Why do we need to understand, know and USE the armor of God? Ephesians tells us that we do not fight battles of flesh and blood; we fight battles against principalities in the spirit. Anytime God is doing something good (which is all the time) evil will try to come against it. Now more than ever, the church needs to put on their armor; we are in the beginning of the last great awakening, the biggest revival I believe the world will ever see. This revival isn’t going to be temporary thing, its going to be a habitation of revival and the enemy doesn’t like that. Dark forces are trying to come against all of this, for that reason we need to be education on how to use the our armor in Christ so that we can stand in victory we are are seated. When a follower doesn’t know this subject, they operate beneath their authority and can become trampled on. We are seated in heavenly places the moment we get born again and if we choose to we can operate from that position with authority. To do this, one needs to first know that they have authority in Christ, and they need to know how to use it. Ephesians chapter six teaches us this and we are going to dive deeper in it now.
1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us to be well balanced and always alert, because the enemy roams around like a lion look for its prey to devour. Some bibles translate this to looking at whom he may devour. Whom or looking for his prey both means that he can’t simply devour anyone he chooses. When we surrender to God we become His, when we follow Him we walk in His grace and protection and His armor! Notice I said when we follow Him, not when we believe. What I mean by this is, reading the word of God, beleiving and doing nothing with it doesn’t keep us in Him. To be in Christ, to stay in Him, to dwell in Him and to walk in His armor we need to do more than just believe in Him, we need to follow Him. Following Him means we surrender to Him and not just read the Bible but live it. There is a big difference between reading the word of God and living it. For example, one who lives Ephesians chapter six walks with the armor of God on and stands in the authority given to him by Christ. One who reads it but doesn’t live it, well they are like prey that the lion is looking to devour. I’m not saying this to frighten you, I want you to awaken you sleeping bride, awaken and take your place in Christ, put on His armor and stand in the authority that Christ has commissioned to you.
So, how do we do this? First, we apply the word to our lives and do more than merely acknowledge it. We prepare for battle and deliverance by defining our strength. Our strength is found in the Lord, to be strong in the Lord one needs to know who they are in Christ, their identity. This is why the book of Ephesians tells us that we are predestined, chosen by God to know Him and by His. We are taught on our identity because we have to know who we are in Christ to effecitively be strong in the Lord and wear His armor. If you are unsure about this topic, refer back to our recent bible studies on the book of Ephesians. You can’t read that book and not know who you are in Christ if you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you in it. Luke 10:19 declares that God gives us the power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you. You in Christ are unstoppable because Christ within you is soveriegn and nothing can overcome Him.
So, the armor of God; the first five pieces of armor have a defensive purpose in battle, while the remaining two pieces are used in offensive action. Defensive armor protects the vital organs. However, all of the pieces of armor need to be used.
First, we gird up the loins with truth; your loins deal with your mind. 1 Peter 1:13 says that we gird up the loins of our mind. Meaning, we fill our mind with the word. We keep our minds on Christ and His word and we meditate on His word. To know God we have to know His word, He communicates with us through His word; if we don’t know His word than we don’t know Him. So, we stay in His word, the more we know Him the more we are protected in Him in His word by His truth.
Second, we have the breastplate of righteousness. This covers the vital organs and speaks of the heart; when we surrender to God and we spend time with Him and allow Him to prune us, to transform us, this happens through the heart. The more He renews our hearts the more we are in His righteousness and we reflect Him; the more we being to look like His image, our original form of creation. To transform one has to have revelations from God, this cuts to ones heart and allows them to be renewed in that area through Christ. We are righteous in Christ and the more we allow Him to transform us the more we reflect His righteousness because the more we allow Him to shine through us. One has to be surrendered to God, following Him not just believing Him for this transformation to take place.
Third, the feet are shot with the preparation of the gospel of peace. For one to walk in peace, in Gods peace; one has to have the heart change from God. The more time you spend with God, the more time you absorb His word the more your heart with change, the more righteous in Him you will be and the more your actions with reflect His peace. One can’t walk in Godly peace without first surrendering Him and knowing Him. Are you catching a common theme here? Its not about religion, or traditions, or “steps” its about knowing Him, personally and intimately in a relationship. TO APPLY THE ARMOR OF GOD YOU NEED TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. You can’t do it on your own merit. These battles and warfare are of the spirit, you can’t in the flesh do this without God, you need Him and your soul needs to KNOW Him not just know about Him.
Fourth, the shield of faith. Faith in Christ and His word is needed. You can’t doubt Him or who you are in Him, you need revelation in this to have faith. Ask God to give you deep Knowing and revelation on this if you are in doubt or lack of faith. Faith joined with the Word in your mind and heart will allow you to quench the fiery darts from the evil one. With faith and the Word of God you can render the fiery darts ineffective.
Fifth, the helmet of salvation. This deals with your nature, your character, your doctrine. When you know who you are in Christ, you know His word and you know Him and are able to discern things then you won’t be taken by false preaching. You will have humbled yourself to receive Godly wisdom and knowledge needed to protect your mind, your heart and your soul from things you should be engaged in. You will be able to shield yourself and protect yourself from traps that can lure the lost because you will have the spiritual knowing needed to stay who you are in Christ Jesus. The application of Gods word makes you balanced and well guarded.
Sixth, the sword of the Spirit. This is the first line of offense, all the others have been for your protection in defense. The sword of Spirit is the Word of God specifically. All other areas have needed you to be in the word of God and to know more of it, but the sword is the word specifically. The word of God is an offensive weapon against the enemy. Picture this; when you speak the word of God a white beam comes out of your mouth in the spirit and pierces the darkness thus pushing it away by exposing the darkness and filling the area with His light. Jesus refused satan’s tempting in Matthew by saying, “It is written,” and quoting scripture. We need to follow His lead, we sew seeds of life into the situation by speaking Gods word into the area we are battling. Find scripture in the area you are feeling attacked in and speak it into life.
Seventh, prayer and supplication. We should always be praying, praying is the act of talking with God. Notice I said talking with God, not at Him. We often times make the mistakes of talking at Him rather than allowing Him the time and attention to actually talk with Him. Talk to Him and give Him the time to respond, expect a response. Many christians today don’t expect God to respond, they don’t give Him the time or attention to respond, they merely talk at Him and expect Him to bless whatever it is that they choose to do. We need to stop this. We need to surrender to Him. Give Him the time that He so rightfully deserves, talk with Him and expect a response because He wants to talk with us. He wants that closeness and intimacy with us. He wants us to approach Him with childlike faith. If you take a child on a road trip they will ask a thousand questions on the way to your destination. Why is it that we can’t ask our Abba Father questions expecting answers like children? Surrender to Him. Get to know Him more. Talk with Him not at Him. Give Him time to respond and stay in His presence. Stay in His word. Stay in Him.