Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

There is something important that you must understand about this “struggle” that we are in against Satan.  And what you must understand is that Jesus has already defeated the devil at the Cross of Calvary.  Here is what the Word says about this subject;

Revelation 1:17-18 (NIV1984)

 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

How do you think He got the “keys” if He had not defeated the enemy?

In another passage the Word is also plain about Satan’s defeat;

Collosians 2:15 (MSG)

He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

I love the Message for this passage; Jesus obviously has complete victory over Satan and his forces as He “marched them naked through the streets.”

So what does all this Good News mean for you and me as Christians in the marketplace in light of the context of Ephesians 6: 10-18?  We have to know that Jesus’ victory is our victory!  There are several passages that give us that proof, my favorite is John 15 where Jesus teaches about the vine and the branches and the fact that we “abidein Him.  Also take a look at Ephesians 1:20 which says God “raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places.” And then in Eph 2:6, Paul goes on to say that “God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  So since you are seated with Christ and Satan is under Jesus feet, then Satan must also be under your feet.  Hallelujah!

So does all of this Good News negate what Paul is teaching us in Ephesians 6?  Absolutely NOT!  But in order to use the armor properly you must understand what it is being used for.  So let’s review:

  1. Jesus has already won the victory!
  2. You are in Christ and seated with Him.
  3. So Jesus’ victory is your victory over Satan.

So why do I need the armor? You might ask. You and I must have the armor because Satan, even though he is defeated is still trying to convince us that he has power and authority.  And until Jesus returns the devil has free run here on earth.  He also has 6000 years of experience in deceiving God’s chosen people, so he’s pretty good at it.

Paul is telling us that this is a battle of faith; this is a battle for control of your mind and will.  This is the only thing that Satan has the opportunity to control, our minds.  If he can control your mind he can control your actions and the way that you interact with other people.  Are you going to allow him to do that or are you going to “stand firm then” on the Word of God?  Isn’t it interesting that “to stand firm then” is a defensive posture for the army that has already won.  Paul didn’t tell us to attack so that we can storm the gates of hell.  He said “to stand.” 

In my experience I need the entire set of armor in order to “stand” and keep Satan in his place. In the heat of my fight of faith I must be truthful with all I meet about my current situation and what I’m going through.  I need to know that I am righteous in God’s eyes because He sees everything through the lens of Jesus Blood.  That righteousness gives me power and wisdom.  I need to be at peace with the peace of Jesus with those I meet and with myself. 

I love the shield of faith! I must pick it up every day, especially for the work that I do in the marketplace.  The shield of faith is to me the most important piece of defensive armor.  Because the faith that I have in the Word is the foundation of everything.  I must have faith in what the Word says that I am faith in what the Word says that I can do and faith in what the Word says that I will receive.  I must know in my knower that the promises of God are “Yes and Amen.” And they are meant for ME!

Next I put on the “helmet of salvation” what a cool piece of armor.  Not only am I secure in my salvation and my victory over the evil one but in the original language I’m told this helmet was a full-faced helmet.  So once I put it on the only thing that can be seen are my eyes.  So the devil doesn’t know who he is up against.  So when I “take up the Sword of the Spirit” and speak the Word of God to him he doesn’t know if it’s me or Jesus that he is up against.  And since the Word says that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow” the dirty dog Satan has to submit.

Isn’t it interesting that all of this preparation is for prayer?  Paul tells us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  That says that I’m supposed to pray about the big stuff and the little stuff.  Talk about dependence on God in prayer!  And that my friend is the connection of this passage to being a business owner.  Are you submitting yourself and your business to God in prayer every day?  Are you following the leading of the Holy Spirit gives you in prayer or are you too busy to take the time?  The Father is a lot smarter that all of us put together about business or anything else, so I suggest you cast your cares on Him and allow Him to guide you.  If you don’t …Satan will be happy to deceive you and lead you down the wrong path.

Stand firm then!!!

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!

Steve

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