#God #spiritual #warfare #armor #Christian
There can be no doubt about it, there is a war going on, and each one of us is fighting it whether we want to actively fight or not. The moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb you enter without knowing into spiritual warfare, and to fight it you need to gird yourself with the whole armor of God.
What is spiritual warfare? Spiritual warfare is a war that happens in the spiritual realm, but its effects (or manifestations) are seen in the physically realm. It is not a war that can be fought with physical weapons, but at the same time the physical realm affects the spiritual realm and the spiritual realm affects the physical realm. Without the whole armor of God we will not be able stand against Satan and his servants when fighting spiritual warfare.
The apostle Paul realizing the intensity of this spiritual warfare that each one of us has to fight, Christians and non-Christians, while in prison and after observing the Roman soldiers wrote to the Ephesian church encouraging them to, “..be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”- Ephesians 6:10-11Our spiritual armor protects and reinforces the Christian as he or she engages in spiritual warfare”. If we should wear our spiritual armor “we will be able to effectively wage an offensive campaign against the forces of evil.” We will also be lacking nothing and the enemy will not be able to attack us, and if he does he will lose.
The wiles of the devil refer to tactics, plans, methods or strategies employ by the enemy to accomplish his purpose which is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Paul paints a picture of the enemy as a very cunning or subtle strategist who does not always shows his true colors or what he is trying to do. This is how he was able to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible in the book of Genesis 3:1 says “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast in the field…” What the enemy did in the Garden of Eden was to work through an animal that has his nature to come to Eve as he could not come to Eve as Lucifer as Eve would have immediately rebuked him.
And the devil hasn’t changed his true colors or how he operates. Paul understood how the enemy operates and so he tells the Ephesian church that our fight is not against each other, but it is “against principles, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”-Ephesians 6: 12.
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Just like a soldier would not go to battle without first putting on his armor so as to protect himself from the assaults of the enemy, for us to come out victorious we must put on the whole armor of God.
What is the whole armor of God?
I must agree with Mary Baxter in her book “A Divine Revelation of Spiritual Warfare” when she says our “spiritual armor protects and reinforces the Christian as he or she engages in spiritual warfare”. If we should wear our spiritual armor “we will be able to effectively wage an offensive campaign against the forces of evil.” We will also be lacking nothing and the enemy will not be able to attack us, and if he does he will lose.
The spiritual armor outline in the Bible is both offensive and defensive.
Offensive and Defensive Armor
The Belt of Truth
The apostle Paul encourages the Ephesians brethren that they should have their loins girt about with truth. Truth comes about by reading and applying the word of God to our life. It is the truth of God that will help us to stand strong against the lies and tactics of the enemy. Not only that, but if we walk in truth then the enemy will not have anything to use against us- we must live a life of integrity.
In ancient time, the belt was the first thing a soldier would put on before he would put on any other piece of armor. The belt around his/her waist served as a place to put the scabbard or sheath that held the sword. The belt was also useful for tucking in loose clothing that may be used by the enemy to get a grip of the soldier. The belt was also used by travelers who would tuck their robes or clothing in the belt so as to free their legs for unhindered movement.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate worn by a soldier can be liken to a bulletproof vest worn by army personnel and police officers in today’s society. The Roman breastplate was a sleeveless vest-like piece of flexible metal plate that stretched from the shoulder to the hip. It was backed with a piece of tough cowhide. The breastplate is use to protect the soldier from attacks to the chest- and thus protects the lungs and the heart.
The breastplate protects our vital organs from arrows, spear or even from a sword. As the breastplate protects our body, so does righteousness-integrity, and purity protects our heart from being contaminated by the enemy. Additionally, the heart is the center of our physically lives, without it we will die; so it is with our spiritual heart. Our heart is what gives us the motivation, desires and interest for the things of God. If we should allow our heart to be damage then we will lose the motivation, desires or strength to do the things of God.
When we put on the breastplate of righteousness we will not walk in our righteousness and we will realize our own limitations and depend on God to justify us. Not only that but we will not lose the motivation or interest for the things of God.
Feet Shod With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
In ancient time, protection of the feet consisted of two parts:
- Sandals that covers the foot and is fitted with nails or spikes that makes the shoes firm on the ground
- Greaves that were fitted to the legs and designed to defend them against attacks
The shoes helped the soldiers in their march and helped them also to stand firm in the day of conflict. As children of God we have to ensure that our feet are covered with proper footwear. The shoes will help us to stand firm against the enemy in spiritual warfare. With the shoes, we can step on the head of the enemy and live a victorious life. When we are wearing this piece of armor we will be able to deal effectively with everything the enemy throws at us and come out rejoicing in the victory that comes by being a part of the army of God.
Shield of Faith
The shield of a Roman soldier was several feet in height and was carried with one hand. The shield would protect the soldier from flaming arrows and from the enemy’s sword. The shield was long enough to protect the soldier entire body. The shield was smoothly polished so that the arrows or darts would glance off or rebound.
Similarly, the Shield of Faith will protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy and other assaults of the enemy. For example, when the enemy throws his darts of doubts, darts of accusations and belittlement, our faith in the word of God that we have been forgiven and our sins have been washed away by the Blood of Jesus, that we are the head and not the tale etc, will give us the victory over the enemy. For us to live a victorious life we must live a life of faith because “it is impossible to please God..”-Hebrews 11:6. We must learn to take God at his word and not allow the enemy to release his poison in our spirit.
Helmet of Salvation
The helmet was a cap made of thick leather or brass and was used to guard the head from blows by sword, battle-axe, or war club. If a soldier should enter the battlefield with the thought that he and his team will lose the battle, then he has already lost the battle. Similarly, without the hope of salvation then we will be like men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15: 19) and will not be able to stand against the enemy. We are able to stand against the enemy because we have the assurance from God that he will fight our battles and he will never leave us alone (Romans 12:19; Hebrews 13:5).
The helmet also represents a new and transforms mind or way of thinking. The helmet will block the blows of the enemy when he tries to attack our mind with insecurity, condemnation, lust and other sinful thoughts. An undisciplined mind makes a Christian an easy prey to the enemy. A Christian that always wears his helmet will live a victorious life because he/she will not accept or listen to the deceptive thoughts of the enemy.
The head is the most important part of the human body as if the head is not functioning properly then the rest of the body will also not be able to function effectively. One stroke to the head may prove fatal.
The Sword of the Spirit
Without a sword no soldier would consider himself to be well armed for battle, or prepare to face the enemy as he knows he will be defeated. Likewise without the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we will not be able to face the enemy and defeat him as it is the word that will keep us. In fact, all the other pieces of the armor hang on the word of God. For example, how can you have faith when you do not know the word of God? Or how will you guard your mind if you do not know the word of God, for example when the enemy attacks your mind you need the word of God to defeat him.
The sword is the only defensive and offensive weapon as we use it to attack the enemy, but also as a defense against the blows or darts of the enemy. Just like in ancient time the sword was the main weapon of warfare; similarly, the word of God is the primary weapon we use to defend and attack the enemy.
A soldier would spend many years learning to use the sword effectively as it had a double-edged blade and was designed for close-quarter, one and one fight. For us to defeat the enemy in spiritual warfare we must study the word of God diligently.
For us to come out victorious against the enemy, we must put on the whole armor of God. We cannot afford to let any piece of the armor of God be missing as that’s the area the enemy will attack us.
God has given us what we need to defeat the enemy, therefore if we are defeated by the enemy it is not because God has not given you the armor to stand and to fight.
What are your views on spiritual warfare and the armor of God?