How to Prepare Yourself for Spiritual Battle
When most of us think of spiritual attack or demonic activity, our minds jump to bizarre or frightening images that we’ve seen in the movies or weird stuff happening in our homes. But the truth is that the majority of the spiritual attacks we face are unseen.
We must realize that the battleground for this invisible war that we’re in is actually between our ears – in our minds.
Often, we don’t think that the negative thoughts we have about God or the conflict we have with our spouse or our boss is actually related to conflict with our archenemy that wants to destroy our lives. Although not all conflict or bad things in this life are caused by demonic forces, many times our struggle is indeed spiritual.
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. (Ephesians 6:12)
This is why God wants us to be prepared for the spiritual attacks that come our way. He wants to equip and prepare us in the strength of his power to stand against the enemy’s schemes and defeat him in the specific battles in our life.
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. (Eph 6:14-15)
Notice that to protect ourselves from the evil one, we must do something. We must take action and stand. We’re commanded to consciously and vigorously make a decisive act to stand our ground firmly against the enemy’s assaults.
This means becoming aware of the devil’s schemes and putting on the full armor of God. The armor of God is a metaphor to help us understand the general thinking of how we’re to prepare ourselves for spiritual battle.
First, we need to put on the belt of truth.
Satan’s number one tactic is deception. As the Father of Lies, he is a deceiver and deluder. Part of his strategy is to blind our minds so we can’t ascertain God’s truth. He does this by feeding us lies about God, about ourselves, and about the world.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
In response, our strategy is to protect our minds from Satan’s lies by knowing and believing what God’s word says is true of us: We’re accepted and deeply loved, bought with a price, part of God’s family, and sealed with the Spirit.
Putting on the belt of truth also means we’re honest with ourselves and with God. We’re open to correction when the Spirit of God speaks to us. We don’t hide or shift blame. We own our stuff.
Second, we need to put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Satan’s second tactic is condemnation. This is not the kind of condemnation we feel when we knowingly do something wrong and feel guilty. This is the kind of guilt that shames. Satan condemns us by saying things like, “You’re a terrible person!” “God will never use you!” “If anyone knew what you did and found out who you really are!" “You call yourself a Christian!”
By putting on the breastplate of righteousness we can protect our heart against the enemy’s condemnation. What does this look like? It’s the practical application of God’s truth for our lives.
We’re already righteous before God because of Christ. But we need to apply this truth by living it out. This means living uprightly in our lifestyle and character.
When we’re living outside of God’s will, we open ourselves up to demonic attack. So if God shows us a specific area of our lives that we need to get right, then we need to do what He says.
Remember, God loves us! He wants us to have real intimacy and real peace. And a clean heart and experience His power. Let’s be honest with God, with ourselves and with others, and respond to the truth He shows us to follow His will for our lives. Then we’ll be ready to stand firm against the attacks of the evil one.
It’s my hope that not only will we be prepared to do spiritual battle, but we will also be confident of our certain victory over the scheming enemy.