Arizona police officers were dismayed to discover that their bulletproof vests were defective. Now it's a full-blown scandal.
Christians are engaged in spiritual warfare against a powerful enemy. "You're going to face a powerful, invisible enemy every day-the Devil. …Put on your body armor and be prepared to fight him and his demonic hosts. Put on every piece of your battle dress" (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Paul lists seven pieces of equipment every Christian should wear to win this spiritual battle:
"Stand…having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always. . . ." (verses 14-18)
The Combat Harness
The Christian's combat harness is truth. Paul said, Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.... Jesus said, "I am the...truth"(John 14:6). Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to destroy. He's a liar, deceiver, serpent, the accuser of the brethren. Whatever he says to us is a distortion.
The Bulletproof Vest
Our "shield of righteousness" is the Christian's bulletproof vest. Be honest, upright, authentic, and full of integrity. The little sins we tolerate represent dangerous "holes" in our bulletproof vests. You can be sure that sooner or later, Satan will aim right at that spot.
The Tactical Duty Boots
Wear the shoes of the Gospel of Peace. As the right boots protect our soles, the peace of the Gospel protects our souls. The Good News of Christ brings composure to our lives, putting hard leather between us and the jagged stones of fear and doubt.
That's why the Bible constantly tells us, "Do not fret… do not fear… do not let your hearts be troubled… do not be anxious… don't be discouraged."
The Riot Shield
Trust God and keep going when everything falls apart: ". . . above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."
Wear the "helmet of salvation. Possess the mind of Christ. Think as Jesus thinks, equipping yourself with the wisdom of God.
Our battle will be won or lost in the realm of ideas. We read in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:"the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
Are you increasingly letting the Holy Spirit give you His wisdom as you read the Word of God and pray?
The Assault Rifle
The "sword of the Spirit" is our assault rifle. Until now, all the armor has been defensive. Now we come to our offensive weapon-the Word of God.
In Matthew 4, Jesus confronted Satan with three simple words: "It is written. . . ." And then He quoted passages from Deuteronomy to defeat Satan.
Think of areas in which you know Satan will tempt you, find some Bible verses relating to those areas, write them out on little cards, and put them where you see them often. Memorize them. Learn them by heart, and be ready to use them when the Enemy confronts you.
Paul says, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."
Praying always… all prayer… all perseverance… for all the saints. Our prayer lives should be strong, consistent, and sincere. The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective (James 5:16 NIV).
God intends us to be "more than conquerors," but we have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Be dressed for battle, keep your armor on, and when it's all over but the shouting, you'll still be on your feet.
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005