January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”—Ephesians 6:10–20 (NKJV)
If you’ve been a Christian for more than a few weeks, you’re well acquainted with the fact that this faith walk is not for the faint of heart. There’s an unseen wicked realm that wants to control our hearts and minds. The enemy desires our destruction. But be encouraged, because we’re not battling for victory, but from victory. The battle has already been won by Christ Jesus.
Trapped and chained inside a Roman prison, the apostle Paul writes this powerful epistle. The Roman’s battle attire inspires him to provide an object lesson for the family of God. Look at the first encouragement: “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.” In other words, stand firm and be immovable in the face of opposition with the belt of truth wrapped around your waist. A belt functions to hold everything together. The truth of God’s Word holds us together; it’s the very plumb line to which all thoughts and ideas are compared. When we’re growing in His Word, we walk in truth.
In spiritual warfare, if the enemy can convince us to follow our hearts, then he has us. In Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) we read, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” When we’re saved, God gives us a new heart by imputing Christ’s righteousness to us. We can stand immovable in His righteousness.
The grip and firm footing of the gospel is the peace that provides endurance for the spiritual battle ahead. Just as the grip of a well-made battle boot can provide an incredible tactical advantage, so does the peace that comes from knowing God is in control and works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Taking up the shield of faith enables us to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. When the enemy flings lies about God, faith allows us to rest in God’s unwavering character. We can abide in His compassion, goodness, and love towards us. Faith reminds us we belong to the Lord, and no one can pluck us out of His hands.
Warfare without a helmet and a sword is a death sentence. Protecting the head (in this case the mind) is of utmost importance. The helmet of salvation offers protection by covering and forgiving our sins—past, present, and future—by the perfect blood sacrifice of Christ. Also, we’ve been given a sword (the Bible; the Word of God) to wield just like Jesus did when Satan tried to tempt Him. The written Word of God is our weapon to combat the lies Satan tries to hit us with.
The Lord has given us all the necessary countermeasures to defeat our adversary. When we use our weapons of warfare as the Word instructs us, we’ll be unshakable and unstoppable.
Pause: Reflect on the fact that we’re not battling for victory, but from victory.
Practice: Give yourself 15 minutes to list the false beliefs the enemy has presented to you in the midst of your battle. Write them down so you can see them in front of you in a tangible way. Then, using the prayer below, ask the Lord to help you slay the enemy with the sword of the Spirit. Then write down truth to combat the lies.
Pray: Father, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, praise to You for the battle has already been won. You are my strong tower and great deliverer. Because of Your love, I am more than conqueror. Please help me to stand immovable in the face of opposition. Provide me Bible verses in the battle that assure me of Your great faithfulness and remind me who You say that I am.