, and important counsel on putting on God’s armor.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” –Eph. 6:18
Make sure you’re taking spiritual warfare seriously in your Christian walk. Satan would love to discourage you, distract you, and ultimately destroy any testimony you might have for Christ. Let’s put on the armor of God and kick some demon tail!