Thursday, 1 August 2019

The Armour of God

Scripture: Ephesians 6 v 10-12: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12  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."

The reason God gave this spiritual armour to us is to provide us with protection against a foe we cannot see.  If we never see him coming at us we lose the battle at the first flurry of punches.  The problem is that we do not understand that we are not dealing with  material, fleshly people but an army of spirit beings whose agenda is to kill, maim or destroy us.

They want to steal, hurt, deceive and compromise us, and they have a full arsenal of tricky manoeuvres that cause us sleepless nights.  They torment us and play with our feelings, knowing we lack the ability to respond.

This changes when we are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.  We are given gifts that open our eyes to all the Devil has and its a lot less than we thought it was.  All he has left is lies, deceit, bluff and a very persuasive ability to con us.  However, God has given us a very wonderful armour that gives us the edge over our permanent enemy.

This armour consists of the girdle, or belt, of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; shoes of the gospel of peace; the shield of Faith; tell helmet of salvation; the sword of the Spirit i.e. the Word of God.

This means that every major problem we encounter seemingly on the  human level, is actually a wrestling match against the rulers of darkness of this world - Satan and his demons, who have ruled over human beings since the Garden of Eden.  We are not wrestling against human beings but against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Many millions of people have no idea about this reality. Their bitter family feuds; ugly divorces; history of miscarriages; inherited illnesses etc are seen as unavoidable human conditions.  Tragedies like rape, murder, loss through scams or theft; car accidents;  wars; atrocities; addictions; abortion; sexual sins; and most other conditions that SEEM to be controlled by humans can be placed at the feet of the mastermind of Satan.  If they knew Jesus and His victory over the Devil it would solve many problems for them.

When we put on the armour we start with the girdle of truth.  We know the truth.  We know what is attacking us is a demon we cannot see, but the truth is that we have total authority over it.  We must act on this truth because Jesus is Truth.  We must spoil the lying, ugly, words in our head that we are helpless.  We must fight the good fight.  We must stand for truth and quote scripture and declare the power of Jesus.

One of my favourite verses that brings things to a standstill is Isaiah 54 v 17: 
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."

No weapon aimed at me can succeed.  Brilliant.  This gives me confidence that Jesus has sabotaged the enemies weapons.  If its a war of words in a classroom, courtroom or bedroom, the girdle of truth in this verse kills it.   

So start with this in the next argument that comes your way.  Know that it is inspired by a hidden foe who is planting false words in your opponent.  Call on the name of Jesus to bind every false, lying, jealous word aimed at you and watch your opponent lose face, backtrack, do damage control, and stop.  It is so satisfying to have an Advocate on call at any moment and Who does not have billable hours.

1 John 2 v 1: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"  He is our Advocate who takes our place before the Father and m makes intercession for us.  He also helps fight every other battle and stops arguments when needed.

We need to put on the helmet of salvation which protects our minds from in hidden thoughts that tempt us to sin or trouble us with suggestions like suicide, self harm or bring nightmares.  These are the wiles of the devil to rob us of peace.

Don't forget the breastplate of righteousness that protects your heart from the fiery darts of compromise, following false doctrines or false teachers who twist the words of the Bible out of shape.

Zechariah 5 v 3 - 4: "Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.  4  I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof."  Comfort yourselves with these words those who follow the Lamb.

Our God will deal with the wolves in sheep's clothing whether they are involved in corruption in government or business.  Steer clear of those muddy waters or you will find yourself swimming with sharks.  Jesus says move away from things that are dishonest, have no dealings with darkness.

God gave all humans a free will to choose whether we would serve Him or not.  If you choose not to serve Almighty God and His Son Jesus, but some other god or be an atheist, you are in the midst of Satan’s kingdom and under his control.  He uses the unsaved souls in his sadistic mind games aimed at all those who are in the Kingdom of God.  This is why we need to put on this armour and never remove it.  It protects the born again saints from falling into error.

The strongest infallible truth is the Holy Bible.  Read it daily and do what it says to do.  It is the sword of the Spirit which Jesus demonstrated when He fasted forty days  He used scripture to defeat Satan. Matthew 4 v 1 - 11 contains all Jesus used from the Word of God to confound him.

The helmet of salvation also protects our minds from bad thoughts, evil imaginations, sexual fantasies and mental diseases.  You are in control of your mind and need to exercise that control.  You can let a bird land on your head but prevent it making a nest in your hair.  Chase those thoughts away.

We must always put on the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace.  This means that wherever we go we should be ready to share the truth about Jesus.  The Lord goes before us and prepares the hearts and minds of those who need Him.  Many you meet will immediately object, but like in doing a salespitch in business, objections are just a strategy to get more information.  So give more information about all that has changed in your life, and some of those blessings are going to tick boxes in the empty heart of the one you are telling.   

When you speak about Jesus He will talk about you to His Father.  If we deny Him, He will deny us.  He mirrors how we treat Him, and how we treat all who follow Him.  If we want protection, protect and love those who are born again.  Then His protection comes automatically.  Whenever you want something from Him, give first.

Luke 6 v 35 - 38: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

You can never do more than He returns to you.  What you surrender to Him brings you a hundred fold return.  You cannot get a better investment than that.  Together with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the whole armour of God, we will always be victorious, and our enemy will slink off back into darkness where he will have easier prey.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have covered every angle the enemy can use against us, and it is up to us to use all Your provision to live an abundant life in Your kingdom.  Thanks for this spiritual armour that protects us.  Lord help us to keep it on by being obedient to Your Word.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.