Armor & Weaponry of God
Anyone who regularly takes advantage of the armor & arms of God will automatically 1. draw closer to God, 2. activate angels on your behalf and 3. deter evils spirits. Those who don’t won’t. Thus it’s imperative to have a basic understanding of God’s armor & weaponry.
We’ll first look at what each piece of the armor & arms is and then observe how to use each of these spiritual tools throughout your day. I encourage you to utilize either of the two 7-item breakdowns as a checklist until you can “put on” the armor & weaponry without even referencing a list. I do this daily as soon as I wake.
Speaking of which, the armor & arms of God are not things you “put on” and that’s it. They’re obviously not literal pieces of armor & weaponry, but rather figurative of spiritual things YOU DO, and continue to DO, throughout any given day. Because of this, it’s possible for a believer to be using the armor & arms of God without even knowing you’re doing so. If this doesn’t make sense, it will once you understand what each piece is.
You’ve no doubt heard sermons or read books/articles on this topic and that’s great. But I encourage you not to limit your view of the armor & arms of God to the way you first heard it. I’m not saying that what you were taught was wrong, but simply encouraging you to be open to new insights. The armor & weaponry of God are instrumental to successful spiritual warfare and a proper understanding of them is vital to a victorious walk with the Lord.
Let’s start by reading the relevant text:
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 Lord’s people.
The first paragraph is simply an introduction to God’s armor & weaponry wherein several important points are stressed:
- God wants you to be strong in Him and walk in his mighty power. The way you do this is by putting on the armor of God and using the weapons he provides. Speaking of which…
- Use the FULL armor. Twice we’re encouraged to put on the full armor, not part of it, which shows that every piece is necessary to effectively withstand the enemy’s attacks.
- The identity and nature of the enemy. Your enemy is not flesh & blood—that is, people—but rather “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This refers to the evil spirits commissioned to assault you & yours.
- Your need for God’s armor & weaponry. Since evil spirits are spiritual in nature, and therefore invisible, it requires intangible protection & arms to overcome them.
- The “day of evil.” This refers to when you are attacked by the kingdom of darkness. You are not attacked every second of every day (although, of course, you have to constantly contend with the evil desires of the flesh, but that’s a different issue). There are specific times when the enemy will assault you. This is the “day of evil.” The Bible is warning every believer that the enemy will attack. It’s not a question of if you will be attacked, but rather a matter of when.
- The purpose of God’s armor & weaponry: Your victory. The LORD wants you to be victorious when the enemy attacks; He wants you to withstand the assault. This is the very reason he provides these defenses & arms. You must get it through your head that God is on your side: He’s for you and not against you (Romans 8:31).
When Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians he was under house arrest in Rome and so there were Roman soldiers constantly in his vicinity. As such, he was able to get a good look at their armor & weaponry and drew parallels, by the Spirit, to the intangible armor & arms God provides for every believer, which includes YOU.
Here are the seven pieces of the armor & arms of God and an explanation of each:
1. The Belt of Truth (verse 14)
This is the first piece of armor because truth is essential for victory in a world governed by the father of lies (John 8:44). Truth is alétheia (ah-LAY-thee-ah) in the Greek meaning “reality” or “the way it really is.” The belt of truth is simply devotion to seeking and finding the truth and living according to it, utilizing the sources of truth that God has provided. The other pieces of the armor & weaponry of God are dependent on this piece of armor, which explains why it’s the first one.
There are two main sources of truth: 1. The Living Word, who is truth (John 14:6), and 2. The written Word, which is truth, assuming it’s interpreted soundly, balancing out truth with truth (John 17:17). Both sources are essential: The first refers to seeking the Living Word so that you are led by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13) while the second refers to feeding from the written Word and acquiring truth through “rightly dividing” it (2 Timothy 2:15). The way you do the second is twofold—receiving from sound ministers of God (Ephesians 4:11-13) and receiving through personal study (1 John 2:27).
Be careful to pursue the truth above loyalty to a particular sect. Otherwise you’ll fall into the pitfall of sectarianism, which is a work of the flesh. Go here for details on sectarianism.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness (verse 14)
This piece of armor refers to living out of your new nature—your spirit—because it was born righteous when you accepted the gospel and underwent spiritual regeneration. This is your “new self, which was created to be like God in true righteousness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). As you learn to walk according to this new nature with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit you’ll naturally walk in practical righteousness. So putting on your breastplate of righteousness is one-and-the-same as walking in the spirit (Galatians 5:16).
Of course, as a human being with a flesh, you’ll inevitably sin; this includes the more common sins like envy, jealousy, rivalry, hatred, gossip, lying, greed or lust. Those who have their “breastplate” on will humbly ’fess up and receive God’s forgiveness, which “purifies you from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). Doing this is “keeping with repentance” (Matthew & Luke 3:8). The repentance/forgiveness dynamic is essential to spiritual growth because it ensures God’s grace continually flowing in your life and your ongoing progress. It keeps your spiritual arteries clear of the clog-up of unconfessed sin. *
* Incredibly, there’s this widespread false teaching amongst Evangelicals today which suggests that believers never have to repent of anything, ever. Jesus must have been walking in gross error when he instructed the Ephesian Christians to repent in Revelation 2:5 (sarcasm).
A Roman soldier’s breastplate guarded his heart and other vital organs. Just so, the breastplate of righteousness guards your figurative heart—your mind—and prevents it from being corrupted by things that would eventually destroy you (Proverbs 4:23).
3. The Gospel of Peace Shoes (verse 15)
The “gospel of peace” refers to the message of Christ, which is the “message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). ‘Reconciliation’ means “to turn from enmity to friendship.” It’s through the gospel that you have peace with your Creator and are born His beloved son & daughter (1 John 3:2,9). It’s through this gospel that you become Christ’s friend (John 15:14-15).
The Roman soldier’s footwear was designed for firm-footing, which was a life-or-death matter in combat. When you face spiritual attack, your peace with God is likewise a matter of life and death—success or victory. The text says that the gospel of peace shoes grant the believer “readiness.” This is the Greek word hetoimasia (het-oy-mas-EE-ah), which means “foundation” or “firm-footing” without which you won’t be ready or prepared for battle.
Putting this all together, your relationship with the Lord is foundational to withstanding spiritual attack. Having your gospel of peace shoes on means developing a close relationship with God and maintaining it. Someone might say that this sounds similar to the belt of truth, but the belt refers specifically to acquiring truth from both The Living Word and the written Word. The gospel of peace shoes, by contrast, are focused on your relationship with God period. In other words, the belt of truth concerns procuring the truth from the Living Word and the written Word whereas the gospel of peace shoes concern your rapport with the Person of God. The belt has to do with learning the principles of God’s kingdom whereas the shoes have to do with knowing the Person of God.
Make no mistake, without this vital relationship the enemy will chew you up and spit you out, one way or another. One of the Enemy’s favorite strategies is to mislead believers into the pit of sterile religiosity where they know about God, but don’t know Him. People like this have “a form of godliness but deny its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). They’re akin to the lifeless Pharisees.
If the gospel of peace shoes—that is, your relationship with God—is foundational to your spiritual walk, why isn’t it the first piece of armor to put on? Why do truth (the belt of truth) and walking in the spirit (the breastplate of righteousness) take precedence? Because the gospel of peace shoes relate to communion with God and therefore worship. And Jesus said “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Think about it: Without the belt of truth we can’t worship God properly and our communion would be prone to error. Similarly, without the breastplate of righteousness we would fall into worshipping God out of our flesh rather than out of our spirit. So both the belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness come first.
4. The Shield of Faith (verse 16)
The Roman soldier’s shield was huge and would easily cover his whole body when he knelt behind it, protecting him from arrows, spears and the like. Just the same, the shield of faith protects the believer by “extinguishing all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” But you have to put this faith shield up or you’ll get hit. Think about it in terms of the space crafts on Star Trek: If the Enterprise doesn’t have its invisible shields up, the opponent could destroy them with phaser fire, photon torpedoes, etc. So it’s imperative that you have your faith shield up to protect yourself from enemy attacks.
How do you do this? Simple: Regularly release your faith by speaking according to the promises of God in the five general areas of satanic attack. Remember, your tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). As you give voice to God’s Word your angels will be employed to serve you accordingly. They’ll erect a “hedge of protection” around you. What are these five areas of attack? They are 1. physical ailments, 2. mental maladies, 3. defeat to human enemies, 4. premature death and 5. financial attack. Consider the first one as an example: If you use the power of your tongue to speak death by confessing something like “There’s a flu bug going around so I’ll probably get sick” you just threw your shield out the window and opened yourself up to attack. This foolishly prevents your angels from doing their job of protecting you. Instead, erect your shield and activate your guardian angels by saying “That virus that’s going around is under my feet and has no authority on my body; by the torture of Christ, who redeemed me from all curses (Isaiah 53:5), I’m free of all sicknesses & diseases.” If you do this and believe,* whatever virus that’s going around will hit your invisible shield and not harm you whatsoever. Never ever talk sickness & disease. Speak health and blessing.
* If you don’t believe then you’ll need to feed on the applicable Word of God, which is how faith comes (Romans 10:17), as well as pray in the spirit (Jude 20), which is the 7th piece of the armor. Every believer has a “measure of faith” when he or she comes to the Lord, but faith can grow (Romans 12:3) and these are two of the main ways to do it, as well as spending more time in God’s presence, of course. Paul observed in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 that the faith of the Thessalonian believers was growing. Your faith can likewise increase, but it’s dependent on YOU.
You must understand that every blessing in the New Covenant is attained and maintained by faith, including your salvation (Romans 10:9-10). What is faith? Faith is not belief in fantasies or fantastical things, like Leprechauns, but rather belief based on the knowledge of truth (reality) that you acquire; which is released through the power of your tongue.
How is this invisible “shield” erected and maintained around you as you walk in faith? By the angels assigned to you, who obey the voice of God’s Word (Psalm 103:20). This is covered in detail in my book ANGELS.
The text says that the shield of faith “can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” In other words, if you have your faith defenses up, no curse will be able to hit you. For instance, Carol & I always have our shields up concerning sickness & disease and so we’re hardly ever hit. I say “hardly ever” because there are three kinds of exceptions, which we’ll look at below when we cover the sword of the spirit.
5. The Helmet of Salvation (verse 17)
The helmet protected the Roman soldier’s head. Likewise, the helmet of salvation protects the believer’s mind from distress when undergoing satanic attack. As you apply the wisdom principles of God’s Word and “fight the good fight of faith” as led of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 6:12), it’s guaranteed that the LORD will deliver you (2 Peter 2:9). This assurance grants you peace of mind that transcends understanding in the midst of attack. In short, the helmet of salvation prevents your mind from going squirrelly when experiencing demonic assault.
As an example, I underwent a serious attack last Fall, but I had peace of mind about it and therefore had the grace to endure the ramifications of the assault, which lasted exactly 40 days, the biblical number of perfection in testing or judgment (go here for evidence).
The helmet of salvation is the absolute assurance that God will deliver you when you suffer attack as you walk in faith & perseverance and don’t give up.
This certainty of salvation includes the most important salvation—eternal salvation. Your eternal salvation is guaranteed as you continue in faith and endure (John 10:29 & Colossians 1:22-23).
The last two pieces of the armor of God are notable in that they’re not solely defensive in nature, but offensive as well. That’s because they’re not actually armor, but rather weaponry…
6. The Sword of the Spirit (verse 17)
This weapon is defined as “the word of God.” How does this piece differ from the belt of truth, which refers to the truth of the rightly divided word of God? Simple: The sword of the spirit does not refer to the pursuit of truth, as does the belt of truth, but rather to the word of God spoken in bold faith as a weapon. To do this, of course, you have to first acquire the word of truth by “putting on” the belt. This shows that the belt of truth is a foundational piece of the armor & arms of God, which is why it’s the first one you don.
How does this differ from the shield of faith which is erected by speaking the word of God in faith? Simple: The shield is strictly designed for defense whereas the sword is intended for both defense and offense. Since believers are ambassadors of the kingdom of God and function on Earth as enemies in enemy territory it’s necessary to have your shield of faith up at all times to protect yourself from unforeseen attacks. (Think of it in terms of potential sniper fire when soldiers are in war zones). The sword of the spirit, by contrast, isn’t pulled from its figurative “scabbard” until there’s evidence of enemy attack in one of the five general ways noted above, whether concerning you or someone for whom you’re interceding. Similarly, Roman soldiers wouldn’t pull out their swords until the enemy assaulted them or if they went to the enemy to attack them. Either way, the enemy must be in sight to use the sword.
Speaking of which, devils obviously won’t manifest in your life in the form of red cartoony figures with pitchforks. When evil spirits attack it will manifest via one of the five general curses noted above—physical maladies, mental illnesses, unjust human attack, premature death and financial lack. We observe this in the Enemy’s attacks on Job (Job 1-2). When one or more of these curses show up in your life you are under enemy assault and it’s time to get your sword out and start swinging! If you don’t, you’ll be defeated. There are also five other kinds of enemy attack, which apply to spiritual things; they are detailed next chapter.
We’ll further differentiate the sword of the spirit from the shield of faith below and elaborate on when and how to use both.
7. Praying in the Spirit (verses 18-20)
Most ministers omit this last article when teaching on the armor of God, but it’s a vital piece of spiritual weaponry. Paul instructed us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” What does it mean to “pray in the spirit”? Notice how the Bible defines it:
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:14-15
As you can see, God’s Word defines praying in the spirit as praying in another tongue via your spirit by the Spirit. This is different than typical prayer, of course, which is to “pray with your understanding,” meaning to pray with your mind using the language with which you’re most familiar. In my case it would be English. Paul said he did both: He prayed (and sang) with his spirit and he also prayed (and sang) with his understanding. We need to do both as well; Paul was our example. And please notice that he lists praying in the spirit before praying with your understanding, which implies that it’s at least as important.
Also observe that he instructs us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” In other words, we should include praying in the spirit every time we pray; and with every type of prayer! We discussed the different types of prayer last chapter—communion, praise & worship, binding & loosing, intercession, petition, venting & forgiving. Get in the practice of praying in the spirit with all these different kinds of prayers on “all occasions.”
Speaking of which, I encourage you to go on the offensive with this spiritual weapon. In other words, don’t simply use it when you discern you’re being attacked. Use this awesome gift on “all occasions” day and night. Evils spirits will run away screaming in all directions!
If you don’t yet have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then make it a priority to receive it. This awesome gift is available to all believers. Unfortunately, most of Christendom is either ignorant of this gift or is deceived about it, erroneously insisting that it “passed away” when the biblical canon was completed. Don’t buy the lie. God’s Word encourages us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, not eagerly deny them (1 Corinthians 12:1,31 & 14:1,39). These gifts include the gift of personal tongues, otherwise known as glossolalia (gloss-ah-LAY-lee-ah).
Paul didn’t provide a metaphor for praying in the spirit as he did with the other pieces of God’s armor, like “belt,” “shield” and “sword.” I suspect this was because there was no Roman armament that could compare to the weapon of praying in the spirit. I like to refer to it as the missiles of praying in the spirit because you can pray for people and situations on the other side of the planet; in fact, you can pray for situations you’re not even cognizant of because when you pray in the spirit you bypass the limitations of your mind—your understanding—through your spirit with the help of the Holy Spirit.
For details on this awesome piece of weaponry and its benefits please see Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Differentiating the Shield of Faith and Sword of the Spirit
Now that you understand what each piece of the armor & weaponry of God is, let’s go into a little more detail on distinguishing the shield of faith from the sword of the spirit.
A question might have occurred to you: If the shield of faith “extinguishes all the flaming arrows of the evil one” why is the sword of the spirit necessary? In other words, how does a curse that’s assaulting you get past your shield and require you to get out your sword? There are four possible reasons:
- If you don’t have your belt of truth on your faith won’t be effective as a shield because faith comes through first being exposed to the truth (Romans 10:17). In short, if you don’t have the truth you won’t have the faith. This, again, reveals why the belt of truth is the first piece of armor that you “put on.”
- For one reason or another, your shield wasn’t up. For instance, you canceled your shield by speaking doubt and unbelief. This, of course, deactivates your protective angels because angels are commissioned to obey the voice of God’s Word (Psalm 103:20).
- You opened the door to the enemy through unrepentant disobedience, whether a sin of commission or sin of omission. (A sin of commission is something you do, like slander someone through gossip, whereas a sin of omission is something you didn’t do that you should’ve done, like give a poor person some money as the Spirit led you).
- You’re undergoing a Maturing-Intended Trial (MIT), which means that you’re suffering attack for righteousness’ sake. In this type of trial the LORD is permitting the assault for the purpose of testing your motivations and spurring growth through actively confronting challenges and working your faith muscles. Consider Job’s trials detailed in Job 1-2: It is clearly established from the get-go that Job was blameless and upright so we know he didn’t open the door to the Enemy through disobedience. Nowhere does it state that Job opened the door to the devil through fear or disobedience; in fact, God praised Job to the devil as blameless! However, the LORD was compelled to allow Satan to attack Job to test his motivations: Was Job’s piety a charade for the sake of acquiring God’s blessings? Would Job curse the Almighty or deny God’s existence if his many blessings were removed? Although the rest of the book of Job shows him struggling greatly and seriously venting to the LORD during his long trial (e.g. Job 10:1-3), Job didn’t turn away from his Creator, but rather went directly to Him, which takes faith; not to mention he persevered. Job therefore passed the test and God restored him and doubly blessed him (Job 42:10).
When one or more of the five general curses manifests in your life you need to search your spirit and discern how it got past your shield (assuming your shield is up) and respond accordingly:
- If your words had no power when you spoke in faith because you failed to don your belt of truth, then put on your belt by going to God’s Word and feeding on the truths relevant to your trial (Matthew 4:4). Then start speaking in bold faith accordingly.
- If you either failed to put up your faith shield in the first place or canceled out your shield by using your tongue to speak unbelief, you need to repent and do as above: Feed on God’s Word in the relevant area and then speak it in authoritative faith. Remember: Your enemy is spiritual in nature, so defeating demonic assaults requires spiritual warfare, not physical. This and the previous point could be filed under Self-Inflicted Trials (SITs) because you’re only being attacked due to your spiritual negligence or unbelief.
- If you are convicted of a sin immediately ’fess up and God will forgive you; and then start swinging your sword as necessary. This is a Discipline-Intended Trial (DIT) where you opened the door to the enemy through unrepentant sin (Ephesians 4:27). Hence the attack is a disciplinary measure on God’s part. Just a few days ago Carol said she felt sickness trying to come on her at work and, upon searching her heart, she was convicted of walking out of love with a contentious baby Christian (remember, “faith works in love,” so if you walk out of love you walk out of faith). Carol swiftly repented and started swinging her sword and the sickness withdrew. By the time she arrived home there was zero evidence of sickness.
- If you know your shield was up and you’re walking in obedience according to the terms of your Covenant—“faith working in love” (Galatians 5:6)—then you can be sure that you’re undergoing a Maturity-Intended Trial (MIT). Simply resist in faith and the enemy will flee like a pathetic cur with his tail between his legs (James 4:7); in the meantime stand and endure. As was the case with Job, God will “restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” “after you have suffered a little while” (1 Peter 5:8-10). You will experience greater maturity and favor with God as a result, just as Job did. Now, someone might complain that spiritual warfare is complicated by the fact that it requires you to determine if the malady is a disciplinary measure on God’s part due to unrepentant disobedience or an attack from the kingdom of darkness for righteousness’ sake, permitted by the Sovereign LORD. Well, that’s just the way it is and it’s this very factor that calls for an actual relationship with God through “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Relationship is what true Christianity is about and this separates it from mere human religion. What do I mean? If a believer has a genuine relationship with God s/he will be able to discern fairly easily if the curse that’s assaulting him/her is due to a Self-Inflicted Trial (SIT), a Discipline-Intended Trial (DIT) or a Maturity-Intended Trial (MIT). On the other hand, believers who fail to cultivate communion with God will have a harder time distinguishing SITs, DITs and MITs, particularly DITs and MITs (as SITs are always obvious). So this is a spur to go deeper in your walk with God, and that’s what this book is all about. *
* See this article for further details on the three types of trials (particularly the section When Satan Attacks He Uses One of the Five General Curses and the following section).
“Putting On” the Armor of God on Any Given Day
As noted earlier, the armor & arms of God are figurative of the spiritual tools the LORD has provided us in order to overcome spiritual attack. “Putting on” the armor is not something you do at the beginning of the day and that’s the end of it. The armor & weaponry of God are spiritual principles to be practiced throughout your day and week. They empower you, shield you from satanic attack, activate your angels and guarantee victory.
I’ve gotten in the habit of going over the armor & arms in my prayer time when I wake up every morning (with the exception of a day of rest). It’s basically a spiritual checklist that keeps me conscious of these seven vital articles and therefore regularly practicing them.
Let’s succinctly rundown all seven pieces as you would practice them on any given day (since each is explained above I’m going to limit scriptural references to additional insights):
- The Belt of Truth: Make a genuine effort to seek the truth—reality—through the two main sources of spiritual truth: A. The Living Word via the Spirit of truth. B. The written Word via the balanced teachings of sound ministers and your own studies in God’s Word.
- The Breastplate of Righteousness: Endeavor to live out of your new nature, which was “created to be like God in true righteousness.” The Bible calls this “participating in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Cultivate a pliable, humble heart that’s quick & willing to ’fess up if you succumb to the corrupt desires of the old nature. God is faithful to dismiss the sin and “purify you from all unrighteousness.” Guard your heart as the wellspring of life by regularly rooting-out negative, destructive thoughts & desires (Proverbs 4:23).
- The Gospel of Peace Shoes: Put on your gospel shoes by cultivating a prayer life, regularly communing with the LORD. Your relationship with God is foundational and offers you sure-footing when facing spiritual attack.
- The Shield of Faith: Use the power of your tongue to erect a shield around you by speaking in faith concerning the blessings that are yours in Christ. Do not speak doubt & unbelief or you will cancel out your shield and deactivate your angels. Every blessing provided in your covenant comes through faith & perseverance. So never ever give up.
- The Helmet of Salvation: Guard you mind by being conscious of God’s promises of deliverance as you walk in faith & endurance. This assurance of salvation—including eternal salvation—will keep your mind from going batty during an attack.
- The Sword of the Spirit: Use the Word of God as a defensive and offensive weapon by speaking it in bold faith when discerning an attack by the enemy on you or yours. Use it in intercession.
- Praying in the Spirit: Pray in the spirit on all occasions with each type of prayer noted in the Lord’s prayer outline (Matthew 6:9-11). This weapon is especially useful in situations where you don’t know what to pray with your understanding or have limited knowledge concerning what to pray. Pray and sing in the spirit! Get in the habit of praying in the spirit full blast for five-ten minutes or so when you get up in the morning. It will get your day off to an awesome start.
The reason it’s necessary to understand and utilize the armor & arms of God is because donning the armor and taking up your weapons empowers you by protecting you from evil spirits and their schemes; it activates angels on your behalf and guarantees your victory.
Someone might say, “But it’s so simple.” Yes, it is. Victory in Christ is easy as pie. That’s the beauty and genius of it. There is a yoke and burden to serving the LORD, but the yoke is easy and the burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). But religious people evidently want a hard yoke and heavy burden, speaking of which…
An Erroneous Reaction to the Armor & Arms of God
It boggles my mind when I come across sincere believers who respond negatively to the purpose of the armor & weaponry of God, as detailed above. Such people embrace the sickness, defeat, death & poverty gospel. They basically fight for their right to be downtrodden by curses, like physical maladies, mental illness, defeat to enemies, premature death and poverty/lack. They have a sick masochistic martyr complex.
I want to make it clear that every believer will be attacked in these areas. That’s how the kingdom of darkness manifests, not as quaint red devils with pitchforks! Even if you have your shield up, which “extinguishes all the flaming arrows of the evil one,” you’ll have to get your sword out and fight the good fight of faith and persevere, as explained above. When this occurs, you’re going to “suffer for a little while,” as Peter put it, but the LORD will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:8-10).
Consider the example of Paul, the great apostle, who undertook several missionary journeys to reach the world for Christ. Notice what he said:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul starts off by insisting that he wasn’t in need—a “positive confession” for sure—but admits that he experienced times of need in his ministry travels, as well as times of plenty. He then unveils his secret of contentment in every situation “whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”: He can do all things through Christ who gives him strength. In short, Paul’s resources—his finances, in essence—were assuredly attacked at times, but he endured in faith knowing that he was rich in Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9). As such, he knew the resources would come as he persevered in faith. And they always did. He could “do all things through Christ who strengthens him” (KJV). That’s the secret to contentment during satanic attack and the suffering thereof.
You see Paul had his helmet of salvation on. He had his shield of faith up. He didn’t cancel out his shield by giving-in to doubt and speaking unbelief, like “I don’t think God’s going to come through this time; I’m not going to make it.” No, he held on in faith and endured; and the resources always came. Praise God!
A Personal Example
In the winter of 2013 my left knee swelled up and I could hardly bend it. Simply walking across the room or climbing stairs was painful. This was a malady that obviously got past my shield of faith. It was a Maturity-Intended Trial (MIT), an attack by the enemy for righteousness’ sake. I needed surgery, but decided instead to claim healing and stand in faith. It took over three long months but my healing finally manifested and by Christmas time I was snow skiing. Needless to say, it wasn’t fun during those 3½ months that I was suffering. Sometimes squirrelly thoughts would cross my mind, like “Why are you allowing this to happen, God?! I’m seeking you and serving you more than ever!” But I rejected the victim mentality and the corresponding verbiage. I refused to blow money on doctors, take meds and get surgery. I stood in faith, swinging my sword. Carol & I kept laying hands on my knee, praying and believing. And the healing eventually manifested! Before the year was over I was skiing down huge hills in New York! God is Good!
By the way, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to the doctor. Do what you have the faith to do as led of the Holy Spirit. Luke was a physician and I encourage regular check-ups. During my trial I was simply led to receive healing from the Great Physician rather than blow time & money on earthly doctors. In order to do this you have to develop stubborn faith regarding the benefits that Christ bought for you. Speaking of which, see this article for details.
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