By Timothy Johnson
Many Christians seem spiritually wounded. They want to do better in their Christian life, but for one reason or another, they believe they cannot. A wounded soldier on the battlefield, unable to fight back or reach their weapon, would be a physical example of this spiritual truth.
Just as in physical warfare, in spiritual warfare, the better trained and equipped, the better chance of survival and victory.
Ephesians 6 lists the armor Christians need for daily spiritual warfare.
Verse 10 tells us to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Notice the power for spiritual warfare comes from God. Many Christians are wounded spiritually because they try to fight the battle in their own strength. The components of fighting with God’s strength instead of our own appear throughout the armor. You will see them as we go through the passage.
V11, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” – Here is the purpose we need the armor – Satan has a strategy to make you ineffective for God – a wounded soldier, unable to rejoin the fight.
V12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Christians must realize we are in a spiritual battle against spiritual beings. Darkness has a hierarchy.
Daniel chapter ten reveals something about the spiritual warfare of prayer. Daniel prays for twenty-one days. God dispatches to answer Daniel’s prayer. A demon, whom the Scripture calls “the prince of the kingdom of Persia,” meets that angel and fights him to keep him from Daniel. Michael, the archangel, shows up. Together, the original angel and Micahel defeat the demon. The first angel then continues to answer Daniel’s prayer.
We must realize everything is a spiritual battle. On Sunday morning, when everything is going wrong – Suzie can’t find her shoes, Billy spills milk all over his only clean shirt, and the family is running late for church. Still, you need to stop and get gas. Why is all this happening? Demons do not want you to grow spiritually. They will get your mind a million miles away if they cannot get you absent from the pew. When life gets so busy we have no time for Bible study or prayer, the demons are winning a spiritual battle Christians usually do not realize they are fighting. Once again, a wounded soldier.
In Ephesians 6:13, God reemphasizes putting on the “whole armour.” A double warning indicates that God means business and that what He says is extra essential.
v14, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness:” – Truth in the Scripture is always a reference to either Jesus, the Scripture, or both (the two are interchangeable (John 1:1,14)). The loins are our most private parts. Christ and the Word of God should wrap our innermost thoughts and feelings. When our relationship with Christ is deep instead of only on the surface, we have greater protection against whatever Satan may throw at us.
Also mentioned in this verse is the breastplate of righteousness. I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement after an enlistment in the Army. Everywhere, we were trained to shoot center mass. Center mass is the area the breastplate would cover. This area of the body is the easiest to hit. It is large, and it does not move until other parts of the body move first. Spiritually speaking, this is where Satan has the easiest target to inflict damage. Our protection here is righteousness. In other words, getting you to sin is Satan’s most prominent and easiest way to inflict damage. Many Christians disregard the Word of God when it comes to certain sins. In doing this, they have taken off the breastplate of righteousness and thrown it on the ground. Our bulletproof vest will do absolutely no good if it is not worn.
Verse 15 speaks of our shoes. Our footwear is the “preparation of the gospel of peace.” An army moves on its feet. The Christian Army’s primary movement is getting the gospel out sharing the gospel with friends, relatives, and strangers. “Taking that hill” in Christian Army terms is converting a soul. As a physical army charges up a hill to plant the flag, the Christian Army charges up the hill by spreading the gospel until the objective is taken – a soul is saved. Christian, when was the last time you had your boots on?
v16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” – The Bible tells us that the justified shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). Living by faith is not believing in yourself. It is not even believing in God. After all, the devils believe in God (James 2:19). It is having faith in God’s Word enough to get you through this life. Each time Jesus was tempted, He responded with Scripture. The Bible tells us that hiding His Word in our heart will keep us from sinning (Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 119:11).
Verse seventeen lists the final two pieces of armor – the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
The helmet covers the head and protects against a death blow. Our salvation is eternal. Therefore, our salvation protects us against any death blow. Eternal life is ours.
Last but not least is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The Word is a defensive and an offensive weapon. Just as a soldier’s ability with a rifle could determine life or death, a Christian’s knowledge and use of the Word in life will clinch spiritual victory or defeat.
Christian, God has supplied you with everything you need to fight this spiritual battle we face. Is your armor on? Are you ready to suit up?
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.