The Armor Of God
#3--Steps to Peace
Enclosed is an article from Charles Stanley, one of my favorite preachers.
The two pieces of armor that we have to fight the enemy with is the Sword of the Spirit and the Shield of Faith.
Prayer is also a mighty weapon against our enemy.
All of these weapons are strengthened by our knowledge of the Bible.
It is so simple, God had to make it that way, because we are like dumb sheep compared to His wisdom.
Don’t be offended by being called a sheep. We are smart compared to a sheep and we are dumb as a sheep compared to God.
Look at it this way, God is so smart and so wise, why would we ever not listen to Him?
He loves you and is wiser than you, He wants the best for you, so we are only being wise to follow and listen to Him.
Charles Stanley, The Armor of God
EPHESIANS 6:10-11 FINALLY, MY BRETHREN, BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND
IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.
PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD,
THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL.
"If you asked most believers whether they would like to know how to stand firm against temptation, they would be very interested. Most of our problems stem from our inability to say “no” to certain temptations.
In the verses quoted above—as well as those that follow—the apostle Paul gives us a promise. We could paraphrase it this way: “If you put on the full armor of God, you will be able to stand.” And the reverse is true as well: If you don’t put it on, you will fall.”
The devil is very good at what he does. He does not go about his work haphazardly. He has a plan. The apostle Paul refers to the enemy’s strategy as “wiles”. Satan designs a plan of attack against each of us. His attacks are tailor-made for us. And more often than we would like to admit, his attacks are successful. On the other hand, our defenses are generally sloppy—a little prayer here, some Bible reading there, usually, just enough to feel good about ourselves."
(My addition—if we are just reading our Bible as a habit or a ritual, this does little good in our spiritual battle. The devil is intensely intent on our destruction; we must be alert to his schemes. I have often noticed that God works in my heart like a warning light, when the enemy is setting a trap in my life. Pay attention!)
"Although we spend time preparing for work, meals, vacation, school, and other activities, when it comes to preparing for the wiles of the devil we are lazy. Consequently, we are often defeated repeatedly in the same areas.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an effective defense. Paul refers to it as the “Armor of God”. And those who take the time to put it on will stand against temptation.
One of the best habits you can develop is putting on the “Armor of God” every morning. This is spiritual armor, so you put it on by faith. The best way to explain this is to walk you through a routine I follow every morning. I’m sure there are other ways of putting on the armor of God. Paul didn’t give us directions. The main thing is that you put it on!
Each morning I say something like this: Good morning Lord! Thank You for assuring me of victory today. By faith, I choose to follow Your battle plan and to prepare myself according to Your instructions.
To prepare myself for the battle ahead, by faith, I put on the “Belt of Truth”. Renew my mind to what is true. Fill me with truth. Expose in my heart the lies that I am tempted to believe. The truth is that You are a sovereign God who loves me and cares for me. The truth about me is that I am Your child—bought and paid for. Nothing can separate me from Your love.
By faith, I put on the “Breastplate of Righteousness”. Today I am committed to doing what is right. I pray that I would be known as one who does what is right regardless of what it costs me. Allow the righteousness of Christ to shine through me today.*
By faith, I put on the “Sandals of the Gospel”. I am available to You. Use me in the lives of others. I pray that in my conduct and speech I would accurately represent You. Make me a calming presence everywhere I go.
I now take up the “Shield of Faith”. My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You I can do nothing. In You, I can do all things. Everything that comes against me must come through You for I am in You. As You walked without sin on this earth, live without sin through me today. By faith I claim victory over ____________ (then I list some of the temptations I know I will face that day). When I face these temptations, remind me that the victory has already been won.
By faith, I put on the “Helmet of Salvation”. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for forgiving me. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live inside me. Holy Spirit, I surrender my will to you today. I surrender my thoughts to You. I choose to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
And last, I take up the “Sword of the Spirit”, which is the Word of God. (Then I claim several specific promises from Scriptures.)
So, Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost world. May others see Jesus in me. May Satan and his hosts shudder as Your power is manifested through me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Can you think of any better way to start the day? You may be thinking, but aren’t you just psyching yourself up? Exactly! But unlike most positive mental attitude programs, I am not telling myself things that I hope will one day become true, I am reminding myself of what God has said is true. There is a big difference. And our goal in all of this is not self-confidence. It is Christ confidence. It is not my armor I’m putting on. It is the Armor of God. Once again, apart from Him we can do nothing.
*Next, in Paul’s “Spiritual Armor”, he mentions the breastplate. The breastplate of a Roman soldier was usually made of leather and metal. It protected the chest area and thus many of the vital organs. Often the breastplate was marked in such a way as to designate which army or battalion a soldier belonged to. Paul refers to it as the “Breastplate of Righteousness”. We are to be known for our commitment to righteousness. Along with that commitment, we must guard our hearts from unrighteousness. By putting on the “Breastplate of righteousness”, we renew our commitment to do what is right. And we take a stand against things that have the potential of leading us into unrighteousness.
In ancient days, men believed the emotions resided in the chest. This belief probably arose from the fact that so much of what we feel emotionally is felt in that part of the body. With this in mind, it could be that Paul uses the picture of the “Breastplate of Righteousness” as an admonition to guard our affections, to keep our emotions under control. The battle between righteousness and unrighteousness if often a battle between what we know and what we feel. By guarding our emotions, we ensure that they do not control the will and thus move us in the direction of unrighteousness."
*Taken from Charles Stanley
May we be excited as we see that the General in our battle of life assures us of victory.
With the love of Almighty God, Judy
New Testament Ephesians 6:10-11