Spiritual Warfare



Ephesians 6:10-18

Calling all Warriors!

   When we are younger and fresh out of school we set out to change the world. It is as we grow older that we realize that to change the world we have to start with ourselves. After all if you are a messed up man you will contribute to a messed up family, if you are a messed up man contributing to a messed up family then they will contribute to a messed up community and it continues; the messed up community will contribute to a messed up church then county then state then country and finally the world. So if you want to change the world then start with yourself.

   Now is the time to start before it is too late and that means starting with yourself, get right with God. Once you are right with God then make sure that your family gets right with God. There is a warning that goes with this, the adversary the devil will oppose you every step of the way. That is why it is so important to read the Bible every day so that God can speak to you through His word. We also need to be praying every day; God desires that open communication line with us. As I pray throughout the day I pray for the Father’s protection by praying on the whole armor of God.

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Ephesians 6:10-18

It is time to change the world, take a stand for Jesus Christ!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________

Ephesians 6:10

The Mighty Power of God!

   How can there be anything more powerful than the mighty power of God; the answer is that there can’t be. God the Creator of the universe has no equal. I do not care what you worship as God, God is God and there can be no other! We as Christians need to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might; be strong therefore, strong for service, strong for suffering, strong for fighting, strong in prayer; we need to spiritually strong. We can only be spiritually strong if we read our Bible every day and commune with God every day; we need to be praying often with all kinds of prayer every day and several times a day.

   Spiritual strength and courage are necessary for battle, the warrior has to be prepared or else his armor will provide him little protection. Man’s natural courage is cowardice, man’s natural strength is weakness; it is only through Jesus Christ that we can take a stand. It is through Jesus Christ and His sufficiency to provide for us that we have strength, that we have courage; through Jesus Christ we can stand firm in the faith and rely on the mighty power of God. This same power that created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

Matthew Henry puts it this way:

We should stir up ourselves to resist temptations in a reliance upon God’s all-sufficiency and the omnipotence of his might.

   We have to resist temptation, as man we shall fail often but through God and His mighty power we will succeed! We have to rely on God and God wants us to rely on Him. God desires that relationship with you; to be your Protector and your Provider and so much more. If you have God then you have all that you need because God can supply everything that we need, after all He created it.

   Today more than ever we as Christians need to take a stand for Jesus Christ and against all that He is against, like murder and adultery, and the ever spiraling morals of this world; we have to take a stand and expose false prophets and false religions and false Gods. It is time to take a stand for Jesus Christ with courage and without fear, the Bible says over 365 time “Do not Fear!” The Lord shall be with us as we take a stand for Him.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Ephesians 6:10

Stand up for Jesus Christ!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ___

Ephesians 6:11

Stand against the Devil!

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

 1 Peter 5:8

   Imagine yourself, a young Christian man working at your job, newly married, happily married and all of a sudden a very attractive young lady comes along and walks by you. As both of your eyes meet and all of a sudden your heart starts to race and you start having all kinds of lustful thoughts. You both exchange smiles as you say hello, and then realize that your wife is standing right beside you; boom there it is and you are in trouble, and not just with your wife, but with God as well. That is how the devil works, in subtle ways. Sometimes his schemes aren’t so subtle and you have to be aware and on guard for such. Maybe you take an extra paper clip home from work, who will ever notice? God notices, our God knows all and sees all things and nothing is hidden from the eyes of to whom we must give an account of. This Christians is how the devil works.

   The devil and his demons are constantly waging war against us and we may not even be aware of it. The devil and his demons are constantly devising plans against us to trap us and bring us back into sin. The devil has been around a very long time and has perfected his schemes to trap us. When we pray on the full Armor of God we prepare our defenses against the devil’s strategies. The visual to putting on armor would be that no part of us will be exposed to the enemy. God prepares the armor for us but we must put it on, lest we fall prey to the enemies’ attacks. The devil can be ruthless and relentless, the armor is a defense prepared for us to put on so that we might be able to stand against him. We must get and exercise all of the Christian graces and pray diligently for them.

   When we put on the Whole Armor of God we as Christians can hold out against him, and we can overcome all of the devil’s assaults against us; both of force and fraud, all the deceits he puts upon us, all the snares he lays for us,  We must pray on the armor of God each and every day, several times a day as the devil is just waiting for an opportunity to attack.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11

Trust in the Lord and in the power of His might!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ____

Ephesians 6:12-13

This is War!

   Christians today are so wrapped up in their feel good churches with their false sugar coated preachers that they have absolutely no idea of the war raging on around them. Most people today believe that they are in a righteous relationship with God simply because they prayed a sinner’s prayer and accepted Jesus into their hearts but they never went through the narrow gate of repentance. People think that they are Christian simply because they give God an hour every week on Sunday and they tithe regularly; they don’t read the bible everyday they don’t pray every day and it is difficult to differentiate them from those that are in the world. The same people praise Jesus on Sunday and use His name as a curse word on Monday.

   We wrestle not against flesh and blood; this tells us that we aren’t wrestling against a human nor do wrestle with our own corrupt nature, but we wrestle with the devil and his rank and file. The devil and his demons are many and they are vigorous in their pursuit of us. Our enemy is subtle and he has hundreds even thousands of ways to disrupt unstable souls, those without the faith and strength in the lord.

   The dark parts of this world is the seat of the devil’s throne; it is an empire of darkness as opposed to the kingdom of light in Jesus Christ. In the spirit realm the devil is an evil wicked spirit as are his minions; and our danger is that much greater because our enemy can’t be seen. These wicked spirits have a job to annoy us and provoke us into a state where as we become wicked in our spirit as well; examples would be such as pride, envy, malice and so on. Our enemies strive to prevent our ascent to heaven, to deprive us of heavenly blessings and to obstruct our communion with heaven. They assault us in the things that belong to our souls and labor to deface the heavenly image in our hearts; and therefore we have need to be upon our guard against them.

   We have need of faith in our Christian warfare, because we have spiritual enemies to wrestle with and fight against, we need to have faith in our Christian work as well, because then we will have spiritual strength to draw upon. Faith in Jesus Christ makes us more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:37). Faith in Jesus Christ will make null and void any weapon that rises up against us, and any tongue that rises against us in judgment (Isaiah 54:17).

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 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.

Ephesians 6:12-13

Stand up for Jesus Christ!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ___

Ephesians 6:14

Truth and Righteousness!

   The belt prepares one to be ready for action. Belts were used to tie up the garments so they would not get in the way while fighting. When you gird your waste with truth it is a call to be prepared. As Christians we must always be prepared and stand at the ready to defend ourselves against the powers of darkness so that we will not be caught unaware and off guard. In order to be prepared we must live a life of integrity as a person that is known as honest and trustworthy. Another part of being prepared is knowing the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and how to relate it to others; especially the reason why we believe in Him.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

1 Peter 3:15-16

   In Isaiah 59 the Lord puts on “righteousness as breastplate,” and He goes into battle against corruption and injustice, restoring peace and order to the land. God offers His own righteousness to every believer in Christ Jesus. Righteousness cannot come from doing your good works; it comes from having faith in Christ Jesus. When you put on the breastplate of righteousness it means:

  1. Believing in Jesus and His righteousness and not our own (Colossians 2:20-21).

  2. Standing firm against injustice and corruption (Hebrews 1:9).

  3. Knowing that God promises His protection against the forces of evil for those who believe in and have faith in Jesus (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

   It takes courage to do the right thing. To stand down would be cowardice, to stand aside would be compromise; it is time to take a stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Ephesians 6:14

Take a stand great men of God!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ___-

Ephesians 6:15

Peace!

   Even today marching is an essential part of the life of being a soldier; and you certainly can’t march far without a good pair of sturdy boots. In Isaiah 5:27-28 we discover that a broken shoe was a sign of weakness. The Roman soldiers had shoes that were thick leather and they were studded. The studded soles enabled the soldier to stand firm; they kept the soldier’s feet from slipping during their fight. The shoe with studs is needed for a soldier to maintain his position against his enemy. The studded shoes also enable a soldier to advance through an enemy’s strongholds without slipping.

   The Gospel of peace is the good news that we can have peace with God through Jesus Christ. Before we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we lived our lives for ourselves, we didn’t care about God’s plans for us. Although we were in conflict God loves us so much that He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him and can now live in peace.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 

   Peace can mean the absence of conflict among Christians; the Lord wants the believers to live in peace and unity with one another (1 Thessalonians 5:13). Peace can also mean the absence of worry; this peace is the confidence that we have in God and that He has everything under control (Philippians 4:6-7). The Lord teaches us in His word not to worry and not to fear and even promises us time and time again that He will be with us. One of my favorite verses that comes to mind here is what Jesus taught in the beatitudes:

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9

 

and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:15

The time is now to stand with Jesus Christ!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _____


Ephesians 6:16


The Shield of Faith!


   When you think of a soldiers shield you should automatically think of protection. The Roman soldier carried a shield that was four foot high and three foot wide. The shield was made from goat skin or calf skin and it stretched over pieces of sturdy wood; iron rims were fitted along the top and bottom edges, with an iron circle attached to the center of the shield. The boards curved inward and a leather strap was fastened to the shields back. Before engaging an enemy Roman soldiers would drench their shields with water. When the fiery arrows of the enemy struck these water drenched shields the flames were immediately quenched. When the soldiers put their shields together in formation it provided even more protection.


   The shield of faith is the Christian protection against temptation; whenever we trust in God to provide everything that we need then the spiritual forces of evil cannot tempt us with the lie that sin can provide a better life than God can.


For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


Ephesians 6:12


   In this manner all of the flaming arrows of the evil one; every distraction, every temptation and every trap that the devil can hurl at us can be stopped. When faced with authentic faith in God the powers of darkness are overcome. The apostle John wrote it thusly:


For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.


1 John 5:4


   He that is in us as Christians is greater than he that is in the world. Where is your faith, on your own ability, or on the one and only true God?


above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.


Ephesians 6:16


The end is near, prepare for battle!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __

Ephesians 6:17

Warrior Attire and Weapon!

   The helmet of salvation points to God’s ultimate victory over the forces of evil. Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection provides all believers with freedom from the bondage of sin, and eternal and with eternal life with God in Heaven.

   To put the helmet of salvation on means to…

  1. Look forward to being delivered into eternal life (John 3:16).

  2. Have assurance that Jesus has saved you, not because of works or good deeds, but because of His love and mercy (2 Timothy 1:9).

  3. Know that every believer is a “new creation,” and longer lives to their own selfish desires, but are living for the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17).

  4. Know that you are in a battle and will be persecuted for believing in Jesus Christ. We must keep the faith and we will be blessed (Matthew 5:11-12).

  5. Know that the Father will forgive us, His followers when we fail and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

   The only offensive weapon that is mentioned with the full armor of God is the sword of the Spirit; the other items mentioned are all for defense of the warrior, to protect the warrior against the enemy. The sword was designed in such a way as to defeat the enemy, his plan, and to rescue the lost.

   The “word of God” has the following meanings:

  • The Gospel, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to save us and give us an abundant life forever with the Lord who loves us.

  • The Bible; when Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil, Jesus used Bible verses to respond to him and the devil finally left Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).

    • Some key verses to remember when temptations come:

      • God will help you (Isaiah 41:10).

      • Serve God only (Matthew 4:10).

      • God will always be with you (Joshua 1:9).

      • God will help us when we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13).

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Now that we have our defenses in place it is time to sharpen the sword; we do this by reading the Bible every day and memorizing scripture so that we have it at the ready.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Ephesians 6:17

Sharpen your sword and be on guard the enemy is among us!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _____

Ephesians 6:18

Pray!

   In any battle there has to be good communications between the commander and his troops. The commander is Jesus Christ and we are His troops, His warriors. The most effective means of communication is with prayer. In prayer we can ask things and receive instruction, upon a simple request God can send legions of angels to protect us and minister to us, but we have to pray. In life in order for a family to survive as a family there has to be communication and prayer. Husband to wife, father or mother to children, there must be communication between all parts and when they get together for prayer then God is included in the communication. God can lead, direct, teach and even carry us.

   I have found that the friends that I have that seem to have their act together and can withstand the storms of life have an amazing prayer life. Those of my friends that seem to struggle have a weak prayer life. I know that I had to regiment myself to prayer, I actually had to work on it, but now it’s like God is right there with me and I can talk to Him. I pray several times a day now and often times my prayers are answered rather quickly; even if they aren’t the results of a strong prayer life have lead to many blessings.

   When I prepare for battle, going out to do open air preaching and witnessing there is 1 prayer that I pray and it is the same prayer that I pray several times a day and I encourage you to as well:

Father, I am ready to take my stand against the powers of darkness; please help me to stand up to the spiritual forces of evil that want to destroy me and my family. I place the belt of truth around my waste; help me to be a man of integrity, reliable and honest. Help me to preach the message of Jesus Christ in boldness and clarity. I put on the breastplate of righteousness; I know that I am far from perfect by Father I thank you that I may put on Your righteousness through my belief in your Son, Jesus Christ. I put on the sandals of peace and stand rooted against evil; help me to resist temptation and persons, places and situations where I might be tempted. Help me to live in peace with my family and other believers. I lift up the shield of faith; help me to hold that shield Father to quench the fiery darts from the evil; the darts of doubt, despair, hopelessness and frustration or anything else the enemy would fire at me. I place upon my head the helmet of salvation; help me to remember that no matter how bad life can get that Jesus has already conquered sin and death. I live with the assurance that one day I will live with you in heaven Father. I will use the sword of the Spirit, the word of God; thank you for your word and I ask that you help me tell other about Jesus. Father, I will stand against the powers o darkness. I will resist temptations and guard myself from vulnerable situations and I will pray persistently for my brothers and sister in Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Ephesians 6:18

It is time to gear up, the battle has begun!

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ______


Ephesians 6:10-18


The Whole Armor of God


   As Christians today more than ever we have to be on guard against the schemes of the devil who lurks about seeking to devour some.


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


1 Peter 5:8


   Today more than ever Christians all over the world are being persecuted, we are facing temptation after temptation; and who among us can say they haven’t gone through trials and tribulation. The devil will use whatever he can to trap us, and he has been at this a mighty long time. Today we face false accusations of a sexual or sinful nature, we face financial distress, and we face medical issues of all kinds. The devil will use anything in his arsenal to trap us into sin. One of the devils mightiest is tools is frustration; frustration at work, in the marriage, in the home and even in health and financial matters. Friends there is a battle going on all around us and we need to defend ourselves, and protect ourselves.


   In Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians he addresses this battle and the issue of protecting ourselves. Some will tell you that as Christians we need to pray on the Whole Armor of God every day; I tell you that as a Christian you need to pray on the full Armor of God several times a day. We as Christians need to stand firm in our faith and we need to encourage one another; we need to exhort one another and we need to pray on the Whole Armor of God!


10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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.


14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—


Ephesians 6:10-18


I have read the final chapter, Jesus wins!