Friday, April 07, 2006

Have you prepared for battle? Putting on the full armor of God.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

God tells us to put on the full armor of God in Ephesians 6. We are told to do this so we may defeat the devil and stand against his temptations and schemes. Again, God has given us the tools we need to win the battle, to say no to temptation, and to have victory over sin and the devil. However, many Christians do not accept these tools of God and therefore do not prepare for the battle. Many Christians think they have no role or responsibility in preparing for the battle. They think the armor of God can be put on instantly in the middle of a spiritual battle by just the snap of a finger or saying a prayer. God is telling us to put on the full armor of God now so that in the future when evil comes we will be ready and able to stand. It does not say to wait until we are in the middle of the battle and ask God to cover us with a magical force field. Rather, it says that “after we have done everything”, meaning prepared ourselves with the armor, “to stand”. So what are the battle tools God has provided and how do we prepare?

1. Belt of Truth, 2. Breastplate of Righteousness, 3. Gospel of Peace, 4. Shield of Faith, 5. Helmet of Salvation. 6. Sword of the Spirit: this is the word of God.

Every component of the armor of God is important, however, I am going to focus on two pieces: the breastplate of righteousness and the sword of the spirit.

The Breastplate of Righteousness: God has called us to live righteous lives in obedience to his commands and has given us His grace to overcome sin in our lives. We are to be dead to sin. Living a righteous life in Jesus Christ through the grace of God is our breastplate of righteousness mentioned in Ephesians 6. This is not something you just throw on in the middle of a battle. This is a lifestyle of obedience to God and a life free from sin.

The Sword of the Spirit: You must know his word, know what it says, and know how to apply it. This is the one tool in the armor of God that allows you to not only defend, but to also go on the offensive against the enemy. Jesus used the word of God to fight the devil when he was tempted in the desert. However, if you don’t have his word written on your heart and imprinted in your mind (memorized), you will find yourself without this critical part of the armor of God. The devil won’t allow you to call a time-out in the middle of his attack so you can go get your bible and search for a verse to throw at him.

Prepare your weapons now or when the battle arrives you will end up wearing armor that is equivalent to that plastic childrens suit of armor you can buy at the toy store.

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