It’s obvious that we’re in a battle. As Believers, we’re on Jesus’ team and our enemy is the evil one, Satan. Not many of us have to be convinced of this. We have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) and we have a God who is in us (the Holy Spirit) and is more powerful than the enemy. (1 John 4:4) With all this said, HOW do we fight the battle?
We put on our armor.
I’ve recognized a pattern lately. Many wise, Jesus-Loving prayer warriors have told me to daily put on the armor of God. None of them know each other (as far as I’m concerned) and they live in different cities, states, countries, and even continents. Thus, I conclude the Holy Spirit has given each of them this revelation individually.
I want to be faithful to listen to those who have paved a way before me. These saints have been faithful to pray and cultivate intimacy with God. I love their wisdom and I want to follow their advice. Because of this, I’ve been intentional lately about making it a habit to put on the armor of God on a daily basis. I try to remember to pray this protection over myself every morning, and on the days I forget, I pray this during the day when I remember. I am aiming to make it a life long habit.
My prayer usually goes something like this:
Lord, I thank-you for the spiritual armor You’ve given me. I put on the Helmet of Salvation, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, the Breastplate of Righteousness, and the Shield of Faith, which defends me from the arrows of our enemy. I put on the Belt of Truth and I pick up my Sword of the Spirit.
You can make up your own prayer, do it your own way, and seek the Lord on how He will instruct you to put on your armor. If you want to start by using the prayer above, go for it!
It’s not meant to be a legalistic act, but for me it is helpful to remember that I am protected by God (Psalm 91) and that He has me pray things, say things, sing things, and do things in order that I can acknowledge His perfect Leadership. I want to stay under His perfect Leadership in everything I do.
Fortunately, we have a God who is a strategic, mighty warrior. (Psalm 45:3-5) He has a sword, He is mighty, and He rides out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness. This is an encouragement to me, because I know God is a good Leader and I can follow Him and be on the winning team. What other life event have you been in where you know how the story turns out before you begin? It’s great to know you’re on the winning team and that your Leader is more powerful than any other person, being, force, or belief in the universe.
Because He is a good Leader and He is strategic, He gives us insight. I’ve gained practical wisdom from applying Ephesians 6 to every day life.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Ephesians 6:10-18a
- God gives us strength and a way to fight.Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10
This makes me think – there’s a way to be strong in the Lord. He wants us to operate in the strength of His might. It’s not by our might but by HIS might that He wants us to operate. There’s strength in depending on the Lord. It’s somewhat of a paradigm shift according to the culture of our thinking, but leaning on the Lord strengthens us. It’s not because we’re leaning (depending on someone else) that we are strengthened; it’s who we are leaning on that makes us strong. We lean on the Lord to gain strength.
- When we have all the armor, we’re equipped for battle. There’s a reason the Lord gives us armor. He knows we’re in a war.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
The Lord did not leave us out to dry. He didn’t just put us in the middle of a battleground and say, “fight for yourselves”. He gave us armor. He gave us protection. He told us to put it on.
When we are young, our parents help us get dressed and they even pick out our clothes for us and they tie our shoes (or they use those spiffy Velcro straps). When we are old enough, though, we start to pick out our own clothes. We dress ourselves. I think a sign of maturity for a Believer is to put on what the Lord tells them to put on. Listening to the voice of the Lord and equipping ourselves for battle is wisdom. It is always wise to obey the Lord.
The Lord is very strategic in advising us. He tells us things for a reason. I love that the Lord tells me WHY to put on the armor. Telling me to do something is one thing. When the instruction is from the Lord, I need to obey, no questions asked. Telling me to do something and explaining WHY is even better, though. That means the Lord wants me to understand the PURPOSE behind what He is telling me to do. It’s not just something to obey. It’s a concept to understand. I need both the knowledge (understanding) and wisdom to put it into practical application.
He says that the purpose behind the armor is to be able to stand against the schemes of the enemy. To me, this is encouraging, purposeful, and incredibly effective. It makes me want to obey the Lord even more, because He has great thought and purpose behind what He is telling us to do. It’s for our good that we obey Him.
- We are in a spiritual war.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Though some of us may not always be aware, we are in a spiritual war. We do not war against flesh and blood. We war against authorities that we may or may not see. There are real, live angels that are our enemy and are following Satan. There are spiritual forces of evil that want to steal, kill, and destroy and they attempt to do this in the world we live in.
This is something to recognize and acknowledge but not fear. Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) Jesus was raised from the dead, seated at the right hand of the Father in Heavenly places and is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion. He’s above every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21) All authority in Heaven and earth has been given to Him. (Matthew 28:18) We need not fear the enemy; in fact, we need to be in awe of God!
Being in awe of God actually frees us up. It frees us from fear of the enemy. It means we only need to be aware of the enemy – not scared. Being in awe of God also frees us from petty things. We get to really be who He has called us to be – ministers of reconciliation instead of creators of destruction. We get to reconcile instead of destroy. We get to bless people instead of making them our enemy. We get the freedom to worship Jesus, which is warring against our enemy and we get to love our enemies, which means they can’t use fear tactics (because love conquers fear).
What’s really exciting is that we get to stop making enemies of people who are not enemies. It’s a funny example, but might hit too close to home.
Your neighbor – the one who doesn’t pick up his dog’s “special gardening nutrients” in your front yard and who refuses to pick up his leaves – he is not your enemy. That is not war. That is a relationship that is sanctifying you. (God is hilarious in doing this by the way. It’s most helpful to find humor in these situations when it’s not harming anyone.) “That guy” who cut you off on the interstate is not your enemy. He’s a guy, created in the image of the Father, who might be late to work or who might just have a lead foot. Either way, he’s not your enemy. Did he do something wrong? Yes, but God is his judge, you are not, and he is not your enemy.
If you’re going to fight, fight the enemy – not someone who God has destined for glory. If you’re going to fight, fight well according to how the Lord has told you to fight. Put on your armor, direct your worship and praise to the Lord, and let Jesus be your Just Judge and the Just Judge of your enemy. This is His role. Let Him fulfill it. You fulfill your role and let Him fulfill His role.
There is power in letting God fulfill His role and you partnering with God to be who He created you to be. This is something the Lord has been teaching me lately. It’s a longer thought process for another time, but the two questions He’s given me which I will pass on to you to ask the Lord are the following:
1. Lord, what is Your role?
2. Lord, what is my role?
I pray this blesses you and that the Lord continues to give you more insight than what is written here. Amen!
Shalom and bless you all!