Living in this fallen world so filled with troubles, heartache and problematic people, can cause even we Christians to not be careful and fight against the very people we are here to help, instead of battling the enemies we are supposed to be dealing with.
We can also forget that the weapons we use against him, and the others, are not the weapons of this world but are the weapons of the heavenly kingdom.
Some of the scriptures we need to remember and rely upon are as follows:
II Corinthians 10:4-5 (KJV)
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Ephesians 6:13-18 (NIV)
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.
(NIV 2010) 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.
The weapons of our warfare are:
Take the helmet of salvation -
We have to put on the helmet of salvation that Christ gave us and never take it off, our armor never comes off and it may be that some of us need to realize that. Sometimes we as Christians can act as though the armor only goes on only when we need it for battle, but if you wait to put it on then, it will be too late and you will find yourself under serious attack.
Satan loves to work against Christians about their salvation, getting them to doubt it and worry with fear that they are even saved. He will use our faults, failures and sins against us and get us to weigh them against it.
That not only weakens us to his attacks, but it causes us to not have the faith in God we need to in using our other weapons to stand against him with, and many of God's children have been seriously hurt and worse.
When you put on the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation in faith, you do so by the simple fact that you put your faith and trust in Him and His shed blood, in the sacrifice He gave for you. You didn't receive salvation because of anything you did, and you are not kept by faith according to anything you can do. We belong to Him, and to the kingdom of God, because He has done it all for us and because He says so.
It is never determined by how spiritual we are, or are not, by how well we do or don't do anything, it is not measured by our faults, failures or victories. It is all because of what He did because we couldn't, and He has given everything to us because he chose to without condition.
If you belong to the Lord through true conversion, having put your faith in Jesus Christ and His dying on the cross for you and your sins, cleansed by the working of His spirit, then you have the helmet of salvation upon you. Keep it firmly in place, and whenever you have doubts about your salvation; check yourself to see what the enemy is up to as he is lying in your ear.
One of the times when that can be a real problem is when we sin. If you sin after you have believed, Satan will be right there to get you to doubt yourself, doubt your position with the Lord and doubt your salvation. And it can seem perfectly natural, and true, as you have sinned against God. You will of course feel guilty, and have shame, but remember that Jesus loved you and died for you. He died for you when you didn't even know Him, when you were dead to Him and filled with sin, and were an enemy His enemy and yet He still died for you and did it gladly.
So how is it that once we actually do belong to the Lord, are hid in God with Christ and have God's favor, do we feel that He would reject us so fast? It is because we have a dirty, evil enemy that lies to us, and because we have not set our helmet of salvation firmly on our head.
Our helmet covers our head, which covers our mind, and that is the one and only place that the devil can attack us. He works over time against our minds, planting thoughts and working to get us to take those thoughts and make them our own. He and the other fallen angels ,now known as demons, work overtime to corrupt our thinking as it is the only real way of hurting us and getting us into trouble.
People are not aware of how that works, and sadly too many in the church aren't aware enough either, but that is the battleground of our warfare. We need to protect ourselves from the attacks by keeping our minds stayed on the Lord and on the things of the kingdom, and we need to know and living according to His word.
Understanding that there is nothing, and no one, that can separate you from the love of God, from the salvation you have from Him and from the peace He gives you, even when we do wrong, will keep us in the love of God and keep us strong in the battle.
The hardest time will often be when we sin, but if we will just go to the Lord, and ask for forgiveness, which He has promised He gives freely to all who ask Him, we will take away the only roadblock that Satan has to work against us with. If we will remember that if He does that for the sinners of the world, then how much more for those of us who already know and love Him, but only fail from time to time.
We have to keep things in proper perspective, and that comes by knowing who we are, what we have in Him and what He says about it all. We also have to remember that the devil is a liar and the father of lies.
The breastplate of righteousness in place -
Again, this piece of armor has been given to you. It has already been put on you by the Lord, and there is nothing for you to do but wear it with faith and gratefulness. It is not your righteousness you are covered with, it is His righteousness that you are covered with. He has given you His armor to wear and it covers you perfectly and will withstand anything that comes against it.
You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness with confidence and understanding. The scripture says to put on, or "take unto you," meaning to embrace it and wear it with understanding of what it is you have.
The breastplate covers your most inner parts, your heart, and all that pertains to your life and health. You have your place in God because of Christ's righteousness and as long as you wear His, and don't try to wear your own, somehow thinking and trying to live according to your own righteousness, you will be fine. We know that we have none of our own, that our righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God, and so we who know Christ don't try to live according to our own and so we stand behind His and are safe and secure.
The belt of truth buckled around your waist -
The belt of truth keeps us tightly held together, it hold everything in place. If we try to live in lies or error, not only will we fall into sin, but we will also get deceived and we will become unraveled. Keep the belt of truth tightly bound around you and you will be strong and safe in the truth of life, loosen it and you will find that all of your armor is out of place and you are standing there somewhat naked.
Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace -
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Your feet carry you throughout your life. They are very important and they need to be shod, fitted with the readiness to bring the good news of the gospel to people, they also need to be fitted with peace as that is how you are to bring the wonderful good news of the kingdom.
We are to live in peace with God, walk in peace in this world and toward all people. We must also stand strong in this world as we deal with the enemy, so our feet need to be firmly fixed on the foundation of the kingdom of God and all that pertains to it.
Take up the shield of faith - with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one -
This is of course a very important part of your armor and yet so many times we as God's people can forget that we even need it. I remember as a younger Christian I came under a serious attack. I didn't know what to do as the attack on my mind was relentless and it wouldn't stop.
I finally went into my bedroom, laid on the bed and literally covered my head with my hands. I could actually see an onslaught of fiery darts coming at me from all over the place, but the shielding I was doing with my hands and arms couldn't stop them and they just kept hitting me.
It was then that the Lord spoke to me and said, "Ellen, where is your shield?" I thought for a moment and answered, "It's on the floor." He then said, "Pick it up." And when I reached over and picked it up, I began to get relief. The higher I raised it up, the more fiery darts it blocked, until when I had lifted it all the way up to protect me they had stopped completely and the attack was over.
I learned a valuable lesson that day that I must never forget. We all know that everything we have in God and that we get from Him comes by faith, but our warfare is by faith too and it is our very shield of faith that protects us from the attacks of the enemy.
If we put our guard down, our shield of faith down, we will get hit with all kinds of fiery darts and can be overwhelmed. The protection of our faith is paramount to us and we must wear it as a shield.
If you find yourself under attack, and do not know what happened, or what to do, look for your shield and see if you have left it on the floor! If so, just pick it up and watch it work. There is safety and wisdom in hiding behind your shield, so use it proudly, confidently and especially in the midst of a battle .
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God -
For the word of God is living 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.
The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
"You first need to know that you have a might weapon, it is the most powerful of weapons. It is the sword of the Lord that you have to protect yourself with and carrying it with you and using it will keep you strong. It is a mighty sword, with all the power and ability you will ever need to wax valiantly and defeat all enemies.
This part of your armor is used both offensive and defensive to you.
As you hide God's word in your heart and meditate on it, you strengthen yourself and build a barrier of protection around yourself.
It is living and sharper than any other weapon. It speaks to you personally, cutting and dividing your soul and spirit, uprooting things that should not be there and plantings things that should.
It works in your life causing you to change what needs to be changed, it expands your capacity to know, understand and comprehend who you are in Him thereby causing you to become more like Jesus,
It will do all of the work for you, doing all you need it to, and will teach and show you just how strong you are.
As a defensive weapon it will not only reveal and defeat your enemies, and do it every time and in every way that you need it to, piercing to the heart and stopping them in their tracks, but it will work in and to people in the same way that it does for you.
It will pierce, cut and divide their soul and spirit, doing the work of a master surgeon and bringing them the truth they need in their lives. It will be used to cut down deep, revealing their deepest thoughts and intents, and making known to them the things they need to see so that if they are willing they can be set free from them.
As we learn the Word of God, then use it wisely, we will see how it does its own work. We just need to speak it out in faith and confidence, and with an understanding that it is alive and powerful, and it will do what is needed in each and every situation.
You won't always be able to see the results, especially in someone else's heart and life as some things take time, but it will have hit its mark and done it's job. Leave the full results to the Lord, and to His word, as He will still be working long after you have moved on.
be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people -
Prayer of course is the most important part of our life in God, and our life in the midst of this world as well. It is also the most important thing in relation to other people. God's people are not only needy; theyare under attack and are at all different levels and places in their understanding and ability. We need to pray and hold each other up daily so that they are strengthened land protected like we know we need to be.
It is also our most important tool and weapon against all of our enemies.
Praying in the Holy Spirit isn't just to strengthen and build us up, as true and important as that is, it is also a tool of warfare against satan and the others. When you are under an attack, especially a serious direct attack, pray in the Holy Spirit, in you're pray language and allow the Holy Spirit to stand with you against you enemies.
He will help you as you pray to ward off, defend or even to oppose the principalities and powers in the heavenly realm that are trying to destroy you, and He will help you to do in the spirit, what is needed to defeat them.
There is intersession, and then there is intersession!
There is battling your enemies and then there is war in the heavenlies. The angels battle Satan and the others true, they do it in a hand to hand type of combat that we cannot and do not need to do.
But, scripture says that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, we are not to fight people, but it is against the principalities and powers, against the rules in the heavenly realm, the fallen angels that Jesus cast out of heaven. They are what is behind all this evil, they are the ones who are working to cause so much trouble and who fight against us, and He has given us His authority over them.
But, we need to work with Him, with His word and with the Holy Spirit to battle in the heavenly realm so that we get the victory and they get nothing!
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
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.
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests -
Jesus taught us not only in His word by instruction, but by His example what this means. He prayed over His food and prayed blessings on the people. He prayed for the disciples and for us who would come later. He prayed in the wilderness when He was all alone and when loneliness could have overtaken Him. He prayed in the garden at the most agonizing time of His life and on the cross at His weakest moment.
Look to and trust the Holy Spirit to be your help in need and in prayer. Jesus said He would be there for you and He meant it. Learn to yield to the Holy Spirit, resting in God's presence, and He will bring you, make known to you and give to you what you need at that very moment in time.
You can always pray, and you can do so for any and all reasons. We all need to utilize that instead of allowing all of our time and attention, to be spent or wasted on other things.
If it was that important for Jesus to do all the time, so much so that He arose before dawn to spend time with the Father. If He found it necessary to go and get alone to pray, to yield to and relied upon the Holy Spirit and to pay the price to pray in the worst of times, so must we.
Written by Ellen L. Burgoyne 3/1/2011
© used by permission only!