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Dressed For the Battle

When praying the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” It might be clearer if we pray “deliver us from the evil one.” And the best way to be delivered is by being prepared.

 Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-18 that we must put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We wrestle not with “flesh and blood, but against principalities…against spiritual wickedness.” The faithful Christian life is a battle; it is warfare on a grand scale – because when we begin to serve God, and He begins to bless and use us, Satan begins to attack.

This is not a suggestion. Paul tells us twice to put on the whole armor of God and he tells us 4 times to STAND. This is not something we are to put on and take off. We are to be continually putting it on.

God will deliver us, but He does expect us to take on part of the responsibility by being prepared. But note – there’s no armor for the backside – so don’t even think about running away!

So, how do we do this? I like to do it during my prayer time in the mornings and while it might be easier to remember if we put it on from the top to bottom (and I used to do this) I now believe there is a reason it is listed the way it is. This is actually the order that we would get dressed. So, we can actually say,

“Lord, in Jesus’ name, I put on your whole Armor.”

As I put on my belt of Truth –

“I thank you Lord. I know who I am and Whose I am in Christ.” (I must know this before anything else matters!)

Next, as I put on my breastplate of Righteousness –

“Lord, protect my heart, and my emotions, lest I respond emotionally.”

Then, as I put on my shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

“Lord, may I always walk in the will of God, being prepared and able to stand against anything Satan may throw at me.”

As I pick up my Shield of Faith –

“Lord, I know that You alone are sufficient to protect me.”

As I put on my helmet of Salvation –

“Lord, protect my mind and my thinking today. May my logic be Your logic.”

As I pick up my Sword of the Spirit –

“Lord, arm me with the Sword, which belongs to the Holy Spirit within me. This is the defensive and offensive Word of God (which is sharper than any two-edged sword) and is needed internally as well as externally. Lord, please cut away anything that doesn’t need to be in my life. And Lord, help me to sharpen and polish my Sword every day, because if I do not know the Word, then I have a dull and dirty Sword. Thank You for this Armor.

In Jesus name, Amen.”

 

As we wear the Armor of God, we are to be “praying always…with all perseverance.”

And having done all, to …STAND!

 

Oh… and don’t forget your “underwear”!

Colossians 3:12-14 (shared here from The Message)

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

 

For further study:

Biblical References for the Armor of God

Knowing that Paul was imprisoned at the time of this writing, most people naturally presume that he drew his imagery from the Roman soldier to whom he was chained. And while that may have sparked his memory, there are numerous Old Testament passages of scripture that describe the “spiritual armor” and Paul himself uses several examples of spiritual warfare. A few are listed here.

References to Spiritual Warfare

I Timothy 1:18     II Timothy 2:3-4      II Thessalonians 2:9

II Corinthians 6:7    II Corinthians 10:3-4

I Peter 5:8       Revelation 12:17

 

Spiritual Armor

(as listed from top to bottom)

(also see Romans 13:12)

  • Helmet of Salvation: Isaiah 59:17; I Thessalonians 5:8
  • Breast Plate of Righteousness: Isaiah 59:17; I Thessalonians 5:8; II Corinthians 6:7
  • Belt of Truth: Isaiah 11:5; Isaiah 22:21
  • Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace: Isaiah 52:7;
  • Shield of Faith: Genesis 15:1; II Samuel 1:21; II Samuel 22:3; 36; Proverbs 30:5; Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalms 3:3; 5:12; 28:7; 84:9; 91:4; 115:9-11;
  • Sword of the Spirit: Isaiah 49:2; Hebrews 4:12; Rev. 1:16

Christ is the Armor

  • Helmet of Salvation: Acts 4:12; Luke 1:69
  • Breast Plate of Righteousness: Matthew 3:15; I Corinthians 1:30
  • Belt of Truth: John 1:14; 8:32; 14:6; Ephesians 4:21
  • Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace: John 14:27; John 16:33
  • Shield of Faith (or Door*): John 10:7;9; 1 John 5:4-5
  • Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God): Isaiah 49:2; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; 16

 

*In Greek, this word for Shield describes a large “door-like” shield, and is closely related to the word for Door

 

May God bless you in your studies and as you put on the Whole Armor of God!

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Our Pastor’s sermon Sunday on the battle with the adversary reminded me of an intense battle I had a few years ago. It came upon me as I was driving home from town, and was so intense that I had to get off the interstate and pull into a gas station.

The following was written in a Weigle’s parking lot.

 

(Theologically speaking, I know that Satan is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient. He cannot be “everywhere” at once nor does he know everything. He is not God. He is not “a” god. 

But, that aside, when we’re tempted, or struggle with our inner doubts we always attribute it to “the devil.”  That is the spirit in which this was written.)

 

 

Hot Stuff                                               

“Ain’t you hot stuff!?”

            Satan said to me the other day

“Ain’t you hot stuff

                        you just pra-aaay

                                                and pray…”

 

“And you read your Bible.”

            He said with a sneer.

“And when God speaks,

            you’re all ready to hear.

                                    (oooh, I’m afraid…”)

 

“With those who seek,

            and those who’ve sought

you’re all ready to share

            what you’ve been taught.

 

Yeah, you’re hot stuff.”

            He said rolling his eyes.

“But what of your fears

                        don’t you realize

             that I’ve got you

                        right where I want you.”

 

“Leave and be gone!”

            I said, shaking my fist.

You accuser,

            You betrayer,

                        I could go down the list.

 

Your names describe you

            I only need turn

To that Book you derided

            And there I will learn

                        your methods,

                                    your weapons,

                                                your tactics,

                                                            and what’s more,

I already know

            what God has in store,

                        for you;

                                    you’re through!

 

SO LEAVE!!!”

                        And he did

            “until a more opportune time…”                

 

 

Written © September 24, 2003

 

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