Dear Visionary Leader:
There is a dark, diabolical, deadly, dirty war that is being fought in throughout the world. It is a form of guerilla warfare-sabotage, subversion, innuendo, sniping. It is a deadly war. It is a war between light and darkness, good and evil, heaven and hell, Christ and Satan. And whether you realize it or not, we are a part of this war. You cannot afford to be ignorant and you cannot possibly be neutral. If you try to be neutral, you’re will find yourself in the crossfire and in the most dangerous place of all.
In Ephesians 6:10-18 we read:
“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 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. And having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins gird about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shot with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 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 and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all 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 bonds that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.“
Now the church is not a showboat, it is a battleship. We are at war. This message is not a warning, or a call to arms, but a declaration of victory. When you were born again, you were born from above. And you, being heaven-born, are heaven-bound, but you were also born for a battle. You were born for the battle. When you were born again, you were born to win. This is a wonderful passage of scripture that talks about the Christian warrior.
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The Christian Warrior And Our Adversary
We must know our enemy. In verse 11, Paul says, “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” That’s your adversary. He is called the devil.
Now the devil today is sort of a, a laughable character. We think of the devil as, as some medieval superstition. Today, we make light of the devil. We call football teams devils and demons and we talk about deviled ham and devil’s food cake as some sort of a joke. We think of the devil as some sort of a guy in long red underwear with a pitchfork trying to catch someone bending over.
Our sophisticated age today makes the idea of a real and a personal devil more or less laughable, but you have an enemy. The Bible does not speak of him as some figment of the imagination, but it has always been his purpose to pull the veil of darkness over his kingdom and either have his very existence denied for a season. Yet, he really doesn’t want that in the end because he wants worship. He will only use this disguise for so long before he removes the veil himself and says, “Bow down and worship me.”
Important that we understand who the devil is in our warfare because if there is no enemy there’s going to be no preparation for war.
We used to sing a song about the Lord Jesus, we sing it, sometimes in this church: He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today, he walks with me and he talks with me along life’s narrow way. You could sing about Satan, He lives, he lives, Satan lives today, he wars on me and works on me along life’s narrow way.
A. He Is A Decided Fact
In verse11, Paul states, “the devil.” I hope you believe in the devil. If you don’t believe that the devil exists, you are in a very precarious situation.
B. He Is A Destructive Foe
Look in verse 11, “that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Do you know what the Greek word for “wiles” is methodia. It is the word we get “methodical” or “method” from. Satan is very methodical. In Satan’s warfare he is very strategic. He may even step back two steps in order to go forward three steps. He may let you think that you’re getting away with your sin. He may even seem to be blessing you and helping you along your way. He is very strategic. He has made a plan to sabotage your plan and your home; the dynamite is in place, the fuse is laid, the match is struck and Satan is working on you.
In addition to being strategic, he is spiritual. Look in verse 12, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this, of the darkness of this world,” now watch this, “against spiritual wickedness.”
There is a lot of spiritual wickedness going on today. You see, sometimes people think that because something is spiritual, it is good. No, there’s spiritual goodness and there’s spiritual wickedness. The Bible says, “Believe not every spirit. Test the spirits, whether they are of God.”
Satan is strategic and spiritual, but he is strong. Look again if you will in verse 12. Paul speaks about principalities and powers. In your flesh, you are no match for your adversary. You are puny and weak if you come against Satan in your own strength. You might as well be throwing snowballs at the Rock of Gibraltar than to come against Satan in your own strength. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, authorities.
Next, Satan is also sinister. In verse 12, Paul writes about, darkness and wickedness. Satan has dark, devilish, tyrannical power. He is going to fight to the finish and there’s nothing that he will not do, to wreck, to ruin, to destroy your life. I believe that he knows that he has but a little while and he is like a cornered animal. He is fighting with no holds barred.
C. He Is A Defeated Force
In verse 10, we read, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might,” because our God has already defeated Satan. It’s not that Satan shall be defeated; he is already defeated.
Jesus said, facing the cross, “Now is the prince of this world cast out.” In 1 John 4:4 we read, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you,” who is that, the Holy Spirit, “than he that’s in the world,” who is that, the devil.” Yes, Satan is strong, sinister, strategic and spiritual, but God is almighty and greater is he that’s in you than he that is in the world.
Presently, God still allows Satan to have power on this earth. It is limited power and it is power that we as Christians can and shall overcome in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is a part of God’s plan to make overcomers of us and to give greater glory to himself.
The Christian And Our Armor
We need not only to recognize our enemy, we need to prepare for the battle. Now if you don’t prepare for the battle, you’re going to lose it. We are put on the whole armor of God and it is to be holy armor. Notice verse 13, “Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God.” It is very important that we take the whole armor.
Paul says, “Stand, therefore, having your loins gird about with truth.”
A. The Believer’s Integrity
First, we are to put on the girdle of truth, which is the believer’s integrity. Truth stands for integrity. You see, a soldier in that day wore a tunic and he had a leather belt. Sometimes you see motorcycle riders with a leather belt around him. Sometimes you see weight lifters with a big strong leather belt around them because that is to hold their loins together. The belt is to hold the center strength together. A warrior in that day had a leather belt, a girdle that was cinched up tight to prepare him for the battle, to protect his loins.
It is integrity that holds everything else together. Truth and integrity are synonymous. You are to believe the truth, you are to know the truth, you’re to love the truth, you’re to tell the truth, you are to live the truth and you are to preach the truth. If we don’t war with integrity, our life is going to come apart.
Satan is a liar and Satan will come against you with lies. Jesus is the truth. Satan’s attack is untrue. His attack is lie, lying. His attack on you is to bring a lack of integrity into your life.
Are you wearing at this moment the girdle of truth or are you living a lie? If you are not wearing truth, if you do not have the girdle of truth, if you do not have integrity in your life, in the big things and in the small things, you are going to lose the battle. It is truth that holds everything together, and without truth everything falls apart.
B. The Believer’s Purity
Second, we are wear the breastplate of righteousness. Now righteousness is the believer’s purity. Not only do you need integrity, but you need purity. That is, there’s to be no unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in your life. A warrior at this time had a, a breastplate. It would be made of woven chain. It would cover his heart, his lungs, his intestines and vital organs. Without that breastplate, he was very vulnerable to any sword thrust, to any arrow.
And what is righteousness? It is purity. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Now what the enemy wants to do is to attack you not only with lies, but he wants to attack you with impurity. He wants to get you to read some filthy men’s magazine. He wants you to watch, stay up late on the Saturday night and watch some filthy movie and then come to church on Sunday morning. He wants to get that into your heart, into your mind. He wants to get you doing some dirty crooked business deal. Satan knows where that crack in the armor is.
Is your heart pure? I mean, is your heart pure before God? If not, you cannot win in the warfare. There’s a piece of your armor that is missing. Now, Satan fears a holy Christian.
C. The Believer’s Tranquility
Thirdly, you put on the shoes of peace. In verse 15, we read, “and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The believer’s integrity, the believer’s purity, and the believer’s tranquility. Put on the shoes of peace. Your feet shot with the preparation of the gospel of peace. A Roman soldier needed good shoes to fight with. A Roman soldier would have hobnails on the bottom of his shoes, very much like football cleats because when you’re fighting you need a place to stand. In this passage Paul is going to tell us to stand, to stand, to stand, and therefore your feet need to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
He’s talking about peace with God, peace with one another and peace of God in our heart. Jesus gives peace and unless you have peace, you can never make war. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? But you’ve got to have that peace of God in your heart. How does Satan attack? Well he comes against you, he comes against your integrity with lies. He comes against your purity with lust. How does he come against your tranquility? Well, he puts stones and briars of doubts and discouragement, whatever he can do to destroy your peace.
Do you have peace right now? Or is your, are you just churning on the inside. If you don’t have peace right now, I’ll tell you why you don’t have peace right now. It’s not because of circumstances. Peace in the Bible is not the subtraction of problems from life. Peace is the addition of power to meet those problems. The Bible says, “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Now the only way that you can live that way is to put on the shoes of peace. Jesus made peace with the blood of his cross, and if you don’t have this, you’re going to slip and fall in the battle.
Many believers fall, not because of a lack of integrity, and not because of a lack of purity, but because of a lack of tranquility. Something will happen, some sickness, some disappointment, some financial reverse, some wayward child- and they lose their peace. You put on those shoes of peace so you can have a firm place to stand. Because if you don’t, you may slip and you may fall.
D. The Believer’s Certainty
Forth, the next piece of armor is the shield of faith. The Roman soldier also had a shield. It was about two by four feet. The shield was made of wood covered with leather. The enemy would take flaming arrows, dip them in burning oil and shoot them. These flaming arrows were flying back and forth. Paul says, “Take the shield of faith so you can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Why do we need the shield of faith? What’s Satan’s attack? Satan’s attack is going to be doubt. Satan uses lies; so I put on integrity. He uses lust, so we must put on purity. He will bring discouragement; so we must put on tranquility. Now we take the shield of faith. What is the shield of faith? It is certainty. I need integrity. I need purity. I need tranquility. I need certainty. I take the shield of faith because Satan is always shooting at me and shooting at you those fiery arrows of doubt. Trying to place in your heart and in your mind those subtle doubts. Take that shield of faith and quench every fiery dart of the devil. Feed your faith and starve your doubts.
E. The Believer’s Sanity
Fifth, Paul says, “Put on the helmet of salvation.” Do you see that here? Look at it. He says here [pause] in verse 17, ” A warrior would use a helmet to protect his head. Why would he do that? Obviously, if the head is wounded nothing else works. And what is this helmet of salvation? It literally means a helmet of deliverance. It’s talking about salvation and going to heaven, but more than that. It is talking about a mind under the control of Almighty God. So, when you have the mind of Christ, because a believer needs to keep his head so he can fight, and this speaks of the believer’s sanity.
A person really without the Lord Jesus Christ has a form of insanity. They are not with the mind that God made them to have. So, you put on the helmet of salvation-that is your sanity, that is the covering for your mind.
Now, we are ready for the battle. If you’ll look at each one of these pieces of armor and think about it, they really represent Jesus. You just put on Jesus. Sometimes when I, I go out for a walk or whatever, just by myself, and I want a good thing to meditate on, I just keep dressing myself up in this armor. I just check myself out. Do you have integrity? Do you have purity? Do you have tranquility? Do you have certainty? Do you have sanity? Each piece of the armor is put on with prayer, because what we are really doing is simply putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christian And Our Attack
It is not enough simply to put on the armor, we’ve got to get into the fight. What, what will guarantee our victory?
A. The Place Of Our Stance
First, the place of our stance. In verse 13 we read, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand,” underscore that, “and having done all, to stand.”
In verse 14, “stand therefore.” Withstand, stand, stand. What does this mean? We have a place to fight from. We stand in the victory that Jesus has won. In verse 10, we read, “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” When you get into this battle you stand in the victory that Jesus has already won. This is the reason I say to people we do not fight for victory, we fight from victory. We are live life from a heavenly edge. This is the place of our stance. Do you understand it? If you don’t understand it, you’re not going to stand. You have to stand in the victory that has been won at Calvary.
B. The Power Of Our Sword
Secondly, not only the place of our stance, but the power of our sword. In verse 17, we read, “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
We have written about all of the protective armor. It’s good to have on a helmet, to have on a breastplate, to have a shield; but, we need a sword! We need to get into the battle. God has given you a place to stand and then he’s given you a sword to fight with. Take the sword of the Spirit. He is talking about the power of our sword. It’s not like any other sword. It is the sword of the Spirit.
In Hebrews 4:12, we read, “For the word of God,” that’s the Bible, “the word of God is quick and powerful.” Quick means it’s alive. Powerful means it’s full of energy. “And is sharper than a two-edged sword.”
Jesus had been fasting for forty days and forty nights and the devil came and said, “If you’re the Son of God, why don’t you turn these swords into bread?” And Jesus pulled out his sword and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.” Again, Satan comes to him to tempt him. Again, Jesus said, “It is written.” Three times Jesus ran Satan through with that blessed blade.
C. The Provision Of The Spirit
Now, there’s the place of your stance and there is the power of your sword. Then, there is the provision of the Spirit. Once, you take your place to stand (you’re dressed up in the armor), you’re standing in the finished work of Calvary; you take the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, and then you look to heaven for your supply. So, Paul says in verse 18: “praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Every warrior needs a supply and every warrior needs a commander in chief to guide him and direct him. When you go to the battlefield, you stand in the finished work of Calvary. You take the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit and you offer your prayer to your heavenly commander, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. It is the Spirit that directs your prayer; it is the Spirit that understands what Satan is up to. You may not understand what Satan is up to, but the Spirit does.
We’re praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, in the Spirit. The sword is the sword of the Spirit. He’s the one who knows how to wield that sword and to use that sword.
The Christian Warrior And Our Allies
We must unite forces. So, Paul says pray. And then notice what he says in verse 18, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints and for me, that others may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly.”
Paul was a warrior, but he knew that he did not fight alone. He knew that we need to pray for one another because we fight with one another. We are not a one-man army. If you’re by yourself then you’ve got to fight by yourself. The Bible says one should chase a thousand, two will chase ten thousand. There’s a synergy that brings a divine energy when we fight together. We are in this battle together. I need you and you need me and therefore we must lock arms, join forces, and fight together.
And do you know what this church is? This church is just a big battle station. It’s just a place where we come, to reinforce ourselves. It’s a place where we come to get spiritual intuition and spiritual power and spiritual encouragement to go out into the fight because we fight, not against one another, but with one another against a common enemy.
We are in a battle. As we come in for landing, first, we must choose sides carefully, because if you don’t follow Jesus, you’re on the losing side. Next, examine your heart and make sure that you’ve got all the armor of God on. Third, don’t try to be neutral. You can’t do it. This is a fight to the finish and Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me.” Forth, rejoice in the victory and live victoriously every day. Thank God you can be walking in victory.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking