“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye 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 armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod 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.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Every Christian needs to wear the full armour of God. God’s word tells us clearly that for every one in the body of Christ, this is the only armour that can and will protect from the evil days.
Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armour of God”. It means to put on the “full” armour of God and not just a part of it. It we leave any one part off, the devil would hit us right in that place. The enemy is looking for whom he may devour. Therefore, we need to put on the full armour of God. Apart from the sword of truth, all the armour of God is defensive.
John repeatedly says that every believer should know he is of God and needs to distinguish himself from the fact that he does not belong to the wicked one. Satan exercises dominion over the world as its ruler. The enemy does not take a break. He is continually at work and that is why there is not a single place in Scripture where it tells us we can take the armour off. We have to put on the armour of God all the time to stand against the schemes of the devil in every place.
One thing God has assured that His peace will be with us. “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, But my kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall “My covenant” of peace be removed,” Says the Lord who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
The peace of God is a great weapon against the power of the enemy. This peace is something we experience even in the midst of the greatest battle. We will know the greatest peace even in the midst of the greatest battle, but there is no time we should ever let our guard down or remove our armour. Armour of God is not just protection that we have come up with human ability. It is something that God Himself has given us. This weapon will fully protect us in this life and from any weapon that is formed against us.
Standing firm is very significant. We are supposed to stand and stand firm. This armour does not cover our back which means we are to progress in the forward direction.
We can stand against the schemes of the devil. Note the phrase, “evil day”. Paul is not referring to any day in particular, although some disasters will take place in the last days. Paul talks about something that every Christian will go through. There will be times when his faith will be challenged and he must confront the forces of the evil. Is there a need to face the evil day? Yes, in fact, it is not an option but a certainty. We will not escape the evil day but we have to go through the evil day.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
“We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”. (1 John 5:19)
May the Lord help us put on the whole armour of God always in Jesus name. Amen.
There are seven ‘pieces of equipment’ in this armour.
- The belt of truth, which is your trust in the Lord Jesus who declared Himself to be the Truth.
- The breastplate of righteousness is your assurance that the blood of Christ enables you to stand righteous before our Father – your heart’s decision throughout the day.
- Have your feet shod with the gospel of peace. That way you prepare for the Lord’s service as he is setting you apart to fulfil his purposes and wherever you go, his presence and power will be with you, ready for action.
- Next is the shield of faith to extinguish the enemy’s darts aimed at any weak areas in your life. The shield does no good unless you are gripping it tightly, prepared for battle.
- The helmet of salvation focuses your mind on eternity with God, and guards you against any further enemy intrusion into your soul.
- You wield the sword of the Spirit as you immerse yourself in God’s word and put it into action.
- Pray in the spirit, so you can be alert and available at all times for communion and intimacy with our Lord.
Belt of truth
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…. To gird your waist means to move out of a comfortable or relaxed position and to prepare for confrontation. Most people don’t like confrontation, and we generally tend to get knots or butterflies in our stomach when we find ourselves going into this sort of situation. It is a normal, healthy reaction. To gird our waist with truth simply means that as we prepare to confront the enemy each day, in whatever form that may be, we should be prepared with the truth as it is in Scripture, and/or, more importantly, revealed by the Holy Spirit. As we spend time with Jesus each day, He prepares us for the day ahead, and this is an imperative part of being ready, or “girded”.
Breastplate of righteousness
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness…. The breastplate protects you as you face a battle or confrontation. It protects our vital organs, particularly the “heart” (soul), which is susceptible to spiritual damage. Righteousness simply means right standing before God. Right standing before God is achieved chiefly through having a good, honest, and open relationship with Him. Once again, a good relationship means spending quality time with the other person, in this case, God. Sin will separate us from God and therefore weaken our protection (breastplate), but praise God, He is quick to forgive us when we ask Him to. Putting on the breastplate of righteousness is achieved by spending time with our Lord, and then walking in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit and in accordance with Scripture
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…. Having your shoes on is symbolic of going out. When we go out we need to be ready to be able to meet people’s needs as we come across them. The fact that Jesus was prepared to die in order to provide our salvation means that we should at least know what to say to someone who has not yet found that salvation. If we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot answer a question or a need, we need to sort it out so that next time we will be. There is nothing wrong with saying to someone “I don’t know, but I will find out for you”, but it is much better if we can be prepared through knowing our Bible and spending time with our Lord. Having Jesus in our hearts and a good knowledge of the Bible is a very good way to get ready to go out! Jesus often spent time alone with His Father and then did the things that the Father showed Him.
Shield of faith
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one…. The shield of faith is obviously very important . Paul says “Above all” when talking about taking the shield of faith. A shield talks of protection. Faith talks of knowing, and believing God, and knowing His direction for us. For example if God was to say to you “Move to a certain town”, then that is just what He would expect you to do. Almost without doubt someone, or perhaps even several people might come and say to you “Don’t be silly, God doesn’t want you to do that!”. The fact that you KNOW what God told you to do protects you from the doubt and hurt (fiery darts) that would otherwise sway you. There are two main aspects of faith. One is simply knowing that God is, and that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
The other side of faith comes and develops as we spend time with our Lord. It is knowing Him on a personal basis each day and being led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that He does nothing unless He sees His Father do it first. John 5:19. So it should be for us, having first spent time with our Lord in fellowship, to be prepared for what lies ahead in each day. Walking in faith simply means walking in obedience, not only to what we know is right behaviour, but also as led by the Holy Spirit.:
Helmet of salvation
And take the helmet of salvation…. The helmet obviously protects our heads and in particular, our minds and is simply the knowledge and reassurance we have of our salvation. Because we know Jesus not only in the Scriptures, but also in our hearts, this is our protection against doubt and anything else that would seek to undermine our faith. Romans 8:15-16 reads “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption (sonship) by whom we cry out Abba Father”. The ways to keep our helmet firmly intact are chiefly to have a good Bible knowledge (through regular reading), but more importantly, to make sure that our actual personal relationship with the Lord is alive and meaningful.
Sword of the spirit
And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…. Word here is the Greek word “rhema” which means an actual spoken message from God. Therefore the sword of the Spirit is the word (or message) that God speaks to us. It is a quickened word which God provides to counter a wrong situation, or to encourage someone when they need it, to give direction or reassurance etc. You can picture God sitting up there in Heaven and He sees something that needs His attention. He says to Himself “Hmmm, I think I’ll send Moses with a message for those people. Holy Spirit, go to Moses and tell him to go to Pharaoh and say ‘If you don’t let my people go I will bring a plague of locust upon your land'”. The end result was that Pharaoh could not stand against the Lord, and had to let His people go. It is the same today. God uses us to take a message from Him to different people at different times according to His purposes.
We can all hear from God like this, and His message can be one of reassurance, rebuke, direction, or any one of a number of different things. For that sword to be all sharpened up and ready for use requires an active relationship with the Lord. Take time out at the start of each day, and then periods throughout the day, to just give Him your fellowship. It is amazing how He speaks to people who have the ears to hear! This is another piece of the armour of God that is automatically intact and properly fitted when we have a right relationship with God.
When David faced Goliath, Saul had David fitted out in his armour, but David found that it was heavy and uncomfortable, and so he chose to go without it. In the same way we cannot wear anyone else’s armour. It is not good enough to know about God through someone else. We are each responsible for our own personal relationship with the Lord to keep our armour intact. The plus is that when we have a right relationship with Him, our lives are complete and nothing can match the beauty that we find there even in adversity.
There are many different aspects to having a meaningful relationship with God. Some of these are regular Bible reading, prayer, thanksgiving and praise, but along with these is the need for time out to “be still and know that I am God”. A time of fellowship where we stop and let Him enjoy our company, while we enjoy His. A time without noise, or the need to do or say anything. A time of just being still before Him and available to Him.
Basis of our victory
“Christ Jesus has totally defeated Satan and all of his wicked powers and authorities totally and forever”. The enemy would like to have God’s children ignorant of the fact that Christ already defeated Satan one hundred percent. The battle is won totally and forever.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it”. (Colossians 2:13-15)
Satan, the Accuser
Why does Satan accuse us? The primary motive behind the accusations of the devil is to make us feel guilty. Satan wants to rob us off the confidence we have to go before God.
Guilt is the key to our defeat and righteousness is our key to victory. God, through the cross, has dealt with this problem of guilt, both in the past and in the future. He has made complete provision for both. How did God deal with the past? Colossians 2:13 says, “ He forgave us all our sins”. God made provision for our future, as seen in Colossians 2:14, “…having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us: he took it away, nailing it to the cross”.
These are the laws of Moses. To obtain righteousness with God, we need to keep all the laws as given to Moses. As long as the laws of Moses was the requirement, every time we broke even one of the most minor requirements, we were guilty before God. But Jesus took the law out of the way and made provision for us to live free from guilt. Isn’t that awesome?
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes”. Jew or Gentile, it makes no difference. Christ is not the end of the law as part of God’s Word. Christ is the end of the law as a means to achieve “righteousness with God”. We are not required to keep the law in order to be righteous.” (Romans 10:4)
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
This is the divine exchange. Once we grasp the fact that we have been made righteous with the righteousness of Christ, the devil cannot make us feel guilty any longer. Satan’s main weapon will thus be taken from him. Jesus disarmed the principalities and powers by His death on the cross. He took from them their main weapon against us.
Outworking of Christ’s victory through us
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”. (Colossians 2:15)
“But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Notice the words “always” and “in every place”. That means, there is no time and no place when we cannot visibly share the triumph of Christ over Satan’s kingdom.
Jesus declares: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, Therefore make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Here Jesus says that through His death on the cross, He has wrested the authority from Satan, obtained it for Himself and God has vested in Jesus, all authority in heaven and earth. What is the implication of “therefore?” Jesus says, “I have won the authority, you go and exercise it”. You go and demonstrate My victory to the whole world by fulfilling My commission.”
The victory of Jesus
First, in the wilderness, Jesus defeated Satan on His own behalf. He met Satan, resisted his temptation, and defeated him.
Second, on the cross, Jesus defeated Satan on our behalf, not for Himself. He did not need the victory for Himself because He already had it, but He won the victory for us and defeated our enemy. He disarmed our enemy, stripped him, and made a show of him openly on our behalf. Praise God!
Third, it is now our responsibility to keep the devil where he belongs.
Remember: “Jesus Christ has made victory possible for us “always” and “in every place”. Amen.
The girdle of truth
This is the first equipment in the whole armour of God. When a Roman soldier was required to do something active, such as use his weapons, he would need to take care of that loose garment. If he failed to do it, its flaps and folds would hinder his movements and prevent him from using the rest of his equipments effectively.
Truth literally means honesty, sincerity and openness. We live in a culture and society where people say things without really meaning them from the bottom of their hearts. Why do they say something and do something else? …simply because, they want to sound good. In other words, instead of God pleasers we often become men pleasers.
Often times, we say we will pray for you, brother and then totally forget about that brother. That is a bunch of insincere words and they are like the loose, hanging garment. It gets in our way and prevents us from doing the kind of thing that God ask us to do. Not only that, it becomes a stumbling block for the other items of equipment.
We must put away sham, hypocrisy, saying and doing things we do not mean. Often truth is painful. But it is time to confront the need for real truth, openness and frankness. You need to put on the girdle and tie it around so that the religious insincerities and shams no longer hang around you and become a stumbling block in the way of things God would want to have you do.
“Loins” is often used in the context of reproduction. When we gird our loins, we clothe ourselves in a way that our loins are covered in the spiritual sense. Every Christian married or unmarried must have spiritual children. It happens by “Words”. Words are the seeds to produce spiritual children.
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.” (Proverbs 13:14)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”. (Proverbs 18:21) We need to give life with our words.
Jesus spoke about girding your loins with truth:
The Lord said:
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37)
What was Jesus talking about? He said in effect, if our words are truth and life, then we must wrap ourselves in the truth. We must love truth as we love our life. Truth should become our treasure.
We are living in the last days. The deceiver is let loose. People are talked into things that are not truth anymore. If we, as God’s elect want to stand by the truth, we need to love the truth. That is why 2 Thessalonians 2:10 says, “…the love of the truth”. Only the people who love the truth will not be deceived in the last days. This is the way we wrap our selves with truth to prove that we love the truth. Or in other words, we love the truth so much that we wrap ourselves in it continually.
A practical way to girdle the truth is to meditate the word of God, the first thing in the morning. It is so important to girdle our loins with the truth.
Just like the people in uniforms get up each day early morning and get ready for that day’s battle, we as a soldier in God’s army need to put on the full armour of God. The first thing we need to do is wrap ourselves in the word of God.
In the Old testament days, the priest needed to wash themselves in the laver first thing each morning. That means the cleansing of the Word.
The children of Israel need to gather manna the first thing in the morning that represents the word of God.
In the biblical times, barrenness was such a reproach. In the spiritual sense barrenness is even worse. We literally loose out ability to reproduce if we do not have enough seed (the word of God) in us. We must protect our ability to reproduce and we can do it only with the “Word of God”. Amen.
May the Lord help us to girdle our loins in Jesus’ name.
The breastplate of righteousness
The heart is the vital organ of the human body. The breastplate of the soldier protects the heart. The Bible declares in Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”.
Paul speaks about the breastplate of righteousness as a protection of the heart. Ultimately what we have in our heart determines the course of our life, for good or for evil. Therefore it is so important to safeguard your heart. We an a soldier in the army of God need the breastplate of righteousness.
Paul describes the breastplate of righteousness need to be put on. Unless you decide to put on this breastplate, God cannot put this on you.
“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
Again Paul describes the breastplate but this time on a different dimension, ie., of faith and love.
If we put these two scriptures together, the breastplate of righteousness is a breastplate of faith and love. In Philippians 3:9, Paul speaks about this kind of righteousness again. “…that I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
In the above scripture, Paul talks about two kinds of righteousness. One is, his own righteousness that is derived from the Law and says this is not sufficient. But he talks about a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in the written word of God. Paul is talking about the second kind of righteousness when he was writing about the breastplate of righteousness.
When we operate in our own righteousness, Satan can find many weak points in that type of righteousness and can often penetrate it with his attacks and could damage our heart. Therefore we must put on a breastplate that is not our own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.
We need to believe the Scripture and accept by faith that we have become the righteousness of God. That is the only kind of breastplate that can adequately protect our heart and our life. This type of righteousness can only be wrought by faith. It is a breastplate of faith and love.
Jesus prayed for Peter that “his faith may not fail” the night before His passion. There may be times when our faith seems to fail. But that is when we need to pray like how Jesus prayed. . It is so easy to praise God and keep going when everything goes all right. But when everything seems to be failing, that is when the real test to our faith comes. Jesus warned Peter that he was going to betray Him the same night. In the context of that warning, Jesus said, “Peter, I have prayed for you.” Jesus did not pray that Peter would not betray Him. In those situations, under the pressures that would develop and with the known weaknesses in Peter’s Character, it was inevitable that Peter would betray Jesus. But Jesus prayed a different kind of prayer,
Notice that your faith may not fail. If Peter’s faith would not fail, then even though he was going to deny the Lord and show himself very weak and cowardly, all those things could be retrieved. Jesus was giving importance to Peter’s faith instead of the other outward things. Jesus was praying for Peter’s breastplate of faith and love. Faith is the essential element for this breastplate.
The kind of faith we are talking about works only through love. Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision not uncircumcision mean anything, but faith working through love”. One thing that Paul says is without faith that comes from love, you cannot succeed in Christian life. It is an active faith that works through love.
In Song of Solomon 8:6-7, it says, “place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal over your arm: for love is as strong as death, many water cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away”.
See the phrase “love is as strong as death”. Death is the one irresistible thing that we all must encounter. There is no way to avoid death. Love always conquers us from all negative forces like resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, discouragement, and despair which can corrupt our hearts and spoil our lives. Remember, all that there is in life comes out of the heart.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
This is the breastplate we need, one that never fails. A breastplate in which there is not a single weak point that the enemy can get in. This breastplate will protect you from any evil thing that the enemy can bring to you to penetrate that vital area of your life. Amen.
Let our faith not fail, no matter what we go through in Jesus’ name.
The shield of faith
Ephesians 6: 16 says, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one”.
There are many facets of faith. First of all we enter into God’s Kingdom by faith. We perform signs, wonders and miracle by faith. We even prophesy according to our measure of faith. In the scripture above, we notice that faith is also the shield that will quench the arrows of the enemy. Yet there are many who do not understand it and there are few who use it.
Faith is the most visible part of the spiritual life in a Christian. Let us say that a solder is marching toward you with his shield held rightly. It will be the most prominent thing you will ever see about him. In the same way, when others look at you walking towards them, is your faith that prominent? Our words and deeds should bring about faith in others. Sadly, some people have their shields in a place that is hardly seen. Yet some are dragging their shields behind them instead of holding it up against the enemy.
All of life’s trials that come our way are for one great purpose, our maturity. We should therefore embrace the trials as opportunities. That way, each trial the enemy flings at us will actually cause our faith muscle to grow stronger and stronger and it becomes impossible for the enemy to hurt or wound us.
Every soldier must learn to use the shield skilfully. Irrespective of the direction from which the attacks came, the warriors use their shields efficiently so that he will not miss the target from an unexpected direction. We too need to learn to be flexible with our faith. Usage of faith should accompany trust in God and assurance of His victory and never look at situations in doubt and unbelief.
Shields are of two types. One is a small circular, flat one and the other one is a long rectangular shield and is taken from the word for a door because it is shaped somewhat like a door. This is the kind of shield Paul speaks of when he says, “the shield of faith.”
A properly trained Roman soldier uses the shield so skilfully that no part of his body could be reached by the enemy. It gave him complete protection. This is the faith Paul is talking about when he refers to it as a shield.
Satan doesn’t care about the folks that do not cause any damage to his kingdom. He wants to cause trouble to those who will trouble him. The enemy first counterattacks our minds, our hearts, our bodies and our finances. So we need to have a shield that covers us. He will attack any area he could reach. If he cannot attack us, he will attack those closest to us. If you are a married person and the first thing the enemy would want to touch is your spouse. That is why you need to have shield big enough to protect you and everything around you. You, your family, and everything God has committed to you.
Faith is mentioned twice in this list of the armour. First, as a breastplate. The breastplate is faith and love and secondly, a shield is the shield of faith. Each of us of “faith” must be understood slightly differently.
The breastplate is faith for our own personal righteousness, but the shield of faith is for protection and provision for ourselves and all whom God has committed to us. It is that which covers everything. We must hold our shield of faith for full protection and provision.
May the Lord make us strong soldiers in His Kingdom. Amen.
The sword of the spirit
The Sword is the one weapon that is quite different from the rest of the weapons. The sword is more an offensive weapon than a purely defensive one. To fight the devil in your life, there are no short cuts. In fact, there is no other effective way than to take the sword of the spirit in your mouth. In order for you to get there, you need to spend a lot of time meditating the word of God and memorizing portions of it. That is the way you have an abundance of Word when you need it. You cannot tell the devil, “Hey devil, hold on, let me find out which word will stop you”. No! You have lost the battle already if you do that. You need to get trained to use this weapon so effectively that the devil will not mess with you anymore. It is the only way to drive the devil off.
Are you finding it so hard to fight with the enemy? It is not as hard. The only thing that you need to be aware of is your position in Christ and the privileges you have in the Lord. The devil is already defeated. He cannot stop you from doing God’s will in your life. But you can stop him. Jesus has given you the power to trample over serpents and scorpions and nothing can by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19)
The source and the nature of the Sword of the Spirit:
1. It penetrates:
Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”.
God’ word is so powerful to penetrate to every area of a human being. It divides the soul and the spirit, the innermost area of human personality. It goes to areas where no missile on earth can reach. It does much more than any human inventions can do.
2. Comes out of the mouth of Jesus:
John the disciple saw a vision in Revelations 1:16 when he had a vision of Jesus in His glory as the Lord of the church, one of the things that he saw was a sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus. “In his right hand he held seven stars and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword”.
3. The only weapon Jesus used:
Matthew 4:1-11 says that Jesus used this weapon all the three times the devil talked to Him in the wilderness. Every time Jesus encountered Satan personally, the only weapon He used against him was the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Jesus had no doubts about the scripture. He knew it so well that if he uses the scriptures, there will be divine manifestations. Satan also never questioned the authority of the Scripture. He never will. The devil knows the power of the Word of God. The temptation that Satan threw at Jesus was for Him to doubt the Word of God. Notice Satan starts each question with an “if”. That means he calls for doubt.
Beloved, this is the same strategy the devil uses against us. He will cause us to doubt the Word of God as he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Once he gets there, then it is easy for him to work on us. That is why we need to hold on to the Word like an anchor even when the going gets tough. No matter what your situations are, the Word of God is the same. God’s word is perfect, powerful and reliable in every situation.
Also notice, Jesus did not have different methods to deal with the enemy. He used the same weapon of the Word of God against him. “It is written…it is written…it is written…”
4. Sword of the Spirit is the “Rhema word”:
Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Paul speaks about the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. In the Greek it is ‘Rhema’ which is the spoken word. It is not the Bible that is in your bookshelf or on the nightstand or on your coffee table. It is the word of God you have put in your heart and the Holy Spirit taking the one word and giving it to you in your time of need.
Our part is to deposit the word of God in our hearts. The Holy Spirit will not do that for us. But when we take the sword in faith, then the Holy Spirit gives us the power and the wisdom to use it.
May the Lord help us use the sword of the Spirit effectively in our lives. Amen.
The weapon of praise
Praise is related to God’s greatness or awesomeness. Praise is a very powerful tool for God’s supernatural intervention. Three things happen when we praise God.
The children of Israel sang in Exodus 15: 11, “Who is like You among gods, O Lord? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?”
“Awesomeness in praise” reveals how great our God is. He alone is worthy of all our praise. To Him belongs all the praise. Only our God can be praised and none other.
1. Praise silences Satan:
Satan’s main activity is accusations against God’s children. He is full time into accusing the children of God. He does this to push us to a place of guilt and shame.
Revelations 12:10 says, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night”.
Jesus was performing miracles in the temple when the children cried “Hosannah”. The chief priest and the scribes objected that. Jesus quoted the scripture as in Psalm 8:2, “ Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes, You have ordained strength, Because of your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger”.
2. Praise strengths God’s children:
In Matthew 21:15,16, God’s word declares, “But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant, and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou has prepared praise for Thyself?”
Notice the word “Out of the mouth”. The mouth is the primary channel for releasing our spiritual weapons against Satan’s kingdom. Secondly, this verse speaks of infants and babes. This means those who have no natural strength of their own, who much rely on God’s strength. Jesus refers to the people who do not have natural strength of their own when He said babes and not necessarily those who are new born in the natural.
Here we see that God has provided His people strength to deal with this entire kingdom. Jesus was out in the temple and the little children were shouting, “Hosannah!” Jesus was quoting the scripture as in Psalm 8:2, “At that time Jesus answered and said, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have established strength”.
3. Praise releases power:
When God’s children use their mouth effectively, there is no way out for the enemy. Praise literally binds the enemy. In other words, the party that uses the mouth effectively wins the war. If God’s people keep silent, they cannot win. When they begin to praise, the enemy has to keep quite.
Psalm 149:6-9 says, “ May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints”.
These verses sounded so promising to me when I read this. This speaks of God’s saints and what they can do through praise. That praise should be accompanied by a two-edged sword. It means praise should be coupled with God’s word.
We have the authority committed to us, through God’s word and through the weapon of praise, to administer God’s written judgment on angels, rulers, kings, peoples and nations. That implies a great amount of power and authority. Isn’t that awesome! Praise God. Thank you Jesus for the authority you have given us as your children!
May the Lord help us to be people of praise always in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The weapon of preaching
This weapon of attack is specifically related to the preaching of God’s Word. It is no way related to preaching on any other subjects other than what is in the Word of God.
Paul encourages Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.”
First of all the word “charge” is a strong term. Notice the word, “I charge you”. This word “I charge” is used in connection with a solemn testimony in a court of law. It is a legal term. Paul tells Timothy that he is to preach the word with equal urgency when circumstances are favourable and when they are not. It is given in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, in the light of the fact that Christ will judge the living and the dead and in view of His appearing in His kingdom. It is one of the most solemn charges ever given to any servant of God.
Secondly, the charge is to preach the Word. It takes into account the responsibility of the preacher for what he preaches. Jesus will judge the living and the dead indicates the preacher will give an account for the messages he preaches. It is a warning not to preach what the listeners want to hear but instead to preach the truth in love. Paul says in Acts 20:20, “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house”. In spite of opposition and criticism, the charge is to preach the Word of God.
God’s Word is a Weapon:
There is so much to say about the power and effectiveness of God’s word. There is dynamite power in the preached Word of God. Its results are guaranteed. It will not return empty. It is like a hammer that will break in pieces every rock that opposes the purposes of God. It is like a sharp sword that pierces to the innermost recesses of the human personality and exposes the intentions of men’s hearts and minds.
Isaiah 55:11, “So shall My word that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Ministry of Paul in Ephesus:
Acts 19:8-10, “And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyranus. And this continued for two years so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks”.
Paul did an intense, continual and extensive teaching of the Word, which is so important for a breakthrough. Preaching of Paul was intense in the sense that he spoke boldly without reservations. His preaching was continuous. He preached everyday for two years. He did not preach the Word on and off. It was extensive in the sense that his teaching reached out to the whole of the province of Asia.
The first result was supernatural attestation. The Scripture says that God will confirm His Word. He does not confirm human theories. He will confirm that He has said in His Word. Acts 19:11-12 says, “God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them”. I love the word “extraordinary miracles.” Do you know what that implies?
The second result was that the evil spirits were driven out into the open. Acts19: 13-16 says, “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists book it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” This account is like a backhanded compliment when the representatives of the Devil say about a preacher. In effect Satan’s agents were saying, ‘This preacher is achieving something’.
The third result of Paul’s preaching was the occult domination over the entire city was broken. Acts 19:17-19, “This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver”.
Even in the church world today, we see a lot of folks having one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the enemy’s kingdom. These folks need to see the demonstration of the reality of Satan’s power. When Paul preached, the believers brought the books and burned them publicly. The value of the books was fifty thousand silver. One silver is a day’s wages. If you estimate a day’s wage at about $50, then, 50 thousand silver is $2,500,000. What a transformation it will be if the same thing happens in every city in the U.S! Acts 19:20, “The Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed”. The tremendous power behind all this is the preached word of God. Paul’s ministry had no reservations and no compromise. That is the kind of preaching of the Word of God that accomplishes similar effects. Oh! How much we need that kind of preaching today.
May the Lord raise up Pails in the body of Christ in Jesus name. Amen.
The weapon of testimony
Preaching is sharing the Word of God, but testimony is speaking from a personal point of view about incidents that line up to the Word of God and confirm the truth of God’s Word. For example if we are preaching a message on deliverance, we share the promises of deliverance and preach the principles on which God delivers. But if we testify about healing, we speak about an incident when we personally experience God’s delivering power. Therefore, preaching and giving a testimony are both with respect to the Word of God but they approach from different angles.
Three things needed for the testimony to be powerful:
1. We need the “Supernatural Power”:
To be effective witnesses for Jesus, we need supernatural power. Out testimony needs the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted His disciples to go out and begin testifying after there were endued with that power on the Day of Pentecost.
2. Our Life needs to become a testimony:
Jesus insisted that out life speaks to people all the time about Jesus. More than our talk and our work, it is our character and our conduct that touches people. The key for our testimony is ‘our life’. Our way of living talks a lot of things to the people that our words cannot speak. Our life talks louder than our words.
3. We need to start where we are:
We need to start in Jerusalem that means our area of influence. Jesus was talking about telling people from where God has placed us. Let them believe and let them be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then let them in turn go and tell other people. In turn, let them believe, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and go and tell others. He said it would start in Jerusalem, move out to Judea, then to Samaria, and will not cease until it reaches the uttermost parts of the earth.
The goal Jesus has is ‘the uttermost parts of the earth’. His basic strategy for reaching it was for all of God’s people to become witnesses, witnessing to and winning others. Those, in turn, were to witness and win until, like the expanding ripples from stones cast into a pond, they reached the uttermost part of the earth.
‘Weapon of testimony’ ultimately will cast down Satan’s kingdom in the heaven lies:
Blood of Jesus and the Word of God:
We overcome Satan when we testify personally to what the Word of God says the blood of Jesus does for us. One way we do that is taking part in the Lord’s Table.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’.
The cup represents the blood of the Lord, so in taking part in the Lord’s Table we are continually testifying, proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There are five important provisions revealed in the Word of God that are made available to us through the blood of Jesus.
- Redemption: Ephesians 1:7,”In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
- Forgiveness: 1 John 1:7 says, “…but if we walk in the light as He himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
- Cleansed: Romans 5:9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
- Justified: Justified is just –as-if-I’d never sinned, because I have been made righteous with a righteousness that knows no sin, which is the righteousness of Christ.
- Sanctified: Sanctify means to set apart for God or to make holy. Hebrews 13:12 declares, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate”.
We need to continually take the offensive with the weapons God has provided for us. It is not enough to merely stay on the defensive and wait upon the Lord all the time to do the battle. We are an army or conquerors. The Nations are ready to be harvested into the kingdom of God who will win them with the Gospel of the kingdom.
Our prayer is that the Lord will use you as a testimony to win the people into the kingdom of God. Amen.
The love commandment
Every Christian would have prayed these words at least once. Lord, “let me hear from you”. Most of us would have prayed many times and some are praying daily. Without a doubt God wants to answer. Yet believers remain frustrated unable to hear specific instructions from the Lord, they end up wandering around in a spiritual dilemma, incapable of seeing God’s path He has planned for them.
The first step is to obey the general instructions that He has given us before we can go into any of those specific instructions. Every Soldier in the Army has to learn the general orders first. General orders are the overall military requirements that everyone in uniform must obey. Once that was in place the cadet learn the direct orders from they superior officer. Finally there are orders of the day, which is a detailed format that gave a road map for the day.
As soldiers in the kingdom of God, we’ve been given general orders by the Commander in Chief. Those commands are mandatory and important—so important that everything in life hinges upon our obedience to them.
Matthew 22 is one of the many places in the New Testament we find those general commands. There we read about a young lawyer asking Jesus a crucial question: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (verses 36-40).
1. Love God, love others
These are the general and direct orders of the Kingdom. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The word love is a strong term. The cycle of love begins with God. His love is what gives us love for Him and love for others. Jesus prayed to the Father for His first 12 disciples and for all who would believe in Him, and said, “You have sent me and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23). God love me as much as He loves Jesus. Thank God for that and say it out loud till it sinks in. The devil may attempt to convince you the other way but don’t give room for the devil. Pray this: Father God, I thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for sending Your Son for me. I receive that love in Jesus name, Amen.
2. Believe that love is in you
That love is living inside of you. Romans 5:5 says, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Believe as Jesus said in John 17:26 that the love with which God loved Jesus is in you. 1 John 4:15,16 says, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God. And we have and believed the love that God has for us.” The love of God is imparted in your heart and you are the authorized user of it. God has deposited His love in your heart and you need to withdraw from that deposit all the time. When you realize that you activate the most powerful force. You begin to love every one. You will not only love God, with the same love you will start to love on the most crazy and the meanest people you know. You will be full of love, you will not have problems releasing it. You will be so full of love, it will begin to overflow.
3. Practice love:
Now you are saying, ‘how can I do that’? Start by taking time to really forgive others that have wronged you. How to do that? In prayer take time to picture that person in your mind. Lift him before God and say, Father I give all those unloving, bitter and hateful feeling toward this person to you. I will no longer be bitter towards this person. I surround him with love. I love that person as much as I love myself. Spend time loving God and focus on forgiving people who have been hard to love in your life. Pray for them. Consciously strive to live and walk in harmony especially those with and around you – especially with your family, people at church. The devil know the power of agreement. Mathew 18: 19-20, “ If two of you agree touching anything in this earth, it will be done by my father in heaven.”
When you catch yourself saying something angry or unloving, do not allow you to be that way. Repent immediately. Say, “ I judge myself for that in the Name of Jesus. I am not full of anger but I am full of love.”
Another way you can practice the love of God is by looking for secret ways to bless people. Do not even put your name. Let God get the glory out of it. Don’t do it to be seen or appreciated. Do it purely out of love. Look at James 2:14-17.
Finally confess the One who is the greatest. 1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.” With Him we can do everything. We can love anyone. Cultivate a conscious awareness that God is walking with you all the time
“For you are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
Become God-inside minded. Say, “When I walk, God walks. His hands are in my hands. I have the mind of Christ. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. When you begin to live in the light of that revelation, you are walking in love and your path will grow brighter and brighter every day. You will be hearing specific orders from Heaven at every point.
May the Lord pour out His love on us in Jesus Name. Amen.