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. (Ephesians 6:12)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
As said in Ephesians 6:12, our struggle is ultimately against “spiritual forces of evil,” meaning the real battle is the spiritual warfare of good versus evil. There is a spiritual war ongoing for the hearts of man, as the forces of evil want to turn us away from God and separate us from Him. But for those with God through Jesus, the battle is already won as Christ overcame death with the resurrection. We must be born again of spirit with faith in Jesus to be saved from the “second” death of the spirit (John 3).
The Bible tells us to be watchful and to guard our hearts against the iniquity of sin. Evil can only enter us when we allow it to live in our hearts, like a vampire who must be let into your house. The first step to engage in this grand spiritual warfare is recognizing it exists and to genuinely examine your heart. “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
Spiritual Warfare Prayer (Psalm 91)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
The enemy will use anything and anyone to steal, kill, and destroy you (John 10:10). The enemy will even use the people closest to you. But God has given you armor to help defend yourself. We, as children of God, cannot go into war alone, just as an army does not go to the front lines alone. So, we need to make use of what God has given us in battle. After all, God is our strength and shield of protection (Psalm 28:7). He will never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In Strong’s Greeks concordance, it states the phrase “full armor” means panoplia in Greek. Specifically, to have complete armor of defensive and offensive weapons. According to HELPS word studies, God has given us these weapons to have victory over the enemy. Moreover, to “fight from His victory rather than to achieve the victory” (Helps Ministries).
So, why do we war over the enemy, even our own flesh, to have victory?
Let’s look at a few verses about God’s victory:
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith” (1 John 5:4).
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).
Often, we forget that Jesus Christ has already given us victory over the enemy. The fact is that the enemy and our own desires have us believe we need to fight for victory. The lie tells us we never had victory in the first place. When Jesus went to the cross and died for us, the enemy was defeated. Jesus Himself even gave us authority over the enemy.
“Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you. However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19-20).
The Whole Armor of God
“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,…” (Ephesians 6:14-17).
The belt of truth is Jesus, continually seeking Him (John 14:6). When your mind is waging war, it is crucial to look to the Holy Spirit. He will guide you to all truth (John 16:3). The metaphor Paul employs here reveals that God’s truth will always be around you and keep everything intact.
The breastplate of righteousness is to continue to chase after God’s righteousness (Matthew 5:6). MacLaren’s Exposition states, “Christ has set our feet on the rock, and so the first requisite is secured. If we, for our part, will keep near to that Gospel which brings peace into our hearts, the peace that it brings will make us able to stand and bear unmoved any force that may be hurled against us.
The shield of faith is putting your faith in front of you as if you were shielding a blow from the enemy. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We go forth in the armor of faith because we know that God is already there with us.
The helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit are combined because…Continue Reading…@https://www.christianity.com
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