The Armor of God: The enemy

Continued study of the Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For 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. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
It is obvious from this passage that there is a spiritual battle taking place in the church. While many Christians rightly divide the Word of God in regard to spiritual battles, there seem to be two extremes that often cause confusion and danger on this topic. The first is to give the devil too much credit. Some churches claim there is an "evil" spirit for every sinful thought, desire and or feeling they hold too. They blame the devil every time they do something wrong, as if the devil can take control of a Christian and make them sin. We know, however, that is not the case.

Surely there are times when Satan is tempting us and we certainly need to be guarded against that as the verses above warn us to do. However, sometimes our temptation is nothing more then our own flesh. Sometimes we simply desire to do wrong. The book of James explains this.

James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (ESV)
Sometimes that sinful thought is simply our sinful nature showing itself. If we act upon that desire, then it becomes sin. That is a spiritual battle we must deal with, but it is not the battle described in Ephesians. We can't blame the devil every time we have a desire to do wrong.

The other extreme is to act as if the devil is absolutely powerless against a Christian. In James we are also told to "resist the devil, and he will flee from you" but sometimes Christians act as if resisting him is easy. Resisting the devil is likened to resisting the desire to eat a piece of dessert, all you have to do is simply walk away. However, while the dessert is powerless to get up and follow you out of the room, the devil is not. The word resist in the Greek literally means "to set one's self against, to withstand, resist, oppose." In fact, that is the same exact word used in our verses in Ephesians 6:13 which says we need to wear the whole armor of God so that we may "withstand in the evil day." If we are not armored, we can not "resist" or stand against the devil. We will lose the battle.

No, if we want to be strong in the Lord with His power and His might we need to be armored. We need to be dressed, prepared and ready. If you try to stand against the devil and oppose Him without the spiritual armor, you will not win.

Now, the first step in any battle is to know your enemy. Before telling us what armor we will need, Paul tells us about the enemies that we are fighting. Let us look at the definition of each one of them in the Complete Word Study Dictionary to give us a better of understanding of who we are fighting against.

against the rulers: "spoken of the princes or chiefs... among demons."
against the authorities: "Those invested with power"
against the powers of this dark world: "referring to Satan and his angels."
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms: " 'the spirits of malice' means the evil spirits"

We are fighting against an entire army. Our enemy consists of the commanders or "chiefs" among the demons, those invested with power, evil spirits and and the powers of the dark world which includes Satan himself. Would any officer allow his soldier to go against an army of that size unequipped and unarmed? No. So why do we head into spiritual battle as if it is no big deal?

Satan, along with every evil spirit that is invested with power is trying to kill and destroy us. If they can destroy our lives, it ruins our testimony and the witness that we might have to share the gospel with others. If we sin and fall short and hurt others, they are not likely to follow in our footsteps and follow God. And we certainly will not experience the peace of God and live in victory if we fall prey to these attacks.

Putting on the full armor of God not only helps us stand up during the battle but it allows us to stand firm, each and every day. In a day like today where I see people falling into sin all around me we need be armored more than ever. When people are leaving the faith and following after false doctrines and lies we need to be sure that we will be able to stand. As this passage so clearly warns us, if we are not mindful to stay in the Word and pray for it to be applied to our life and if we do not call on the name of the Lord and armor ourselves every day, we will not stand.

Think about that carefully. We need to be armored with the Word of God for battle, but we do not need to run out into battle ahead of God. It is not our job to seek after Satan, chasing him. We do not seek the battle, we simply stay armored and prepared in case Satan attacks us. Our focus needs to be on our commander, not our enemy. We must know our enemy so we can be armored against him, but our time, attention and devotion needs to be on God, and God alone.

Know your enemy and be prepared for battle, but more importantly, "be strong in the Lord and strength of His might." That will only happen if you armor yourself for the war. Knowing God is not enough. You must also believe what He says in His Word enough to equip yourself for the battles ahead. Do not assume that God will not allow you to fall into temptation simply because you are saved. He is warning you for a reason. You can know this: You will fall if you ignore the Scripture and do not put on the armor He has given you to wear. "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm."

Overruled

Overruled is a 35 minute docudrama that examines real cases in American courts in which parental rights were denied to parents.

Can you imagine having your child taken from your custody simply because you make them attend church 3 times a week? One judge in America did just that. He ordered that their child (who had already been taken from their custody) not be returned to the home unless the parents agreed to only take him to church once a week! A JUDGE decided how much church was too much church! An AMERICAN judge had the power to make that decision!

And parents of kids in school, did you know that you are checking your parental rights at the school door? Want your child opted out of sex education that might conflict with your personal views? A parent in this video was arrested for trying to opt his child out and the school never consented to do so!

Or what about medical information for your child? Do you know that you must sign for permission for medical treatment for your child and even must pay for that treatment but unless the child gives you permission you do not have the right to see the results of tests from that treatment!? Parents in this movie were denied access to the results of a drug test given to their son because of the new HIPPA laws we now have in place.

These are REAL cases that have happened in US courts. In the country where we thought we had the right to raise our children according to our own values, how could this be possible?

Here is the trailer to the Overruled Docudrama (in case you don't have time to watch the full movie now) and below that is the full version of Overruled. Please, make sure you make the time to watch the entire movie when you have a chance. Then please share it with everyone you know! This information needs to get out! We need to fight for our rights before they are long gone! Also, be sure to "like" the videos (if you agree of course) or comment below them.

Official Overruled Trailer



Overruled 35 Minute Docudrama



Visit Overruled Movie or Parentalrights.org to learn more of how you can help to protect parental rights.

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For 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. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)

Guided By Truth was founded because we saw the destruction of churches that teach lies. Lies are powerful things and only the truth can overcome them. In fact, I believe that every sin can be traced back to the belief in a lie. The one who is unfaithful believes the lie that their happiness trumps the commitment they made to their spouse. The person who steals has bought the lie that they deserve something they did not work for. The abuser believes the lie that those whom they abuse have no value. From the garden to today, Satan has done what he does best, deceive.
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (ESV)
Unfortunately too often, we buy his goods. Here we focus on those who have bought the lies he has taught us in the name of religion, and that is an important feature. But truth is only one layer of the armor of God. It is imperative that we do not get so caught up in the search of truth that we forget to be mindful of the rest of the armor we should be adorning.

What is truth without the breastplate of righteousness? To be true in your doctrine but err in your conduct is not being girded with truth. It's a belt that holds nothing in place. That is only partial truth which in essence is a lie. What about truth without the helmet of salvation, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, or the sword of the Spirit? Without any one of these pieces of armor you are not ready for battle. A belt alone is not enough to keep the arrows from piercing the skin and causing you to fall. No, you must "take up the whole armor of God" in order to be able to withstand.

It was never our intention to only share one piece of armor, it is just the piece that we became most mindful of. In order to be sure that we do teach the full truth, we will be sharing more on the armor. In the weeks ahead we will be delving into the armor, piece by piece, taking a closer look at how we need to be prepared in order to face the battle that we are all in, the battle for truth. We can not have victory if we are not prepared. For now, consider the entire armor, the completed picture.

1 The belt of truth - If truth is not at the core, then the rest of the armor will do no good. It is the piece that ties the others in place.
2. The breastplate of righteousness - Right living, purity, integrity, and virtue. These are absolutely necessary to be in this battle. If your heart is not protected in this battle, it will be pierced and you will die.
3. The shoes of the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace - If we are not living in peace with all men, as much as we are able, then we are not ready for this battle. Peace does not mean that we check truth at the door, but it certainly means that we are peaceable, gentle, and full of mercy when speaking it. Those are the attributes of the wisdom that comes from God (James 3:17).
4. The shield of faith - Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Our faith must be in God, not in faith itself. It's not what you believe, but in whom you believe that makes the difference.
5. The helmet of salvation - Like a physical helmet protects the brain, our spiritual helmet protects our mind. Our salvation is in Christ and we are told to "guard your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:7) and "to set your minds on things that are above" (Col 3:2). If our minds are not focused on Him it leaves us thoroughly unprotected in a firestorm of battle.
6. The sword of the Spirit - The passage tells us what this piece is, "which is the Word of God." This piece is imperative in battle. No one goes into battle without their weapon and we can not enter our spiritual battle without reading, studying, meditating on, and knowing the Word of God. It takes more than knowing John 3:16 to have victory.

Are you ready, are your armored? If you answer no, then decide today to put it on. If you have never before been armored for battle, you can start now. Pray over each piece of armor, study God's Word to learn more about what each part entails. God will equip you if you ask Him to (James 1:5).

If you read this and find you are only partially armored, then put on the other pieces now. To have truth, but no sword is not OK. You can not bypass or find an easy alternative to carrying a weapon. Only your personal time and study will do. To be in the Word but be blinded from the truth will not work either. As you read the Word be sure that you are believing what it actually says, not what someone else is telling you it means.

And finally, if you have once been armored but for one reason or another took it off, place it back on. It is not too late. Armor is heavy and if we focus on that heaviness it can wear us down. It is only when we keep that helmet on and protect our minds by focusing on the things above, not our burdens, will we be able to carry the weight of it all. No matter what piece you threw to the ground, the belt because you bought into false doctrine, the breastplate because you lacked purity, or the shield because you just couldn't place your faith in Christ for whatever reason, it's not too late to pick it up again. The battle is not over. Put on the armor today. Then, and only then, will you be "able to withstand in the evil day." Not only will you be able to stand, but you will "stand firm."

The Armor of God Part 2 - The Armor of God: The enemy