The world is at war against the Christian. The battle rages on many fronts. All around are many casualties. Our enemy is a master of camouflage. Yet we have an armour that equips us for this relentless wrestling match. Our victory is assured. How you can be ‘combat ready’.
Some adapted content from various sources; Plus ideas from 150, 223, 322, 528 (in particular), 567, 906, 1028
These are times of spiritual warfare.
It’s a war.
When we look at all the evils going on in our world today it makes sense that the Bible says the whole world we live in is under the control of a ruthless enemy.
1 John 5:19
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
The Bible says you’re in a fight against a real enemy.
An enemy opposed to all that is right and true.
Some people don’t take it seriously, that this is real.
It is real.
Forces are waged…
- Against God
- Against the truth and
- Against you.
You are at war with unseen forces bent on…
- Bringing you down
- Tearing you away from loving God
- Taking away your love and devotion to the Lord.
It’s a battle for your mind, and your love.
It is being waged on many fronts…
This is a battle…
- For Christian character
- For godliness
- For honour.
The Bible doesn’t call the Christian life a tea party or a club for sissies and wimps.
It is a fight, a battle, a wrestling match, a struggle.
Truth is, we are locked in an ongoing battle.
We are called to be the church militant…
Man’s arch enemy is pitted against us.
He is truly public enemy number one.
It is possible to be ignorant about satan and his devices. Many are.
He’s good at what he does. He’s a master of disguise – he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).
2 Corinthians 11:14-15
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
He looks good.
He sounds good.
He’s a smooth talker.
He’s a good preacher.
He disguises himself.
- He can be religious
- He can quote the Bible and
- He sometimes comes to church.
2 Corinthians 11:15 says his servants can masquerade as servants of righteousness.
(15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
One of his titles is lord of the flies – as someone has put it, he’s the god of the garbage dump.
He employs various schemes and cunning traps.
A number of people have shared with me – just within the last several days – about how they feel like they’ve been going through a war zone, with satanic strongholds and attacks they have encountered in their lives.
The enemy has been hitting some of our friends here today – hitting them hard.
This war has no cease-fire, no truce.
You’re on a battleground, with a war being waged on many fronts… It’s on the home front, the school front, the work front, and the church front…
There is no let up.
Even if you are not directly under enemy fire at the moment, you are still on the battlefield.
You are a threat to the enemy.
He will attack you.
There’s a battle raging.
And it is a battle that, at times, is WITHIN US…
Even Paul tells of his own spiritual struggle, in Romans 7. He said, SIN DWELLS IN ME!
The battle is being fought INSIDE you.
It’s raging between the forces of darkness and the Holy Spirit.
…Between truth and error…
- In your flesh
- In your mind
- In your emotions
It’s a battle for your soul.
The good news is that the church of God is indestructible. And that means you and me!
He says… Matthew 16:18
I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
It’s saying here that the headquarters of hell will not withstand the church.
What are the Gates??? They could be…
- Freemasonry, The Occult, Witchcraft
Many have been going through some tough things. Health challenges. Job challenges. Testing times within their families…
Someone told me last week they have a relative who now lives next door to a witch and has been troubled by the goings on.
People have sensed demonic attacks against themselves and their family members.
Just last week a woman sent me an email about the whole armour of God, it said:
I am writing to ask you, if at some stage that you could preach on “The Whole Armour of God.”
This is such an important part of our walk, of being clothed and protected with Christ daily.
Someone else contacted me, just days ago, and asked about the Antichrist – where it says – Daniel 7:25
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High…
I believe this Antichrist spirit is at work today. The devil loves nothing more than wearing us down, wearing us out…
The enemy will seek to create…
- DECEPTION, and
All around us there are CASUALTIES…
- People dying from the ravages of sin…
- Many are wounded
- Many have battle scars.
This fight calls for military discipline.
We need to be COMBAT READY.
There are numbers of people in our own number who have very real and severe battles with demonic oppression… and are facing the devil’s relentless attacks.
It is par for the course. We must not be surprised at this.
One man mentioned how he has been battling things. He has been conscious of the battlefield of the mind.
The BATTLEFIELD is our minds is the arena where Satan and his forces constantly wage war, in order to gain control… of…
- Our thoughts
- Our ideas
- Our imagination.
The Battleground includes…
- Our mind
- Our body
- Our emotions
- Our relationships
The Word speaks of pulling down strongholds. That’s in 2 Cor. 10:4.
2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
- A MIND SET
- A REASONING
- A WORLDVIEW
- A THOUGHT PATTERN…
God wants to do a demolition job on your strongholds…
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
We see the enemy at work in people’s lives. Even within church circles, people don’t know what to believe, with all the confusing doctrines around.
And they end up choosing flakey churches and hooking up with flakey para church outfits because sound doctrine doesn’t figure high on their radar on their reasons for choosing a church, or who or what they line up with.
Satan loves that.
The nature of satan is DECEPTION.
He is the “father of lies” (John 8:44).
If doctrine is skew-wift or off-track, he is the author of that.
Our enemy will try to separate us from friendly forces (our family, our local church, our community), and harass our supply lines (our prayer-life and our faith).
Yet God has made provision for our protection.
It is THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD.
And this is what I want to urge us to, today…
The word tells us…
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God.
The weapons God gives us have GREAT POWER – they are MIGHTY through God…
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Paul is talking to God’s people… THE BRETHREN…
He’s readying them for the battle zone that they are to face, and how they are to prepare…
These verses tell us how we are to make ourselves ready, combat ready…
He says, be strong…
- The Lord is our strength
- It is His might that will win through.
Be encouraged, fellow believer, the battle is the Lord’s.
BE STRONG here means BE STRENGTHENED, BE EMPOWERED.
The battle rages on. And our need for the Lord’s power is constant.
Our strength is supplied from without; it is a power beyond our own.
God has equipped us with everything that we need…
Notice, there’s some armour here.
And you’ve got to put it on for yourself.
(11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
WHO gives this Armour?
God. He is the source of it.
WHAT are we to do with it?
Put it on. Wear it.
God commands us to.
How much of the Armour are we to put on?
The whole armour.
The complete armour.
All of it.
The Roman soldier wore all his armour. It gave him safety and protection.
The Roman soldier was in the army 7 days a week.
The word translated “put on” carries the idea of permanence.
The full armour of God is not something to be put on and taken off occasionally but it’s something to be put on permanently.
Notice it says the whole armour – the full armour.
That ye may be able to stand…
The word stand, or stand firm, refers, in a military sense, to holding a critical position while under attack.
We are told to stand firm and hold the ground we are on…
… that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
It’s been said that “The devil is a methodist.”
“The wiles of the devil” could be transliterated from the Greek, as his “methods”: his deceits, tricks, schemes, and strategies.
He’s a sneaky enemy. He uses deliberate methods…
- TEMPTATION – lust, love of money
- PRIDE – hypocrisy, man’s wisdom, philosophy
- DISCOURAGEMENT – obstacles, hurts
- RELIGION – good works
We read of the devil’s schemes. He is crafty and cunning. A deceiver.
He wants us, like him, to be “accusers of the brethren”.
He wants you to be a critic and a fault-finder.
Sometimes Christians do the devil’s work for him.
There are murmurers and complainers, like in Moses’ day. They bite and devour one another.
Another of the devils tricks is to make us COMFORTABLE.
We all love to be comfortable. From our car seats, our mod cons, to our homes and domestic appliances… We all have reasonable comfort and luxury. We have plenty of food and a relatively easy life.
People don’t want to hear the word “SACRIFICE”.
They want to hear something amusing and entertaining.
It is not popular to talk of sacrifice and commitment to Christ.
ANOTHER of the devil’s tricks is RELIGION.
The devil runs many churches on planet earth today.
The Rev Dr satan is the unseen head of modern, apostate churchianity. He runs many of the televangelist ministries.
Many in our society say, if homosexuals want to be preachers, let’s not frustrate them, let’s ordain them into the Gospel.
Many say, we don’t care what God’s Word says.
Many Christians are spending their lives just joining in with all the world has to offer. Absorbing the philosophies of a sin sick world.
Another strategy of the devil is to make us FEARFUL.
Many Christians are filled with fear… there’s all kinds of fears…
- Acrophobia, is the fear of heights
- Claustrophobia, fear of closed places
- Pathophobia, fear of diseases
- I think a lot of Christians have this problem – Ergophobia, fear of work.
The devil uses many cunning tactics.
(12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It’s telling us here that we are engaged in a struggle, at close quarters. It is hand to hand fighting.
It feels like that, sometimes, doesn’t it?
A wrestling match. an intense, close-quarters battle — a wrestling…
It’s telling us that we are being attacked, on a personal level.
There is a spiritual conflict. We’re not just up against philosophies and ideas of men.
We’re battling against the very enemy of our soul. We’re part of the eternal battle against hostile spiritual forces which want to damn souls to hell.
We must stand against the forces of evil that are prevailing in our world.
Like someone said, “It’s like the world has become an insane asylum and the inmates are in charge.”
There’s an awesome struggle happening.
An amazing WRESTLING MATCH going on…
In the Nation
Where are the people who will take a stand?
Godly laws and systems of government are under threat.
Ungodly laws are coming in. Abortion. Euthanasia. Murder.
We see increasing pornography. Society is growing more godless.
Morals are declining.
When I stand before God I’m not going to be judged by the world’s standard,
I’m going to be judged by Jesus Christ, who will judge me out of the dictates of this Word. I’m living by THIS and not by the standards of this world.
…an amazing WRESTLING MATCH going on…
In the Home
Families are under attack, in a mess.
The solution is to apply the truth – found in this Book.
It can bring peace, harmony and holiness back into the home.
…an amazing WRESTLING MATCH going on…
In the Church
The Lord Jesus took a stand. He went into the house of God and He drove the money changers into the street.
The Gospel is under attack – False doctrines: Mormonism, materialism, Catholicism, atheism, charismatic teaching, immorality, etc.
As Christians, we must be “set for the defense of the gospel” against all such foes.
Let us study the truth, preach it, and contend with those who promote error. If we fail to stand for truth and oppose the error, we will answer to God in judgment concerning our disregard for the gospel, lack of love for the erring, and the neglect of our own soul.
May God help us to stand with courage and fight the good fight of faith as those set for the defense of the Gospel.
We need to wrestle in prayer.
…an amazing WRESTLING MATCH going on…
Some of you face an attack against your body. Addictions. Habits. They control you, embarrass you. You have tried many, many times to break them. There is no retreat. You must take a stand and with the power of Jesus Christ defeat that problem.
So, we are wrestling…
(13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Maintain your stand, victorious.
It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines.
It’s amazing for me as a pastor how sensitive some people are – how some little thing will offend someone and they will get all in a huff and leave the church – the devil LOVES Christians like that.
Little foxes can do much damage…
Such people end up going to another church and the cycle repeats itself. Stop being so easily offended!
We are in the evil day.
These are dangerous days.
It’s talking about… the day of testing.
That’s the day when you face a full on attack… When you feel like “all hell’s broken loose”…
We face an ongoing onslaught of attacks, every day.
Some of you are in thickest of the fight.
It’s hard going.
God has one word for you:
Here it is…
Stand in victory.
Our VICTORY is something that has already been won for us.
Believers do not fight as much FOR victory as FROM victory.
It means that we are going to be attacked.
It means that we must not be frightened.
It means that we must not droop or slouch, being uncertain or half-hearted in the fight.
No self-pity is allowed.
It means that we are at our position and alert.
It means that we do not give even a thought to retreat.
(14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Stand fast – be immovable, stedfast.
Stand firm. It has a note of urgency to it.
The belt of truth.
Truth is what holds it all together. This spiritual armour.
That belt demonstrates the believer’s readiness for war and our stand for truth.
The Lord Jesus says, I am the Truth…
In today’s world we have so many errors and wrong teachings.
How we so desperately need to find THE TRUTH!
If we bring our lives into harmony with God’s precious Word we can find a control that keeps us from wrong, and keeps our lives on track, and together with God.
We are in a battle for truth.
Let’s search out the truth.
Do you fill your mind with truth, or with untruths? Guard your mind… And watch over your children as well…
Communicate the truth to them while you can.
“By the time he’s eighteen, the average teenager has watched six years of TV. Yet in that same period, he has spent only four months in church. The tragedy is that most Christians can hardly sit through a one-hour worship–yet they can easily sit through a three-hour TV special, without a trace of impatience!”
Be where the truth is.
Saturate yourself with truth.
It goes on…
…having on the breastplate of righteousness
Righteousness means right living.
- Think right
- Do right.
When we are in tune with God we will follow His way, and want to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Stand in the righteousness of Christ.
HE is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
We are “accepted in the Beloved”.
Christ keeps us strong and true.
Christ’s righteousness is compared to a breastplate – it keeps guard over our heart and emotions.
God’s holiness is OVER us, AND IN us…
We can stand strong and confident – in God’s righteousness, even when the accuser uses all his hate and venom against us…
The Lord will keep us faithful and help us to soldier on.
(15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Can you imagine a Roman soldier walking along without shoes!
The harsh ground would leave his feet bruised and damaged. He would not be able to run through the rough ground with unprotected feet.
God cares about where we walk, and what drives us, and what message we are taking with us wherever we go.
It’s the Gospel of peace.
“He is our peace” we read in Ephesians 2:14…
This is the Good news of peace with God through Christ…
A believer is on a journey from a strange land to his own country. With each step we draw ever closer to our promised home. This is not our stopping place.
We will be moving on from here…
Even in the midst of battle we can take with us the message of peace to a world in conflict.
How a soul can find peace with its Maker…
We need not be overwhelmed with fear about the enemy and his tricks.
There is PEACE for us, calm and tranquillity, a firm assurance we carry with us that there is peace within…
(16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The Roman shield was large – like a door. Like a big door. Four feet long by two and a half feet wide. It covered virtually the whole body.
It was made of glued planks wrapped in canvas or calf skin, its top and bottom edges were protected with iron.
The Christian soldier’s shield is FAITH.
It is walking in the PROMISES and PRINCIPLES set out in the Word of God.
FAITH speaks of…
- Believing faith
- Our trust in God.
Stand with the great shield of faith in Christ…
- Assured of His protection and shelter
- Assured of his care and concern over you
An enemy’s arrows were sometimes set ablaze. They would set an enemy’s clothing on fire.
This tells us of darts fired against us…
Fiery missiles launched against us by the wicked.
They could be lust, greed, temptation, worldly loves, idols…
Behind the shield you need not fear. Its polished surface will rebound the arrows launched against you.
You are safely guarded by the shield of faith…
1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
This faith we speak of is not some general kind of belief, it is trust based in belief in the truth.
Using the shield of faith, we can claim the 7,000 promises for the Christian walk, including verses like:
1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
(17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
As a believer you have this wonderful salvation. So great salvation… A complete and finished work, by His absolute, amazing, saving grace.
The enemy wants to play mind games with us, to bring discouragements and doubts.
We have the helmet as a defence…
The helmet covers our mind and thinking, our reasoning, our choices, our will…
Job was one who faced an incredible onslaught from the enemy. He had riches and a large family. He was a godly man.
In just moments his whole life was turned upside down. He lost everything. His riches were taken, his farm, his livestock. His family was struck with disaster.
Job’s reaction is recorded in Job 1:20-22
(20) Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped,
(21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
(22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job was afflicted with boils – he was reduced to poverty. He lost his family. His health was destroyed and he was in great pain. His wife was of no comfort, and then his three friends began to accuse him. Each in a different way, but all with the same basic point. “Somehow Job, these tragedies that have come upon you are your fault…”
Even in the midst of Job’s greatest despair, his helmet is still on and it controls his thinking. He does not understand. He cannot explain why.
What God is doing is a complete mystery to him. Yet, Job holds fast to a hope for the future. A confident assurance about what will occur.
In Job 19:25 he says,
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”
In Job 13:15 he says,
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”
The helmet of salvation, our confident assurance in our eternal future with God, is what protects us when Satan has smashed through our other lines of defense.
We can stand firm against our adversary even when the circumstances of our life seem to be all against us.
Salvation keeps our thinking straight in a world without direction. A world where many are confused, and misled.
We can think right, and know God’s direction.
The helmet covers our mind – we have much need to be discerning between spiritual truth, and spiritual deception.
By God’s TRUTH we can cast down the WRONG THINKING and the DECEPTION that holds people captive.
- STUDY the Word of God
- DECLARE the Word of God
- APPLY the Word of God.
…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…
This sharp sword is given unto us by the Holy Spirit.
Its truth cuts and scares away the adversary. We have a calm assurance of this divine truth.
It is the Word of God.
The tempter will attack our mind, our will. Our Lord was tempted, and He shows us what to do:
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
We can proclaim, “IT IS WRITTEN”.
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
It’s purified, it’s trustworthy.
We can suffer attacks of discouragement and doubt. But we have God’s sure word, and His many exceeding great and precious promises.
Another necessary part of the armour is PRAYER…
(18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Let us draw closer to God.
Pray with the mind of Christ.
Pray with all kinds of prayer…
- Persevering prayer
- Earnest prayer
- Intercessory prayer
- Groaning prayer
- Weeping prayer
- Secret prayer
- Corporate prayer
All kinds of prayer.
- Prayer in the closet.
- Prayer in the home.
- Prayer in the assembly.
- Praying without ceasing.
The Holy Spirit will ENABLE us to pray…
“Satan trembles when he sees, The weakest saint upon his knees.”
The battle rages all around us. We are constantly faced with a relentless foe.
We face a committed enemy. The world is under his temporary control.
His messages are constantly bombarding our lives. Popular movies these days are filled with occult messages and supernatural powers that are not of God. Even churches are falling under his sway.
Many are oblivious to what is going on. Ignorant of his devices.
You have an enemy against you.
Your only way to win – is to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
While on a trip to the zoo one day, a boy and his father saw a huge lion. The lion was prowling around his enclosure and letting out chilling roars.
The boy became very frightened and screamed in terror, but his father remained calm and unafraid.
Why? The boy was frightened because he saw only the lion, while the father was unafraid because he saw the cage enclosing the lion.
The Christian’s view of satan should be like that of the father, rather than that of the boy, for our fierce enemy is like a caged lion.
There is a war on. But our enemy is limited. And our God is unlimited.
It’s been truly said, “The Christian life is not a playground; It is a battleground.”
Go to battle.
What are we to do when satan comes after us?
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
It is an evil day.
So, put on the armour.
The whole armour of God.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.