TRAINING FOR CHRISTIANS 24 JUN 2015
The virtues of using your spiritual armor. Over the last half century, I have observed many Christians operating without their spiritual armor. Spiritual combat confronts us everywhere on a daily basis. The military does not tolerate soldiers going into combat without their equipment; likewise, it is irresponsible for us Christians to neglect our equipment! This post is to strengthen the spiritual fighting power of Christians by arousing them to value their spiritual warfare equipment properly!
HELMET OF SALVATION. Our assurance of salvation provides us with our identity in Christ. In Christ, we are more than conquerors.(A) Our enemies try to convert us to accept false identities—”you are a loser”, “you are stupid”, etc. However, Christ, when he returns, provides “each [Christian] praise from God”. (B) meanwhile he gives us the grace, that we can do all things through Christ Jesus.(C) Our identity in Christ, which results from our assurance of salvation, gives us the power to stand up to the slander & belittling attacks by the enemy. We know that we are loved by God. The Lord is our strength.(D) So brothers & sisters, never forget that you are God’s beloved royalty of a holy nation. It was God’s pleasure to adopt us.(E) Christians, who begin to buy into the lies of Satan such as “Nobody cares”, “Everything is my fault.” “I hate myself”, & “I am not good at anything”, are opening the gates to Trojan Horses. If nothing else your love & faith in your heavenly Father glorifies God, so never feel useless & meaningless.
SHIELD OF FAITH. We are called to a life of faith. What is not of faith is sin. Faith…call it confidence & hope…confidence in God’s goodness…and hope in a better future are critical. We also (like the military) need to have confidence in our commanders, buddies sharing our foxholes, and the weapons that Christ supplies to us. “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust him.”(F) Roman & Greek armies used their shields together. King David, when he was spiritually wounded, noted, “O YHWH, how my foes have multiplied…But you are a shield around me, O YHWH; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”(G)
SANDALS OF PEACE. THE GOOD NEWS OF PEACE. Satan is into chaos…God is into peace. If you want to move forward in your Christian walk you must reject chaos, and find God’s peace. The Roman troops wore hobnailed sandals, which allowed them to stand firm or move forward. Your spiritual armor includes the sandals of peace. I have seen how living in the peace of God is so powerful—it gives us the moral high ground, which at times unnerves civilians. When we don’t have the peace that comes from forgiveness, we don’t move forward. When we have not made peace with the past, we get locked into that point in time. We need inner peace, peace with God, and peace with our fellow man. Satan attacks us to wound us, to rob our peace. A wounded soldier is a casualty who will need help. “I will lie down together in peace, & sleep; for You alone, YHWH, make me live in safety.”(H) “YHWH will give strength unto his people; YHWH will bless His people with peace.”(I) From these last 3 Biblical quotes (G-I), you can witness how King David valued his spiritual weapons 11 centuries before the book of Ephesians described them, and was a man after God’s own heart.(J) Long before the book of Romans taught that revenge & vengeance is God’s, permitting us to have peace with our fellow man, King David knew about the power of forgiveness.
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. The breastplate protects your heart & organs. Your good heart and your righteousness are indeed something of value to protect. If we don’t protect our righteousness…if we follow “the ways of the world and…[join] the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient”(K) we open ourselves up for demonic strongholds to be built into our minds. Our hearts of love are part of our righteousness. Love covers a multitude of sin. “You should no longer walk as the rest…in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened…be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness….and walk in love.”(L)
LOIN GIRDLE OF TRUTH. The Roman soldier strengthened his core muscles with this girdle. Your core muscles are the foundation for all your other muscle strength. Truth is a core support. Truth also functions like radar or sonar: Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that reveals things.(M) When we see reality, how things really are, we have the truth. This is a core strength for us. Modern warfare increasingly becomes infowars for the truth. Satan uses deceptions & lies as powerful weapons. “…walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil…understand what the will of the Lord is.”(N)
EPHESIANS 6, where it describes these spiritual weapons, then goes on to speak of prayer and being ambassadors for Christ. Prayer in spiritual warfare is like radio communication where you can call in an artillery or air strike. Being an ambassador for Christ means you represent Him. Your appearance is important. In REV 19, when Christ makes war, it says “out of His mouth goes a two-edged sword, that with it He should strike the nations.” Christians know that God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword…and they know that it cuts both ways when used! We have been equipped, we have received weapons for warfare. Do we know how to use the Word as a sword?? Do we value the gospel of peace?? Do we hold onto the truth to strengthen our core?? Or are we dropping our weapons & running from the battle!? If we are going to sing “Onward Christian soldiers”, we’d better learn the value of our spiritual weapons.
(A) ROM 8:37 (B) COR 4:5 (C) PHP 4:13 (D) HAB 3:19 (E) EPH 1:3-9 (F) NAH 1:7 (G) PS 3:1, 3 (H) PS 4:8 (I) PS 29:11 (J) 1 SAM 13:14, ACTS 13:22 (K) EPH 2:2 (L) EPH 4:17b, 18a, 23-24, & 5:2a (M) EPH 5:13-14. (N) EPH 5:15-17
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