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Equipping For Spiritual Battles: Putting On The Armor Of God

woman warrior with sword

We’ve all had them – spiritual battles, I mean. I’ve been there. Most of the time we don’t recognize it for what it really is – a battle for our priorities, for our husbands, children, neighbors, and friends, for our churches, for our very souls. 

Here are three things that we often fail to remember or maybe never knew about spiritual battles: 

1) Satan wants people to fall for his schemes in the worst kind of way. He’s been in competition with God all through the ages, and he turns up the heat on God’s followers when he feels threatened, when he sees he’s losing. 

2)  Every Jesus-believer, everywhere is a target for an attack of the enemy at every moment as we go through daily life. 

3) This is the good news: Every single true believer has some lethal weapons immediately available that will blow the devil out of the water, and the use of these weapons is known as putting on the full armor of God. 

Ephesians 6 – Putting On The Armor of God

Sisters, if we don’t want to be easy targets of these attacks of the devil, toward everyone we love and everything we know and believe, we’ve got to make sure we are prepared by knowing and putting on the armor of God. 

God gives us some specific directions in the Bible for how to guarantee protection against the devil’s schemes.  In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul gives us a wealth of information about the weapons we have readily available to us.

We’ve all heard of this armor of God and may have read about it in the Bible. But would you be able to equip yourself with this armor at a moment’s notice? Do you know what to do in case of an attack? Or at least where to find out in the Bible? 

You will find Paul’s instructions in this verse-by-verse transcript on God’s armor from Ephesians 6:10-18 (CSB)

10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. 

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. 

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. 

13 For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 

14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 

15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 

16 In every situation 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 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 

Paul tells us the purpose of the armor of God, then he gives us a list of the pieces of this spiritual armor (there are 6 of them), and last, he tells us how to put on the individual pieces of armor that God has provided, how to activate them, and how to utilize the power of God in each piece. 

You start out with the assurance that God’s vast strength is your firm foundation and goes with you throughout the battle. 

And you acknowledge that this battle is not with an enemy that you can see or predict or even outsmart. This enemy is like no flesh-and-blood adversary you’ll ever go up against. He fights dirty and flings flaming darts at the Lord’s people when they least expect them. 

This enemy is unseen and unheard, skulking and scheming, lying and faking, hiding in the darkness, out there in an otherworld, the cosmos, the heavenlies.

These are the spiritual forces of evil that Paul warns us about, the spiritual hosts of wickedness. Yes, they really do exist. The Bible speaks of the evil that lurks where only God and His angels can see. 

We would generally prefer to keep these evils in the background, not thinking about their spiritual threats. But if we are to have victory over this darkness, we must face facts.

There is a fine line between being oblivious and being obsessed by thoughts of these things, so let God lead and keep your eyes firmly focused on the Lord – not on the one who craves and fights for your full attention. 

The Full Armor Of God

Twice we are warned to make sure we have the FULL armor of God, so that we are well prepared to take a strong stand in resistance against this vile evil.

THE BELT OF TRUTH (vs 14)

Standing tall, knowing and proclaiming the God’s truth to whoever and whatever can hear and see us, we wear this truth fastened around us, as if it were a belt we wear that cannot fall off and be lost. 

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (vs 14)

We will need God’s goodness and righteousness protecting our hearts, because we can be easily wounded or swayed, confused, insulted or talked down to, so as to make us lose our confidence in Christ Jesus. 

PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE (vs 15)

Being prepared for walking this journey will give us peace, because it will be a journey we will never forget and will always treasure once we’ve come through, under the protection of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It will be as if we are wearing the shoes of peace as we go forward to engage in the battle.

THE SHIELD OF FAITH (vs 16)

That devil will fling fireballs of hateful words and thoughts at us as we go through, so strong faith in the name of Jesus is needed to turn them all back on him, so that his own arrows fly back at him, like fiery darts. 

THE HELMET OF SALVATION (vs 17)

The assurance of our salvation must be firmly in place to protect our minds from Satan’s lies, which will sizzle as they make us question who we think we are, to be coming against him and the powers of this dark world. 

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT (vs 17)

This one will really mess with that enemy. God’s Word is a two-edged sword, sharp, penetrating deep. The father of lies can’t stick around when Scripture or the Names of God or the Son of God are engaged against him. 

Putting On The Armor Of God With The Mighty Power Of Prayer

Donning each of these pieces is important, but not as important as the thing that will make them all work in perfect harmony and order – prayer!

PRAYER (vs 18)

  • The power of each piece of armor is activated by prayer:
  • Prayer at all times (really, all the time).
  • Prayer in the Spirit for every request.
  • Prayer with alertness (wide awake, eyes open).
  • Prayer with perseverance (no matter how long or how many times).
  • Prayer with intercession for other Christians.

Yes, prayer is not just one of the weapons, it is the beginning and it is the end, and also the in-between. You go to God in prayer before you engage in the battle, and as you stand firm and walk through the battle using each of the weapons. 

The World Is A Battleground

Christians walk in a world that is teaming with evil, and constantly a battlefield of our mind. We need to be prepared for battle at any given moment, all the time. We need to know how to put on the armor of God. 

Although some battles will be harder on us and more memorable to us than others, God can bring us through them all with victory because of the saving knowledge of Jesus.

Comforting thoughts 

God will not, can not tolerate evil (Psalm 101:3-8 and Habakkuk 1:13), so when we turn to Him and ask for protection from this dreadful enemy, He will cover us and protect us from evil. 

Remember, Satan can’t take any mention of the Names of God or Jesus, and he can’t stick around to hear God’s Word, the Bible, being spoken. Of course, that is one of the weapons of our warfare. In fact, God’s word is our most effective weapon. 

Spiritual Warfare Scriptures For Winning Spiritual Battles contains a prayer for protection in spiritual battles and 21 Scriptures to help you get through. 

Knowing who wins is half the battle, after all. And we do know who wins. God will deliver us safely to heaven as long as we do not give in to evil.

If you read the book of Revelation, you’ll read the end of the story. And even though much of this last book of the Bible is hard to interpret, Satan’s demise is proclaimed, plain and clear, in Revelation 20: 7-10. 

Writing this brought back memories of some of my strongest spiritual battles. Looking back, I remember some of the lies and mind games of the devil, but I will never forget the extreme peace that I felt when I was under God’s hand of protection. 

The worst battle was long and I would not want to repeat it, but many of the memories I have are of sweet peace as I let go and studied the Scriptures as He worked it all out for my good and His glory. 

Tears come to my eyes as I recall the lessons He taught me and how He dealt with the many others who were also involved in the convoluted variety of positions in that drama. 

Now I can say, because I know personally, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

I would love to hear what has comforted you in a spiritual battle that you were engaged in, the practical ways you put on the armor of God, and what you learned from coming through the battle.

My one biggest caution for you: Keep your eyes firmly on God. He has everything under control, even when it seems He’s doing nothing (remember that God is never doing nothing). Put on the whole armor of God, keeping eyes and attention fully on Him!

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