Meeting People Head On with Ray Schmautz 11: Gearing Up for Battle!
Ephesians 6:12 says –
2 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
What this means is that our existence here on the planet earth is a warfare. Satan is our enemy. He is against us. And he wants to kill, steal and destroy the life that God came to give us through creating us in His image.
Satan was very successful in the Garden of Eden. His strategy, or game plan, there was to work on the desire to be like God that Adam and Eve had. He used this to cause them to sin, and of course we all know, that’s when death entered into the world. Separation from God was now an everyday reality, and we were kinda left on our own. Mankind could always turn around and draw close to Him, but it would never be the same as it was back in Eden.
The result today, as it says in Ephesians, is that we struggle against forces of darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness and this is taking place in the heavenly realms.
So, here we are – people wanting to do what is right – but on our own, we don’t have the power. That’s where the Spirit of God comes into our lives and gives us what we need to combat all the schemes of the evil one through the full armor of God.
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)
You know that we are living in an evil day. In our country, ever since we turned off our ability to have the freedom to read the Bible or pray in public, we have moved away from God. So, we’re experiencing today things going downhill quickly as we see the world embrace what we used to call evil and wrong. Nowadays, right and wrong are hard to discern – unless you are a child of God and His Word is in your life. This is why the Bible says that we need to put on the full armor of God – not just a piece of it, but all of it!
14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth,
I find it very interesting that Roman soldiers wore around their waists something that looked like a little miniskirt. It was actually very strategic. It was made of leather strips so that it could move and flow with the soldier’s movement without encumbering him at all. Yet, the leather was thick enough that it could stop the cutting blow of a sword. Just like a Roman soldier girded his loins with this protective garment, so should we gird ourselves with God’s truth.
But what’s the truth? John 14:6 quotes Jesus when He said:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
John also wrote that as we continue to grow in our walk with God, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free from the deception and the schemes that Satan wants to use to draw you away from God. So, the truth is an absolute entity in and of itself that everything in this world relates to regarding whether or not it is consistent with it. Therefore, protecting our midsection with God’s truth is super important!
…and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Now, the Roman soldiers had a piece of protective equipment that covered the entire front of his torso. It protected all of his essential organs from attack. But how can we put on a “breastplate of righteousness”? Well, when you sin, if you confess your sin to God, He cleanses you from all unrighteousness and makes you righteous. (1 John 1:9)
So, in our daily battle with Satan, as he tries to cause us to stumble, accuses us and makes us feel guilty and tries to divert us away from God, he attacks us at our heart with his lies. But, we can put on the breastplate of righteousness by walking in the reality that God is forgiving and cleanses us totally and completely when we confess our sins. This gives us the righteousness that can only come through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. This trust in what God has done and continues to do for us protects us like a breastplate as we battle for the Lord!
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