Today, I am going to teach you in the art of warfare. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but it is against the demonic spirits that rule the earth. You cannot use conventional weapons against spiritual beings. God tells us how to conduct spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-20.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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 saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
First, let’s start with the head. Why is your head important? Because you head contains the mind, and whoever rules the mind, rules your life. That is why the Bible commands us to bring all thoughts into submission to Christ. Put off the evil and filthy thoughts that fill the unbelievers’ thoughts: thoughts of greed, lust, pride, self-righteousness, humanism, envy, selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, sloth, power, etc. Instead, you are to fill your mind with those thoughts that are godly, love, patience, humility, kindness, giving, self-control, gentleness, joy, peace, faith, etc.
The reason why it says to put on the helmet of salvation is because if you are not certain of your salvation, you will be always afraid, unsure, and attacked by the devil through condemnation. He will ask you if you really think you are saved and a true Christian, after you failed and sinned, again. Then, you will always be depressed, unsure of your salvation, and always weak, because you will not do the Lord’s work. You need to believe by faith in Christ’s grace and forgiveness, which is greater than any sin you can commit. No sin can separate you from the love of God. All sins were dealt with on the cross by Christ: your past sins, your present sins, and your future sins. The only thing now is that the enemy can take away your work and witnessing for Christ, because he cannot take away your soul. That is why he starts by attacking your mind as to whether you are really saved or not. That is why it is important to start by putting on the helmet of salvation. You can fight without an arm or leg, but if the enemy hits your head, you will fall down and remain down. Only when you put on the assurance of your salvation, can you start sharing the gospel to others, helping others, giving for God’s work, encouraging others, teaching others, admonishing and exhorting others, sympathizing with others.
Next, you need the breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart. If you don’t live a righteous life, then your heart will be attacked by the enemy. You will always feel guilty, feel you are unworthy, will feel as a hypocrite, will feel down, and the enemy will remind you of your alcoholism or fornication or adultery or greed or pride or stealing. You need to have the Lord purify and sanctify your life, so that you are holy as He is holy. You may fail a lot of times, but what the Lord wants is for you to keep pursuing His holiness, as you are now His child, and a witness of His righteousness.
Next, you need to put on the belt of truth. The ancient Roman soldier would roll up his garments and tuck it into his belt to avoid stumbling on his robe. The belt houses your sword of the Word and Spirit. If you do not speak and live truthfully, your witness for Christ is ineffective. You need to know the Truth in the Bible in order to teach it. You cannot be stumbling to explain the Truth and Bible, by having to pull up your pants every time. You cannot fight without the belt of the Truth. You will be very embarrassed when you have to fight with one hand pulling up your pants. Always have your belt on, for you may not know when you’ll have to fight.
Likewise, you need to have your shoes on, shod with the gospel of peace. Without movement, you will be defenseless. If you cannot move, you cannot fight. Soldiers often don’t take off their shoes, because they don’t want to be caught off guard. You must be ready to go anywhere, to share the gospel of peace. Be available and ready when the Lord calls, and obey His calling. It may be sharing the gospel message to a friend or family or waitress. If you are not sharing the gospel, then you are not accomplishing the great commission that the Lord gave you, and you are wasting your time on the earth. Feeding the poor, bandaging the wounded, building shelters are all good, but if you are not sharing the gospel salvation, then the souls of people are being lost to hell.
The shield of faith is important because without it, you are defenseless to the fiery arrows of the enemy. When Satan throws evil thoughts and feelings into your mind and heart, you will get depressed and feel condemned. When Satan throws difficult situations and circumstances, then you are discouraged and fall into depression. When Satan throws evil people in your path or puts up legal obstacles in your way, you will give up. That is why you need to put up your shield of faith, trust the Lord in all things, and stand up. Believe that God is faithful, that He is all-powerful, that He is sovereign over all things and in control, He loves you, and He is with you and never forsake you. Believe and trust, when you feel it is impossible to believe and trust. If you cannot, ask God to give you a heart of belief and to give you faith. Praise Him exactly when you don’t feel like praising Him—for both the good and bad situations.
Finally, pick up the only offensive weapon in your armor. If you just defend yourself, you will eventually get killed. You need to go on the offensive. The best defense is to go on the offense. Jesus says that He has already defeated the devil on the cross. He has already given you the victory. You already know the outcome of the war. You know you are on the winning side. You know that the God who created the universe is on your side. You know that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. Jesus says be reassured for He has overcome the world. Jesus fought back the devil’s temptations and attacks in the wilderness with the Word of God every time. Whenever Satan threw a scripture at him that was partially false, Jesus countered it with the Truth from the Bible.
That is why it is important that you know the Bible, which is the Word of God, and the life and the Spirit of God. Without the Bread of Life, you will soon starve spiritually. You will be weak. You will be ignorant. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the Word of God. The way to fill yourself with the Holy Spirit is to fill yourself with His Word and the Truth. The Truth shall set you free. The Holy Spirit will empower you and give you wisdom. Without the Spirit, you are nothing to Satan. But with the Holy Spirit, you are more than conquerors through Him who loved you. Jesus is the Word and through the Word, the universe was created. Ephesians tells us to always pray in the Spirit in all things. Pray unceasingly. You have access to the very throne of God who is almighty. Think about that fact. Prayer is the mightiest weapon in the world. It can change situations and move mountains by faith and believing. God and the angels are just waiting for you to pray. He is only a prayer away. Use your sword.