September 1, 2014
Ephesians 6:13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
A Roman soldier would not battle the enemy without his sword any more than a U.S. Marine would be caught going to battle without his rifle. We absolutely need a weapon when we confront enemies on the battlefield who are attempting to take what we have by taking our lives. In the same way the Christian soldier battling the powers of darkness (Satan and his army of demons) needs the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, the Bible.
As an armorer in the Marine Corps, I was responsible for the storage and maintenance of all an infantry company’s weapons. The Marine’s had to have weapons that worked. The Marine’s also had to know how to work the weapons. I made sure each weapon turned into the armory was clean and worked properly. The company commander was responsible for each Marine’s knowing how to use the weapon effectively in battle. As a pastor of a local church my job is to help God’s people know the Word of God and how to use the Word of God to defeat their enemies, the powers of darkness. Which of these jobs is harder, the armorer’s, the company commander’s or the pastor’s? The pastor’s job is harder because the Christian soldier doesn’t know how dangerous his unseen enemy is as contrasted with the Marine’s knowledge of his seen enemy. Let’s review the profile of the Christian soldiers’ enemy. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
The Christian soldiers’ weapon, “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God,” is able to cut through the lies of the enemy, cut through the deception of temptations of the enemy, cuts away doubts the enemy hangs on us and gives us confidence to go about God’s work safe and secure, not fearing death.
Do you know the Word of God? If not, you need to start reading systematically reading through the Bible to learn. Read Genesis 1-11 and then Matthew through Revelation three times before starting to read chronologically through the entire Bible – some in the Old Testament and some in the New Testament daily.
Do you know how to use the sword of the Spirit to defend against enemy attack? We use our sword by running everything we hear or think through the grid of Bible truth to determine if what we are hearing or thinking is from our enemies or in accordance with the Word of God. We use the Word of God to shape the way we live daily in a hostile world. By living according the Word of God we resist the enemy (Proverbs 28:4; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
Daily be systematically learning the Word of God and living the Word of God. You will be victorious over the powers of darkness by doing so.
September 2, 2014
Ephesians 6:13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
A key part of the armor of God that has no counterpart when looking at a Roman soldier dressed for battle is prayer. Our greatest support against the devil and his demons is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator. Prayer is calling in the Lord’s help, like ground troops call in for reinforcements or air support today. Paul writes in Hebrews that we are to confidently come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). We pray in the Spirit. How do we pray in the Spirit? We pray in the Spirit when we pray in faith with no known sin in our life. Paul instructs us that the Spirit helps us in our weakness for we do not know what to pray for as we ought and the Spirit intercedes for us (believers) according to the will of God. 1 John 5:14-15 instructs us how to pray and receive answered prayer. We are to pray according to God’s will. Note also that we are to keep alert and pray for all the saints.
Are you praying? We need times set apart for prayer alone and prayer as we go through our day seeking to accomplish our God-given assignments. Prayer is to be our first response in any adverse situation, not our last resort. Be a prayer.