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)
Years ago, we were on a youth outing to another city. Because of the number of people that went, we had to take multiple cars. Some of the people that drove were not familiar with the city freeways, so they were following us to the venue. The driver of the second car thought it would be fun to drive along side of our car instead of remaining directly behind. Much to their surprise the lane they were in, happened to be an exit only lane onto another freeway. So without warning, suddenly they were going east and we were going north. Needless to say, had they been following us, they would not have gotten off course. Going the wrong direction can be alarming and disheartening. To be guided by one that knows the way is, definitely, the safest way to go.
In John chapter 16 Jesus tells us of the 'Helper' that will come after He leaves. In verse 13, He says, "...when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth..." This word 'guide' is likened to a tour guide that is trained to go into unknown territory. How many of you know that this life we live, is an unknown territory? Dealing with surprises and difficult circumstances is similar to traveling in unexplored places. Having a guide that can lead us safely through, helping us to avoid pitfalls, disaster, and danger, will keep us on course and in the Truth. I'm all for that!
Truthfully, people are seeking direction every day. Some refer to horoscopes, palm readers, tea leaves, fortune cookies, ouija boards and various other methods. These are NOT the way to finding the truth or true direction from God. Others depend on dreams, visions, prophetic instruction, angels, goosebumps, and good or bad feelings. Again, these are NOT sound in the leading of God.
Realize that the devil can imitate all the outward signs for guidance. In light of this, we understand that we can not depend on dreams, angel visitations, visions, prophetic words, goosebumps or feelings to direct us. If any of these are prevalent, they will ALWAYS be accompanied by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit if they are from the Lord. They should be disregarded if they are not. The people in the old testament were led by these things because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. Today we can depend on His guidance. And since there are no scriptures to support outward leadings, we know veering from the Word is dangerous and can lead to deception.
Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." This IS the true leading from God. If you want to have a guaranteed escort through the course of your life, first become a 'son of God'. Then the Holy Spirit will give you direction every day. Verse 16 tells us how He does this, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit.."! 'Bearing witness', also considered as 'inner witness', is a knowing within your spirit to His leading. We could also say, it's when something just seems right, although your mind doesn't quite understand.
His unction is directed by God and will always be in line with God's will. Some key points to know about the Holy Spirit's leading is: 1) He's a gentleman, He will not aggressively push us into doing anything, He leads. 2) He will never have us do anything that's contrary to God's Word. and 3) His leading will not always agree with our mind or flesh. (Rom. 8:7 "...the carnal mind is enmity against God...." & Gal. 5:17 "...the flesh lusts against the Spirit...")
Along with His leading, God has also endowed us with knowledge and wisdom. In some instances we won't have a leading of the Holy Spirit because we have a knowing about something. For instance, if I know the temperature outside is 110 degrees, I don't need the Holy Spirits leading to know i shouldn't go running. Or if I know it's dangerous to be in a particular place, I don't need Him to tell me not to go. I have the measure of knowledge needed to govern specific decisions. And if I'm going in a direction that my knowledge tells me is good, unless the Holy Spirit gives me a 'check' or 'stop' then I can proceed.
Learning to follow the leading of the Spirit, will help us in every facet of life. Gaining more insight to being led can be obtained by praying. It increases sensitivity to hearing His voice. Be sure that when you begin to experience His leading, obey instantly. This develops your spirit, and keeps the devil from discouraging you. Stay out of feelings, reasonings and self will. Practice by being a listener. Be sure to know who's in the lead. Following the Holy Spirit will ensure peace, safety, and security.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."