How to Combat the Strategies of the Devil with the Armor of God

When I first started studying the Bible, I used to get Galatians and Ephesians mixed up. Where’s the “Fruit of the Spirit”? That’s Galatians 5. Where’s the “Armor of God”? That’s Ephesians 6. And that’s where we are today. I’m going to defer the beginning of Ephesians 6 to Pastor Kris Langham in the free Bible app – ThroughTheWord.org. I’m skipping over the parenting and business tips and going right to the Armor of God. That’s what we need right now because what’s happening in the world today, is all the strategies of the devil. Moreover, if you consider yourself a Christian, then you need to put on the Armor of God daily! Paul writes…

Put on the Whole Armor of God

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor [breastplate] of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10-20 NLT

Let’s go over the Armor one by one…

The quoted text is from the YouVersion study on Spiritual Warfare.

Belt of truth – holds everything together.

For the soldier, this was the first part that was put on. Every other part of the armor was attached to this. God’s Word is our source of truth and it’s the “belt” we must put on first, before we incorporate the rest. As Christ followers, we must stand on God’s truth at all times. We use it to guide our prayers, to help us not sin, and to strengthen us when we’re afraid. Knowing God’s truth prevents us from having to redefine what truth is depending on the circumstances we’re facing…

…our spiritual enemy’s main goal is deception. Deception is so hard because when we’re deceived, we become blind to it. That’s why we must know God’s truth.

YouVersion

Breastplate of righteousness – your heart is protected when you are right with God.

For the soldier, the breastplate protected the most vital organs. When we live righteously or the right way, this brings an added measure of protection. Choosing to live right before the Lord and doing our best to obey God will give Satan less ammunition to bombard us with. We don’t do this to earn love from God, but to prevent us from unnecessary hardship that we bring on ourselves with our poor choices. When we choose sin, we symbolically remove our breastplate and that opens us up to attacks from Satan. This isn’t about achieving perfection or living according to our opinion of “right,” but choosing to live a life that lines up with God’s truth. 

YouVersion

Shoes of peace – footwear that makes you ready to move, but stand your ground in keeping peace.

For the soldier, the shoes provided protection as well as a strong foundation. When a soldier went to battle, it was vital that he didn’t have to worry about his feet. The gospel of peace is our firm footing for it helps us stand tall and protects us as we step into the battle. Being assured of this will keep us firmly planted when life’s struggles and Satan’s attacks come our way. Not only that, but our “feet” must be ready at all times so that we can share the gospel of Jesus. This gospel, the good news, is the salvation for all mankind. We must know it, live it, and be ready to proclaim it. 

YouVersion

Shield of faith – the devil is constantly attacking. If your faith is strong, you’ll be able to withstand any onslaught. Hold on to it tightly.

For the soldier, the shield provided a great amount of protection from attacks. It wasn’t something he put on like the helmet, belt, or breastplate, but something he must “take up.” Much like a soldier, we’re required to do our part with our shield of faith. We can’t just secure it to our arm. We must “take it up” and stand on our faith so that we can be protected from the spiritual darts. What are those darts? Anything Satan throws at us that’s contrary to God’s truth. We’re given a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), and as we trust in Him, our faith grows. Exercising our faith in God, His truth, and His promises, protects us like a shield protects a soldier from arrows or bullets. Because the enemy comes at us with lies, insults, and temptations, we can fight off his darts and arrows with our shield of faith. 

YouVersion

Helmet of salvation – protects you from the devil’s mind games. If you are not truly saved — born again — you can fall for false teachings which are the devil’s tools to keep you from God.

For the soldier, the helmet was always the last part he put on. The helmet in any armor is the most vital for it protects the head. Wearing the helmet of salvation keeps us safe from the lies and schemes of Satan. The enemy wants us to doubt and wonder if God loves us or if we’re even saved. This helmet protects our minds from such attacks. When discouragement comes our way, we can find hope and comfort in knowing that Jesus has saved us from the penalty of sin and given the hope of eternal life through Him. 

YouVersion

Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God

For the soldier, the sword was used defensively but was also his only offensive weapon. While the soldier had all of the other pieces of armor on, without a sword, he would have just been a body covered in metal. The Sword of the Spirit is God’s Word and both a protector for us and a destroyer of Satan. Hebrews 4:12-13 describes the Bible as “living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.” We can wield our swords by claiming God’s Word when we’re in a spiritual battle because it cuts to the core and uncovers God’s truth. Jesus used God’s Word when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, and we should do it, too. We have to know God’s Word in order to know how to use it so that we can be victorious. Swords dull over time but for the believer in Jesus, regularly studying God’s Word will sharpen it. 

YouVersion

And finally, pray in the Spirit – praying — talking to God — helps keep you focused on Him and not on the world.

What the Apostle Paul Went Through

I can’t help but admire Paul. Here he is in a Roman prison. He’s probably looking at a Roman guard as he’s describing the armor of God. In his 2nd letter to the church in Corinth, he went into detail as to what he’s been through as a servant, ambassador and messenger of God’s Word. He was comparing himself to “false apostles” who were wolves in sheep’s clothing spreading lies…

23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. [195] 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?

30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

1 Corinthians 11:23-30 NLT

We are weak. By our selves, we can do NOTHING! We need God with us 24/7! Furthermore, we need His Spirit in our hearts and to seek the truth!

If you’re not sure if you have the Spirit of God in your heart, all you have to do is invite Jesus in. But, first, you must repent of your sins and stop sinning! The Spirit cannot live in a heart that’s full of sin! If you want Jesus’ true salvation, you must…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

Satan is ruling our world right now. Nevertheless, God is in control. He is aware of everything that’s going on. Isn’t it time that you got right with God and are on God’s side of the battle?

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!

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