When we were small children, we used to take our parents clothes and shoes to play dress up. It was so much fun, putting on those dresses, high heels, and jewelry. Some of us even got to wear grandma's hat. It was a time to pretend that we were grown up. What made 'dress up' so delightful? Perhaps it was the idea of becoming something we weren't. Putting on the armor of God is similar. We are dressed up like God. This is where we are strong IN HIM and in HIS power.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says, " "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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparations of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Last week we talked about three pieces of the armor, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of peace. As we look at the Shield of Faith, we see that we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. The wicked one is the devil and any evil spirit associated with him launches 'fiery darts'. Having watched movies that show medieval armies flinging fiery arrows into the sky towards their enemy, we see that they hit with full force causing all kinds of destruction and death. The flaming arrows the devil tries to send are meant to disarm our faith. Heb. 11:1 says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." The Phillips translation gives the meaning of that verse as this: "Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists." Our faith, that is fully convinced in what God says in His Word, extinguishes any doubt or fear, just like a shield douses fiery arrows. When we stand firm and fixed on the promises, even when we can't see the victory yet, we are more than over comers.
You and I know that the devil attacks us in the mental arena. Thoughts of defeat, discouragement and disparage come daily. To put on the Helmet of Salvation is likened to the renewing of our mind to the Word of God. Rom. 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the , that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will God." When our mind has been transformed, covered or permeated, to think like God, we are able to take all arguments, reasonings and theories that are contrary and cast them down. (2 Cor. 10:5) Thus protecting our mind from disillusions and lies from the enemy.
The last piece of the armor would be the Sword of the Spirit. And Eph. 6:17 says it is "the Word of God". Heb. 4:12 says, "For the of God quick, and , and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." One of the best ways to counter attack the devil, is to use the Word of God, Just like Jesus did, when He went into the wilderness. Jesus said, "Man shall not live , but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Mat. 4:4 The spoken Word is powerful in that it's like a two-edged sword, God spoke it first, then you speak it, cutting away fears and doubts. This establishes your faith and what you believe, because "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks".
Rick Renner likens Eph. 6:18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." to another piece of armor, called the Lance. This type of prayer, praying in the Spirit, is similar to a Lance in that it's a 'long distance' weapon. We can be in one place and throw it far. Praying in the Spirit allows us to pray with the Spirit's wisdom for people in other places. Rom. 8:26-27 "Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Enabling this weapon is powerful in the fact that it can work even when we're not present.
Putting on the armor of God is very important in our every day life. As we apply the Word of God continually in all circumstances and situations we will become proficient at standing in faith. Our trust in God's Word empowers us to be more than over comers. So we encourage you take time to study about the armor and how to apply in your life. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your testimonies on using the Word to overcome! We look forward to hearing from you.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says, ""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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparations of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
We become victorious against spiritual warfare, by 'Putting On' or appropriating the Word of God in daily life happenings. The armor IS the Word of God! To 'gird our loins', we must believe and receive God's Word as a personal message of Truth from Him to us. It's where we commit to 'live or walk' in the Word each day. Ps. 86:11 "Lord, teach me your ways, and I will live and obey your truths. Help me make worshiping your name the most important thing in my life." This is where the Word becomes the foundation from which we base our life, thus making it as a belt to which all other pieces connect.
The Breastplate of Righteousness, is where we protect our heart with the Word of God. Lies, deception, heartaches and such happen daily, trying to creep into our heart to pervert it. Pro. 3:3 says, "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:" Pro. 4:23KJ "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." & Luke 8:15 (ERV) "And what about the seed that fell on the good ground? That is like the people who hear God’s teaching with a good, honest heart. They obey it and patiently produce a good crop." Using God's Word to fight against sin and destruction that would attempt to corrupt our heart establishes His Righteousness within us.
To shod our feet, suggests we be prepared to take the gospel of peace, the Good News, every where we go. Our trust in the Lord and His Word, brings a peace that passes all of our understanding. (Phil. 4:7) Making the Word of God our lifestyle, produces confidence and assurance in Him, giving us peace. Regardless of how rugged the terrain (trials or tribulations) may seem on our path, we are able to march on through with peace on the Word. Rom. 1:16 (Amp) says, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,"
Knowing that the empowerment over the 'imps' of the devil IS through the Word of God, we can overcome by being doers of the Word. In this two part series, we hope you will be able to gain the understanding of the power of God's Word in your life. It IS "alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts." (Heb. 4:12 Amp)
Many people leave church week after week the same way they arrived, with no more understanding or victory over the areas in their life than before they got there. The struggles of life just seem to get harder and harder with not an end in sight. I suppose that's why countless of people leave the faith and stop attending church. Being able to understand and absorb the teaching of God's Word will undoubtably help us in our Christian walk and give us the needed weapons to overcome.
Jesus gave us insight to understanding. Let's look at Mark. 4:14,15 "The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts." Here we see that preachers, teachers or ministers of God's Word are the ones who sow the Word! The ground to which the seed is sown is representative of a man's heart. Jesus refers to the people that 'hear' these messages are unable to retain it, because they are the 'ones by the wayside'. In Bible days, the wayside was the edge or side of a road. This ground was generally hard.
These type of people have a stubborn heart. This is one that won't yield to God or His Word, finding it unimportant pushing it to the side. They hear the sermon, go home, and continue to complain, talking about and sharing their problems with everyone. And because of their difficult life, there is much un-forgiveness. They're angry or hurt most of the time, thinking the problem is with God and others. That is why when the Word is sown in their heart, it's quickly stolen by the devil.
The second set of hearers are described in verses 16 & 17, "These likewise are the ones sown on stoney ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness: and they have no root in themselves and so endure only for a time. Afterward when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble." When I was a child, I lived on the farm. In certain places the ground appeared to have dirt, but just a layer below the dirt, was a sheet of ‘shale’. Shale is a thin layer of sedimentary rock that comes from the combining of mud or clay. When the seed is planted in this kind of ground, it gets hot from the sun and the earth becomes a hot bed. So the seed germinates fast scorching it and making it wither and die because there's no depth of roots.
Jesus said this type of hearer is one that receives the Word with joy, and it appears to grow fast. Yet when distress or offensive things happen, they can only stay strong for a very short time. Then they give up and wither because it got too 'hot' and the experience they had in the Word wasn’t genuine. It was primarily for show, since they considered the standard too hard to live by, thus resulting in their falling away.
The third manner of hearer is found in verses 18 and 19, "Now these are the ones sown among the thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." When the Word of God is sown into these hearers heart, it is planted and along side thorns begin to grow and suffocate the seed. Thorns in this life can be worry, a great desire for more money, and the need for power and possessions. This hearer is distressed and irritated and always in want. The fear begins to choke what Word was heard making it unproductive. Wrong things in the heart left unattended can become deeply rooted.
If we want to begin to understand and grow in the Word of God, we must prepare our ground, keeping our heart soft and teachable. Just like getting the soil ready for planting we must till the ground, and remove the rocks, weeds or thorns. Hos. 10:12 "...... Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." Tilling is forgiving and repenting, requiring self examination, getting rid of works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21), and walking in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-25) It's trusting in the Lord with all our heart, (Pro. 3:5) removing fear, worry, and doubt. It's essential to watch over and guard our heart. Proverbs 4:23 NIV "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." We can know what's in our heart by what's we're speaking. Luke 6:45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
Take this moment right now, to check your heart! Let's pray: Father, I place my heart before you. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness and create a clean heart within me. Right now I decide to repent for holding on to grudges, fears, resentments and all grieving that will hinder my growth in You. I let them go and place them over into Your care! I choose to trust You with ALL my heart. I will guard and watch over what goes into it daily. I decide to hide Your Word in my heart so I will not sin against You. Thank You Lord. Amen.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."