All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go?
The Christian warrior and his armor, based on Ephesians 6:13-17, wears:
- a belt of truth
- a breastplate of righteousness
- shoes of the gospel of peace
- a helmet of salvation
- a shield of faith
So now that we're dressed in the armor, what do we do? The pieces of armor we wear are defensive weapons. What about offense?
Some have bargained, "Satan, if you'll just leave me alone, I'll leave you alone." But you can't be neutral. You're going to face a battle — if not tonight, then tomorrow or next week. The battle we're in, we're in to win.
Your Offensive Weapon
"Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (v. 17)
When Satan came against Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4), Jesus defeated him not as God but as man. The offensive weapon He used is the same weapon available to us: the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
Jesus went into the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit. When the enemy came, He pulled out the Sword, our one offensive weapon, and ran him right through: "Thus it is written." Take that! — the Word of God. Satan hopes you'll not use the Sword.
Learn the Scripture. Memorize key verses. When he comes you'll be able to say, "Satan, take that!" with the Word. What's Satan going to do against that? He knows the Word of God is true, and he cannot stand it. Hold the Word up to the devil. Hold it up to the Lord, saying, "Lord, these are not my promises, these are Your promises. The Bible says every promise in it is 'yea and amen in the Lord Jesus Christ.'" (2 Corinthians 1:20) We have an IOU from heaven, signed in the crimson blood of Christ.
So what's our battle plan? Dressed in the armor (defensive), holding the Sword of the Spirit (offensive), what's the strategy of our Commander-in-Chief? This will surprise you.
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (v.10)...and having done all, to stand." (v.13 I give you the authority...over all the power of the enemy." (Luke 10:19)
We can stop asking God for victory over Satan. We already have it. He's defeated. God says, "I've given you the victory, I've given you authority, I've given you My Word, I've given you My Truth. Now stand." We can say, "Satan, I stand in the name of Jesus against you. I have authority against you. No to your lies, your attack, your temptations!" Is that arrogant? No. God has told me I'm strong in the Lord. Satan hopes you'll crawl away saying, "Oh, I need help." Stand! You have victory because you have the Victor — "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Sprit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication (earnest prayer) for all saints..." (Ephesians 6:18).
The only way you can stand and properly use the Sword is to pray. Since it is the Sword of the Spirit, let the Holy Spirit energize and direct your prayer.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers...and spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)
Remember, this is a spiritual battle. Pray in the spirit.
If you don't pray, then the devil will defeat you. All the authority in the world will do you no good if you don't appropriate it through prayer. There's no substitute for prayer — not energy, not enthusiasm, not intellect, not intent.
Satan fears your prayers. He hopes you never learn how to pray. He doesn't mind your putting on the armor as long as you don't pray. He'll even encourage you to attend church and teach a class if that becomes a substitute for prayer. He doesn't care what you do if he can keep you so busy that you don't have time to pray. When you pray, you defeat him.
If only we could understand that the battle is prayer! We wrestle against principalities and powers. How are we to wrestle? Praying, always.
Once you put on the armor, don't forget to show up for the war. The battle is prayer. We're in this battle together. Your family's future is at stake. Suit up, stand firm, and pray!