At Candlewood Church, we know that God has made some amazingly strong creations – whirling winds, crashing waves, ferocious beasts, unconditional love, you and me! But one of the most amazing and strongest creations is something He made just for you. The armor of God! God gives you a piece of armor to cover every part of you, including your heart and mind with his power and truth.
“There was a time in my life when I lived to please others. Then I learned that God loves me. He proved that love by dying for me. I am enough. I am chosen. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, my King. Now, I attend church, read my Bible, and pray because I want an authentic relationship with God, to truly know him and his deep love for me.”
Do you have a story like that? Whether you have surrendered your life to God just last week or over 60 years ago, you know that as a follower of God, life still is not a walk in the park. Hills and valleys are very real. In fact, we all face spiritual warfare day in and day out. As Christians, we are subject to the devil’s attacks because we are no longer on the devil’s side.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He brings spiritual harmony and restoration with God; however, Jesus does not bring the kind of “peace” that glosses over deep differences for the sake of superficial harmony. Friends and loved ones may separate from you because of your beliefs, which are found in God’s Word.
Needless to say, conflict and disagreement inevitably arises between those who choose to follow Christ and those who don’t because Jesus’ presence demands a decision! Jesus says, “whoever is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30a).
Even in the darkest hours, we must continue to
- take up our cross and follow Jesus
- publicly identify with Jesus
- experience almost certain opposition
- be committed to face suffering for his sake
In the world we live in today, our different values, morals, goals, and purposes will set us apart from others. Christ calls us to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this temporary life.
We Are Amidst Dark Powers at Large
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.
These who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies – they are real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, who desperately try to turn us away from God.
As a believer, you need supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army. Praise God he has provided just that! His Holy Spirit is within you and his armor surrounds you.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Putting on the Full Armor Of God
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. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1. Belt – Truth
Satan fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like truth. No doubt a wolf in sheep’s clothing! But through the power and the wisdom of God, you can decipher and have God’s truth. God’s truth always defeats Satan’s lies.
2. Breastplate – Righteousness
The devil often attacks your heart. Your heart is the seat of your emotions, self-worth, and trust. God’s righteousness is the breastplate that protects your heart and ensures his approval. God approves of you because he loves you and sent his Son to die for you (John 3:16).
3. Footgear – Spreading the Gospel
Do you ever feel that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task? That the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle? That’s Satan whispering in your ear. He wants you to believe those lies. But the footgear God gives you is the motivation you need to continue to proclaim the true peace that is available in God – the Good news everyone needs to hear!
4. Shield – Faith
Satan attacks in the form of insults, setbacks, and temptations. But the shield of faith protects you from Satan’s piercing shots. With God’s perspective in sight, you can see beyond your circumstances and know that ultimate victory is yours.
5. Helmet – Salvation
The devil wants to make you doubt God, Jesus, and your salvation. The helmet protects your mind from doubting.
6. Sword – Word of God
The sword is the only weapon of offense in the armor of God Paul provides in Ephesians. There are times when you need to take the offensive against Satan. When you are tempted, you need to trust in the truth of God’s Word.
You Have a Way Out
As followers of Christ, we can look forward to the day when there is no more suffering and all conflict will be resolved (Matthew 10:34-36). Although we are assured of victory, we must stand firm until Christ returns. Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. More than ever, the world around seems to be filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
From God’s Word, we know that
- wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone, so you do not have to feel alone or singled out
- others have resisted temptation. So you can too!
- any temptation can be resisted because God can and will help you resist it, if you ask him
When temptation hits, you can be on your way to victory by standing firm in the full armor of God!
You Don’t Have to Battle Alone
As a follower of Jesus Christ, you battle against powerful evil forces headed by Satan, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Did you know that lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals? They choose victims who are alone or not alert. You must be on our guard, especially when you are suffering or being persecuted.
If you are feeling alone, weak, helpless, and / or cut off from other believers, or if you’re so focused on your troubles that you forget to watch for danger, you are especially vulnerable to spiritual warfare. Please seek other Christians for support and be sure to have on the full armor of God to withstand attacks! You must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor. Put it on every day. How? By praying and reading the truth of his Word!
Thank God for his amazingly strong armor that he has given to you! Ask God to teach you how to put it on and wear it every day. You know the ending, but until that day comes, together WE must stand, WE must fight in the full armor of God.
Connect with Candlewood Church
If you have questions about the armor of God or are dealing with spiritual warfare, please connect with Candlewood Church today. We would love to hear from you.