How to Fight Spiritual Warfare part 2:
Preparing the Heart and Harvest of your life.
If you haven’t read How to Fight Spiritual Warfare part 1 you need to start there. You can access that blog post by clicking here:
Note: Most of the material for this article is taken from Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God Bible study. I highly recommend the seven-week study, and it can be purchased at www.lifeway.com or a local mom and pop Christian bookstore in your area.
We are going to jump right back at the point we left off by examining the remaining armors Paul mentions in Ephesians 6: 10-15.
- The Shield of Faith:
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16 English Standard Version. The shield of faith provides protection from anything the enemy uses against you. It helps guard you as you step into what God has called you to do. The shield of faith is your reliance on God.
A dear friend of mine named Vanessa died in August of 2018 from brain cancer. God had led this girl to me years before, and I shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. Soon after she accepted Jesus as her personal Savior. On her death bed, she admitted she wished her family and friends knew her testimony. She wanted them to know the reason she had peace about dying, but she never got to tell them. Being a witness to it, I knew God wanted me to tell her story. Many of her family and friends were Muslim and Hindu, it wasn’t like speaking at the funeral in front of Christian mourners. The night before I laid on the sofa because of the knots in my stomach. I prayed God would take the anxiety away from me. It wasn’t until the next day when I stood up and took the podium did the fiery darts of anxiety and fear stop. God met me when I stepped out in faith, and a peace came over me. Several times, I stated the God of the Bible was the one true God. A friend of ours sat in the back of the room and claimed every time I called God the one true God, the Muslim men moaned. What’s amazing is, I didn’t hear them, my shield of faith protected me. I couldn’t have done that without placing my reliance on God.
If you believe Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again, and saved you, how are you living your faith? A life of true faith in an all mighty God is evident in the way we live. Our good works don’t save us, but we live how we believe. Do you fear going to a Bible study? Many women I’ve talked to fear they don’t know enough Bible to go to a Bible study. Isn’t that what Bible study is for? Those are fiery darts! Don’t let the enemy steal your opportunity for growth. Grab your shield and sign up.
In another example, let’s return to giving up wine and how to apply that to taking up the shield of faith. I admit, I’ve experienced temptations and you probably will too when God asks you to give something up; but here’s the kicker, God always provides a way out of the enemy’s enticements. If I were to disappear in my bedroom when the wine is poured at a family birthday dinner, I’m not holding up my shield, that’s retreating. Instead, I prayed for God’s strength in the face of it. God will never ask something of you He’s not ready to be a part of. God is faithful and will meet you at your temptation.
I’ve already pointed out the fiery darts of the enemy could be fear, anxiety, and temptation. Another common dart he loves to send is distractions. He loves it when we become so distracted we never accomplish what God wants us to. When Paul wrote the book of Ephesians a popular war tactic was to send fiery darts towards the enemy’s line. This would start fires the enemy had to extinguish. This distraction left wide open holes in their line of defense allowing the archers to break through and attack.
Pick up your Shield of Faith and don’t allow the enemy to tempt, fill you with fear and anxiety, or distract you from God’s calling.
- The Helmet of Salvation:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Satan is after your mind. Priscilla points out during the time Paul wrote about the spiritual armor the Roman soldier’s helmet had been redesigned around 10 years prior. The new design no longer only covered the crown, but the metal came down the sides of the soldier’s face and the back of the neck as well. If we apply this new design to the spiritual armor, the helmet covered the ears, the mind, and the neck.
The enemy will try to affect your way of thinking. He is not God and therefore can’t read your mind, but he can influence your thoughts if you allow him to. When you put on the helmet of salvation you are liberating your mind from lies, negative thought patterns, and darkness.
Have you heard the expression Satan’s whispering in your ear? There’s a helmet for that.
The covering on the neck signifies freedom from strongholds or slavery. The message of the gospel is freedom. Guilt, addictions, sin, and pain places you in the yolk of slavery. Do not free your minds to be filled by the enemy but keep them focused on what is good and acceptable to God.
Did you know negative thoughts actually change your brain physically? Check out this article on Huff Post https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-your-thoughts-change-your-brain-cells-and-genes_b_9516176.
- The Sword of the Spirit:
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV
The Sword is your only offensive piece of armor. It is the Word of God- the Bible. Paul describes it in Hebrews as doubled edged, very sharp sword. The Roman soldier’s sword of that day, was short and needle-sharp, made to attack the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.
The Bible is God-breathed and living. A sentence or paragraph leaps off the page and it seems to have been written for only you. It can stab into the heart of your situation. Truth from the Word of God is your biggest offense against the deceiver.
Recently over lunch, a girlfriend stated, yes Satan is the father of lies, but he’s also a deceiver. We believe deceivers. Lies we recognize as untruths, but deception is his ability to make us believe his lies because he knows our frailties and weak spots. Hence, why the sword is important.
Stay in the truth.
Offend the enemy.
Now that we know the spiritual armors and their jobs, there is one thing that will infuse them with power and that’s prayer. The constant conversation with our Heavenly Father keeps us alert to the spiritual world. Paul instructs us to “Pray 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,” Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)
On our next blog, Elizabeth Hammond will share how prayer and fasting led to her physical healing. See you then.
Picture Credits: Thanks to Pexels, Stocksnap, and Rudy and Peter Skitterons at Pixabys.