Standing Against the Schemes of the Devil

The Whole Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-12

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For 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.”

This reminds me of how I used to try to fight off the attacks of Satan. I had been abused as a child by my father, and there was no real way of protecting myself from his strikes. But I would try by crossing my arms across my face, hoping not to get hit, only knowing that I would.

We can’t fight Satan that way! But I tried. So, when this says here to “Put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God,” there is a reason for that. We need the whole armor. We can’t just put up a shield in front of us, for Satan will just attack us from the side or from the rear.

We need both defensive and offensive weapons. And we must use them correctly in the power and strength of the Lord. We should not try to fight off Satan’s attacks in our own strength. Behavioral modification only goes so far before it fails. The same is true of “self-help” programs.

We also have to believe in the sovereignty of God, that he is in control over all things, and that he is all powerful. We must believe that he already won this battle against Satan for us, and that by using his whole armor, by faith, we can defeat the enemy of our souls who is coming against us.

Then we have to take up that whole armor and use it against our enemy with the confidence of what Jesus did for us on that cross. There can’t be any doubt in our minds as to who is going to win the battle, or we are defeated already. We go after Satan with the strength of the Lord believing that the battle has already been won, and we will be victorious!

Withstanding in the Evil Day
Ephesians 6:13-17

“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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Putting on the armor of God daily can be a confusing subject for some people. I know that it used to be for me. And it isn’t done by just reciting the words. It means that we put these things into practice in our daily lives so that they become part of who we are and what we do every day.

We all know what truth is. It is the opposite of lies. It is the reality of a situation, not the fantasy that people create in their own minds. It is God’s truth which is pure, honest, righteous, and just. It is Jesus. It is the gospel. And it cannot be compromised. We must bind (fix, tighten) it around us like a belt, so that it is established in our minds, hearts, and lifestyles.

The breastplate is a piece of armor covering our chests, our hearts. And righteousness is all that is deemed right by God, which includes purity, morality, honesty, truthfulness, faithfulness, kindness, and love, etc. So, this is protective armor against Satan’s attacks against our hearts. If we are honest, pure, faithful, moral, and loving in conduct, by God’s grace, this will protect our hearts against evil and its temptations.

Regarding the shoes on our feet and readiness and the gospel of peace, what comes to mind is that passage of Scripture where it states that beautiful are the feet of those who bring (or preach) the good news (Rom 10:15). When we are sharing the truth of the gospel with others we are fighting against Satan, his control over people, and his lies. Amen!

The shield is a defensive weapon. It is to protect against blows, darts, daggers, and such. And faith is divine persuasion, to be persuaded (convinced) of God, which is what I spoke of in the beginning of this. If we are to defeat Satan, we have to be convinced of God as to the fact that Jesus won the battle, so all we have to do is behave like we believe that.

A helmet is protection for the head (the mind, thinking, believing). And our salvation is deliverance from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin, and it is empowerment of the Spirit of God to walk victorious over sin and to live holy lives pleasing to God. But many battles are lost in the mind before they ever become a reality in people’s actions.

So, if we put on the helmet of salvation, we are dying with Christ daily to sin, we are denying self, we are submitting to Christ as Lord, and we are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands. We are making no wiggle room for sin, but we are walking (in conduct, in practice) in accord with the Spirit of God and no longer according to the flesh, by God’s grace.

The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is so critical to our victory over our enemy. Many people live defeated lives because they don’t study the Scriptures and they don’t put the teachings of the Scriptures into practice in their daily lives. We have to know and to live the truth so that we can combat Satan’s lies with the truth when he tries to lie to us.

Praying at All Times
Ephesians 6:18-20

“… praying 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, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

“Praying at all times” doesn’t mean that we are down on our knees with eyes closed and hands clasped 24 hours a day seven days a week. It means that we are in such a close relationship with our Lord that we can hear him speaking to us anytime of any day and we can speak to him at anytime of any day while we are going throughout our normal daily routines.

Also, we need to be praying in the Spirit. This means our prayers are not to be fleshly or just routine or just mouthing empty words. If we are praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is directing us in what to say, and we will be asking for what is in the will of God, not for our own selfish purposes.

And we need to be praying for one another, especially since the days are evil, and so many people who call themselves Christians are not living in submission to Christ as Lord, nor are they walking in obedience to his commands, nor have they died with him to sin in order to be living to him and to his righteousness. But they are mostly living fleshly lives.

But those who are walking in purity of devotion to the Lord are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. And they need the strength of the Lord to keep on in doing the will of God and in sharing the gospel of salvation, even against great opposition. So, we need to pray for one another.

He Gives Purpose

An Original Work / June 9, 2012

“Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
Obey freely My word.
Follow Me in all of My ways.
Do all that I say.
Hear Me gently whisper to you
My will for your life and future.
Give all of your life and heart to
Follow Me always.”

Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
He’s your Lord and Master.
He died for your sins so you could
Live with Him today.
He has a plan for your life and
He gives purpose and direction.
He gives meaning to your life,
So follow Him today.

“I love you so much I gave My life for
You to walk in My ways,
Living for Me each day as you
Bow to Me and pray.
Witness for Me of your love for Me and
Of My grace and mercy,
How I died to save you of your
Sins now and always.”

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