Armor of God // Part 1
If God’s people were engaged in a life of comfort, then the Bible would tell us to relax in the Lord; put on your pajamas or casual clothes – your Birkenstocks, flip flops or house shoes, get into the hammock and take a nap. This is the type of existence that many believers strive for. It doesn’t take much attention to what is going on around us to realize that this type of existence is a fool’s paradise and is pursued at the expense of our destiny and the lives of other people and sometimes your own.
Today – pay attention to what is going on around you. The news will give you a partial list of recent casualties. The gossip grapevine and social media will fill you in on those in defeat who are connected to you in some way. No matter how much we try to fantasize our existence, the truth remains that people are losing battles all around us. And many times, we are not even moved by such an assault. There is a God given truth that tells you how to win the battle every single time, yet many of us opt for fantasy over reality. If you are going to find your purpose in life and are not going to be listed among the casualties of life then some basic knowledge is necessary. Over the next few weeks, we are going to look at what the Bible says about how to win the battles of this life.
The Holy Spirit plainly tells us in the book of Ephesians how to be prepared for war. As Rhonda said last week, you don’t dress for battle when the enemy is at the gate. You prepare now and when the evil day comes (the day darkness attacks you or those you care about) you are ready to immediately respond. Being casual creates casualties. The Bible clearly says in Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Not lack of weaponry or talent or ability but lack of knowledge. A lack of knowledge creates a lack of preparedness. We need to be prepared every time – to be prepared to be overcomers. So, we need to take a look at what is provided for us by God. And this necessitates a look at the armor of God. The first thing the Bible tells us to do in Ephesians 6 is to:
1. Be strong in the Lord.
What is your normal response to warfare? Do you resort to self-pity? To begging God? To running away from conflict? What is your primary first response? If it is anything else than being strong in the Lord, it must be changed. What does it mean to be strong in the Lord?
endynamóō (from /en "in," which intensifies /dynamóō, "sharing power-ability") – properly, to impart ability (make able); empowered.
This Greek word is the word from which we get the phrase “be strong”. This tells us a couple of things: God is going to share His power with us. That power is going to increase and increase. God’s power in your life is on the increase!! The devil owns nothing that compares with what you have in Christ, so don’t ever give up! You will see your victory if you do not quit! God will not respond to self-pity or begging nor will the enemy. God’s power is activated by faith. Tell your neighbor – “Be strong!” Same Greek word. Be strong in the Lord.
2. Put on the armor of God.
If you don’t want to be in a battle, you’ll run or cry or beg or bargain or whatever. Just because you won’t live in reality doesn’t mean reality won’t visit your life. If you want to win the battle, you must agree with God and get dressed for success. God has provided the same armor Jesus wore in His victory for you. You don’t get some discount, knock off brand of armor – you get what Jesus wore. Put it on! Tell your neighbor – “Put it on!”
3. Know who your enemy is.
Our battle is not against people. If you succumb to fighting people, you will hate, be bitter, live without trust, without love, without the Fruit of the Spirit and you will still lose. Yes, Satan uses people just like God does, but the problem is the Satan behind the people not the people themselves! Some of you are spending so much time hating you can’t even feel God anymore. It’s time to forgive and fight the type of battle that will bring victory for you instead of pain.
Some of us will do anything but pray. Listen, its time to accept something: prayer is essential to the child of God for many reasons. One of those is closeness to God. Another is strength over temptation. Another is the exercise of the enforcement of the will of God. Some say: “I can’t pray.” You certainly can! God has made you a praying mantis or womantis! You have a praying Spirit within you! Much success in your life depends upon your prayer life.
So, to win we must be properly connected to God’s strength, God’s armor, God’s enemies, & God’s communication. Next week, we begin a look at the individual pieces of the armor, what they are and why they are important.
- Hosea 4:6
- Ephesians 6:10-18 (AMP)
- Philippians 4:13
- Isaiah 59:15-17
- Luke 6:35 (NIV)
- James 5:16 (NLT)
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