Armor of God

I’LL BE OKAY

There are Christians in danger!

Believers who are sporadic in spending time with God.

They are inconsistent in feeding on God’s word, and they’re half-hearted in committing themselves to engage in meaningful conversation with God.

The most common excuse is not having enough time. But I believe the real reason is a lack of conviction that carving out time with God is of desperate importance.

Are you a Christians who believe you can afford to miss time with God? Do you think you will be okay walking through the day without equipping your heart and mind with the whole armor of God?

If you think you can afford to go about your day without armoring and strengthening yourself in the Lord, consider these warnings against the trickery and attacks of Satan and his followers:

John 8:44 Jesus calls Satan “a liar and the father of lies”

2 Corinthians 2:11 warns us not to be “outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs”

2 Timothy 2:26 tells us Satan has “snares”

Ephesians 6:11 says he has “schemes”

2 Corinthians 11:14 “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Revelation 12:12 “the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

Matthew 7:15 In addition to Satan, Jesus adds, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

This is the reality you face each day. These are the conditions which constantly swirl about you.

God’s word is emphatic in declaring, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)

If you think you can afford to neglect time with God today and leave your armor behind, then Satan has already been successful in his “lies”, “schemes” and “snares”.

JEFF PURSWEL ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE

While our region was being buffeted by Hurricane Sandy, I had the privilege of lstening to Jeff Purswell preach on Spiritual Warfare at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Conference. As Jeff spoke on the well know passage of Ephesians 6:10-20, he showed why we can STAND against the enemies hardest blows.

Here are my notes from Jeff’s outstanding message, “A Call to Arms”:

OUR CALL

The call to “be strong” means we act out of God having already acted upon us.  We are strong by being made strong.

We are called to a task needing supernatural power.  It is a charade for us to personally be strong against spiritual forces

This call assumes our union with Christ, which is why the call is not empty. 

We can be strong because Christ always rules!

OUR CONTEXT

We need to be able to stand because we are in a battle. 

We are wrestling in hand to hand combat with an enemy who wants to destroy us.

Notice in Ephesians 6 the emphasis on conflict, as Paul repeatedly describes the forces “against us”

How would your life be different if you kept in mind that we do not “fight flesh and blood”? 

This includes your skirmishes at home, at work and at church, etc. 

People are not your enemy.  We are not fighting them. 

We are fighting the powers of spiritual darkness which are fighting against God.

When we recognize who we fight against, we become more compassionate for the people we are tempted to fight.

If we are tempted to fight a believer, remember they are also struggling in this battle. 

If we are tempted to fight against an unbeliever, remember they are held captive to the evil one.

We stand against “schemes”. 

These are intelligent plans whose primary focus is to oppose our Lord. 

Satan sees us as merely the collateral damage in his fight against God.

Satan has real power, but not lasting power

OUR PROVISION

We need to focus on Christ, not on Satan. Ephesians 6 is not meant to cause us to focus more on Satan, but to focus more on Christ who is greater.

God gives us armor and weapons so we can stand and withstand the attacks of our enemy.

Notice the armor we are given is full armor. 

We have all the armor that a soldier needs for every battle contingency. 

There are not “special ops” troops in the church.  We are all equipped soldiers.

This is God’s own armor. 

Most of the items listed in Ephesians 6 come out of descriptions the prophet Isaiah gives about what God wears. This tells us that our armor is made up of divine strengths.

We remain confident because God remains in control.

When Paul mentions prayer at the end of the list, he is not just giving us another weapon, prayer is how we deploy all of the weapons.

CLOSING THOUGHT

What does Satan want?  Our hearts! 

He hates God and wants to destroy God’s image bearers. 

When we stand firm it is a victory that exalts God.

So let us reject every little temptation and thereby defeat Satan and exalt God in it.

Jeff’s message was as encouraging as it was insightful. You will be helped if you listen to this message! You can read a synopsis of his message at the Sovereign Grace Blog, or you can listen to the full audio