Armed for Battle 2

Last week, I focused on the first three pieces of the armor of God from Ephesians 6. Now I want to complete our study of what we are putting on. It is so important to put on the full armor of God. Many Christians fail to put on all the armor of God and in doing that they are weak and the spiritual enemy is able to attack them. This is why we must put on the full armor of God as instructed in Ephesians.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For 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. 13 Therefore 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Last week we looked at how each of the first three are relatable to more personal aspects of life. The belt of truth is the truth about our identity in Christ; the breastplate of Righteousness is the righteousness that is from Jesus Christ and covers our feelings; and the shoes of the readiness of the Gospel of Peace is how we can walk in the journey God has set before us. If you haven’t seen that blog check it out here.

Now we need to focus on the last three parts of the armor of God and what it means to put them on in the spiritual battle against the forces of evil raging around us.

Last time we focused on Matthew 4:1-11 to see the example of Jesus using the armor of God when He faced a spiritual battle. Today I want to point to this same account of Jesus “putting on the Full armor of God.”

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:1-11

1. Shield of Faith

The Shield of Faith is simply your faith or belief. Faith is the shield that protects us from the lies of the spiritual enemy. Jesus in the account in Matthew 4 has His spiritual shield of faith ready for the battle. The amazing thing is not what is seen, but what is unseen in the example of Jesus standing firm in His faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Jesus was able to shield Himself from the schemes of the enemy because His faith in in God and His purpose was grounded on the truth that He had. Jesus did not waver when the devil said, “If you are the Son of God.” He knew that He was the Son of God.

When the enemy attempts to target our identity it is the shield of faith that allows you to protect your identity in Christ. All the pieces of the armor of God work together. Strengthening each other for the battle we are fighting. The shield of faith is the part of the armor that is the first line of defense when the Spiritual Forces begin to attack. Every part of the armor must be present in order for you to thrive and win the battle, but the shield strengths the other parts.

17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:17

Just before the encournter in the wilderness; Jesus was baptized and the sky opened up and a voice from Heaven said,

“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:17

Jesus was able to be confident in what He did not see and His faith was strong, in part, because He heard the message; “You are my Son, I am well pleased.” Jesus’ identity and journey were confident because He heard the message.

When you hear the message your faith is strengthened!

This is why the community of Believers is so important. When we gather together we are able to hear and proclaim the message of Jesus Christ and strengthen or equip the shield of faith in our lives.

2. Helmet of Salvation

The helmet of Salvation is the protection we get from the shed blood of Jesus on the cross for salvation, but it also helps to protect your mind and your thoughts. This is one of the most important parts of the armor of God, but remember they all work together. So if think just this one is good enough; you are mistaken.

The reason for this is our battle is not physical. Your mind and thoughts is most often the battle ground. The place where you MUST stand your ground. If the enemy wins your thoughts; you will the rest of the armor will not help you. This is why in 2 Corinthians Paul again is talking about this battle.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Every thought must be taken captive to determine if it is Holy and Pleasing to God or from the enemy who is not of this world.

When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness; He was not tempted in the wilderness, but in His thoughts. The second temptation the devil used Scripture to confuse His thoughts. When we are firmly grounded in Christ with the whole armor on we will not be tricked by misuse of Scripture or lies that are toward our understanding and thoughts. We must take every thought captive and test them. Then the final temptation focused on giving Jesus an easier to “save the world.” The thought of the pain was not nice, but it was necessary for true salvation. Jesus kept His mind in check.

In order for us to put on the helmet of salvation to protect our thoughts we must

  1. Receive salvation through Jesus Christ
  2. Learn the heart of God (reading the Bible, Worshiping, Praying, Being in Christian Community)
  3. Being able to evaluate our thoughts (does this line up with God’s heart)

Use Philippians 4:8-9 as your measuring tool…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

Are these thoughts

  • True?
  • Noble?
  • Right?
  • Pure?
  • Lovely?
  • Admirable?
  • Excellent or praiseworthy?

When you evaluate your thoughts and find them to line up with Scripture you will have “the God of peace” with you. Your thoughts will become peaceful knowing your thoughts are captive in obedience to Christ.

3. Sword of the Spirit

The last piece of the armor is also very important, but unlike all the others it is the only part for fighting back. The sword of the Spirit are your values found in the Word of God. These are those things you base all of your decisions on. Your values give you the counter to the enemies schemes. This is the exciting one. Jesus displays this powerfully in EVERY tempt the devil tried. The word of God cuts through the lies to find the truth.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The word of God, will allow you to fight back. In all of the temptations Jesus was able to stand because He was wearing the full armor of God, but Jesus was able to finish with the sword of the Spirit.

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:8-11

In all three Jesus said, “For it is written,” but the last one proved to the devil that He was not falling to the temptations; “after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then.” Jesus had stood His ground for the first two then He used the final blow with the sword and it cause the devil to leave.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

When our values are firmly planted in the Word of God we will be able to resist the devil. The rest of the armor of God allows you to “you have done everything to stand.” We can stand in defense of the lies and tricks of the spiritual forces, but the sword gives us the power to make them leave! In the Spiritual battle, we will always fall if we do not take up the sword to make them leave. When you have determined those thoughts and feelings do not line up with the Word of God; you can use the sword to push back.

Do not allow the spiritual forces of evil to continue; because if you do…you WILL FALL!

Follow Jesus, but knowing how to use the sword to fight the enemy. You are able to do this by reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture every day!

Jesus was able to counter each temptation with “IT IS WRITTEN.” We too must use Scripture to counter each temptation. Do not loose heart or hope in the battle; know there is an end. The Spiritual Enemy did not leave Jesus after the first, “it is written.” Be strong in the Lord and keep standing. Use your sword EVERY time!

Put on the Full Armor of God; so that you will be able to stand in the day of evil. When you miss something you become weak in the battle, because they all work together.

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