You see, if you’re just learning how to be a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, then you may not be familiar with the battle yet, because there was no battle before we were Christians. The devil, the enemy, is not going to find us if we’re doing his will.
Satan just wants us to turn away from God: That’s all he cares about. So, as long as we’re not focusing on God or concentrating on God, he’s not going to fight us.
There is a spiritual battle taking place around us all the time and the devil is always looking for the chinks in our armor. Now, the armor that I’m talking about is the armor that’s in your head and your heart, because that’s where the biggest battle is.
It’s the battle between the “old me” and the “new me.” The old me, or the old you, is that worldly view of us.
For instance, consider this situation,
“John stabbed my back and lied about me to get the promotion, so I’m going to get revenge.”
Looking for revenge is the worldly person inside of us; wanting to do something to show him, to make him pay for what he did.
The new us, the follower of Jesus Christ, is going to say:
“Okay, John stabbed my back and lied about me to get the promotion. I’m going to pray for him. I’m going to pray for His salvation, I’m going to pray that he understands what he did.”
But we don’t want to do that, do we? I don’t want to do that, I hate doing that.
And the enemy is going to find any chink in your armor, any old hurts, habits or hang ups; and he’s going to use those against you in this battle, to keep you as far away from God as he can.
There’s a reason for that. And I talked about that. In Episode Seven, Why Doesn’t God kill Satan? Check out that episode.
Basically, the devil is jealous of God’s love for us, so that’s why he’s pushing against it so much. And God doesn’t mind him doing it, because what the devil is doing is weeding out the people that maybe shouldn’t be in God’s heaven anyway. So, the devil is kind of working on this earth with God’s permission. If you think about it, how would he not work on the earth with God’s permission? The devil is a created being just like we are. God could snuff him out anytime he wants.
The devil, as much as we don’t want to admit it, might be doing God’s work. He’s weeding out the people that aren’t going to be true followers of Jesus Christ. And God knows everything the devil has done and will do. He knows everything from the beginning of time until the end.
The devil is part of God’s plan, believe it or not. Maybe that’s a tough thing to swallow, but it is true, it has to be.
But how can we prepare for and fight this battle? First thing I think we should do is look at
2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ is a new creation, the oldest passed away, behold, the new has come.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t revert back to the old sometimes, I know I have way too often. And I probably still will in the future as well. But I also know that I am a new creation in Christ. I don’t have to keep my old habits and my old ways. But how do we grow in these new ways?
I think the first step is understanding the whole Armor of God. And this is in
Ephesians 6:10-20. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For 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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, or which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Let’s unpack that a little bit because, to me, that is everything that we need to withstand the spiritual battle that we are fighting every day; that whole armor of God.
We need to say the truth. We need to say it with humility, and with an honesty that’s not a brutal. Don’t be brutally honest, but tell the truth more and more. I know I have a habit of lying way too much. And I tried very hard to stop that. The belt of truth is the first thing that we put on.
The second thing is the breastplate of righteousness. Start looking at things and situations like the example of John getting a promotion because he backstabbed another person. The breastplate of righteousness puts us above that. Don’t be self-righteous, show God’s righteousness.
As shoes for your feet, put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. That’s the good news that was spread by the disciples of Jesus Christ of what he did for us.
Then he talks about the shield of faith. Faith is difficult, and I talked about faith in Episode 12: Why is Faith so Difficult? The shield of faith will allow you to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Flaming darts, think about that. God gave us everything we need to resist and defend against evil.
Next, take up the helmet of salvation. Meditate on this. Why would there be a helmet of salvation? Think about how a helmet protects your head. That is the salvation of God that is covering us and protecting us.
If you notice, everything we’ve talked about so far is a defensive measure: It’s all armor, there’s no attack mechanism; it’s all for defense.
The last thing that he talks about is the sword of the Spirit. There we go, there’s something we can attack with. But the thing that we’re attacking with is… they’re talking about the Word of God.
So our attack mechanism is what? The Bible. That’s right. It’s not an actual sword, it’s the Bible. And it talks about praying at all times in the spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
The armor of God, what we use to defend ourselves against evil is all about our faith, our salvation, and the word of the Bible. That is so important. That is the beginning of our defense and our attack against evil forces.
Here are things to look out for with attacks. Generally, we get attacked when we allow ourselves to slip a little bit. Maybe you’re tired. the whole HALT, acronym: Hungry, angry, lonely, tired.
These are the times that people with addictions need to really look out for. But this is perfect for spiritual attack as well, because these are the times when the devil is going to look at trying to find a chink in that armor. Are you hungry? Are you angry? Are you lonely? Are you tired? Think about what happens with those things.
I recommend getting with a pastor and doing some really deep prayer for a while to battle against that attack. Because remember, the devil is not going to attack you when you’re not doing anything.
In fact, if you’re not under attack, there’s something that you’re not doing right. Because, as Christians, we kind of need to be under attack at all times from the devil because that’s how we know that we’re doing God’s work.
If you’re starting to get anxious, if you’re starting to feel that tightening in your chest, pray, get prayed up in God’s power, because God’s power will conquer everything. And sometimes it’s tough to do that. But we need to do that. And the times when it’s really tough to do that, that’s when we get with someone else.
We’re meant to be in community, which is why I tell you constantly get with a local church, if you’re not with one, this is the time that you need your local church, your local pastor, and your local Christian friends, to get behind you and pray with you.
Because these attacks are going to come and they’re going to find the spot where you don’t want the attack, because you’re weak in that area.
For me, for a long time it was my relationship with my wife. The devil kept just picking and picking and picking on it. And we got to the point where we almost separated simply because the devil found that spot.
Then we started getting stronger in God in our relationship. That stopped the devil, but he will look for another way of getting a chink in my armor.
He will look for the easiest way to make you slip. For guys, maybe a pornography is a problem. That is a common problem among men, and it’s becoming a common problem even among women.
So, you have to look at where is the devil going to find that chink, that opening, and find a way to close it. Get prayed up. Ask yourself, how can I use this armor of God to battle against the evil one?