Probably the hardest thing for a Christian to do is persevere during the struggles we are facing. We pray and one obstacle is removed, and then another appears in its place. When is this going to end? we may wonder. Is God really working on my behalf? Is this too much even for God?
But, it just goes to show you how much a threat you are to the enemy, especially if you are on fire for God. Your prayers are availing much, the enemy is being defeated, and he is getting angry! Prayer is not for the faint of heart. The more we pray, the more people are saved and delivered out of darkness. The devil loses control over them. They have been under his control for so long, and then one day, they are free of the bondage to sin, to bad habits, to defects in their character. The devil retaliates, he steps up his attacks on us.
What do we do now? We make sure we are wearing our armor of God each day. This will protect us from the fiery darts of the devil and his cohorts. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to “put on the full armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The full armor of God is an arsenal of verses that we can use to ward off the devil’s attacks. We put it one before we go into battle, just as the soldiers do. We are soldiers in God’s army.
The full armor of God contains: “the belt of truth buckled around our waist,” Ephesians 6:14. If we know the truth, we will not believe the enemy’s lies about us. “The truth will set us free,” John 8:32. He is so subtle, he plays on our weaknesses and even tells us the lies that we believe about ourselves and tries to convince us that it is the truth. John 8:44 says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” We should resolve our own issues before we intercede for God, as the devil will come right back through the open door that we let him through. We can pray for God to reveal the truth and heal us of our wounds so that it is no longer an open sore. We are no longer vulnerable.
Next is the “breastplate of righteousness in place.” This breast plate of righteousness will allow us to take a firm stand against the devil and give us the boldness we need to launch a proper attack against him. We must be bold in our battles and pray prayers that will reach God’s people far and wide. We must address every fiery dart that comes against us and the people for whom we are praying. When we are equipped with righteous, it gives us ability to stand in the Father’s presence without consciousness of sin. We can be bolder in our prayers against Satan, demons, sickness, and disease. We will not fear retaliation because we are acting on God’s behalf. Very powerful.
When we are not aware that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, or do not know what it means, our prayers are only feeble attempts to take a stand against the devil’s schemes. We don’t give it all we’ve got because we fear retaliation. We don’t feel empowered. We rely on our own strength, rather than the Holy Spirit’s power. We ask others to pray for us because we lack the faith needed to pray.
Psalm 15:2 says, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Psalm 85:13 says, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” Righteousness means being morally right or justifiable. We cannot be righteous on our own because we are sinners. However, if we have Christ dwelling in our hearts and we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are righteous because Christ in us is righteous. We are righteous by faith. Romans 4:3 says, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” If we walk by faith and remember that our righteousness is the righteousness of God in Christ, we will soon become bolder in our prayers and more victorious. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
The next piece is the “feet shod with the Gospel of peace,” Ephesians 6:15. The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus was teaching as he travelled through Israel, Jerusalem, and Nazareth – a message of hope for mankind if he would repent from his sinful lifestyle. The shoes represent he protection that we need when we are travelling about sharing the Good News of the Gospel. The Gospel was the good news of the Savior, God’s plan for salvation, and his grace. As we share the Gospel, we are spreading peace wherever we go.
Roman soldiers needed shoes while fighting their battles to protect themselves from what was on the ground and to make sure their footing was sure. Just as they needed shoes, we need peace as we travel about, peace in knowing that God is protecting us as we go into areas which are not safe and where people are not open to hear the Good News of the Gospel. So, we must put on the Gospel of peace.
The next piece of armor is the “shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” Ephesians 6:16. In the Roman army, the shield, the size of a door was protection from the spears and arrows of fire. The shield was made of wood and covered with leather. When it was wet, it could put out the fires of flaming arrows and spears. The shield of faith does the same thing. It puts out the fiery darts of the evil one.
Faith is our protection against the doubts with which Satan fills our heads. He tries to instill doubts that God will protect us. He tells us lies and tempts us to do ungodly things. He will make us believe that God will not protect us. Therefore, we must have faith to counter act Satan’s lies. We know the truth and we become grounded in it. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and being certain of what we do not see.” We must be sure of what we hope for to have victory over Satan. We must confirm it every day. We must be strong in our beliefs.
Next is the “helmet of salvation,” Ephesians 6:17. The helmet in the Roman army was the last piece of armor to be put on. Our salvation must be reaffirmed every day. We must do spiritual things to keep it active. It is not just a one-time thing. We should pray, read the Bible, and recite verses every day.
It involves renewing our minds (Romans 12:1) daily, to affirm that we are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5::17) in Christ and that we worship God. We must reject the lies that Satan sends to us. Therefore, we keep the helmet on tight to help us remember that “with God, all things are possible,” (Matthew 19:23). We keep our eyes on Christ and we think about eternal things, rather than the things of the world.
The last piece is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:18. This pertains to speaking the word of God at times when we need to destroy or kill the enemy. The word of God is very powerful. Just as Roman soldiers had to be trained to use the sword, so Christians must be trained to speak the word of God. The sword can penetrate the hearts of men and when carefully executed, it will help us do the will of God and take a stand against the enemy’s schemes. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword.” It can save souls and give us strength. To be protected, we must put on every piece of armor daily.