Our country is constantly developing new weapons to defend our territory with minimal loss of our soldiers. We spend billions of dollars developing “smarter” weapons, more accurate weapons, and improved ways to gather information regarding development programs of our adversaries and ways to defend attacks with their weapons.
The Christian’s war is discussed in Eph 6: 10-18. Paul says for us to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power. He has the power, we are to put on the armor described if we are to stand. The war is already over and we have won; what we are facing is daily skirmishes with the enemy who has not surrendered, but knows he has lost. Who is the enemy; vs 12 says “The devil’s schemes, rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We already have all of our weapons and have no need to develop any new ones with an expensive research and development program. Our weapons are:
1. Belt of truth (John 8: 31-32) The more our minds are filled with the truth of God’s Word, the less susceptible we are to Satan’s deception and temptation. Jesus says to the Jews in Jn 8: 44-47 that Satan is a liar; always has been and always will be.
2. Breastplate of righteousness (Matt 5: 6; Matt 6:33). Wikipedia says righteousness is “an attribute that implies that a person’s actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been ‘judged’ or ‘reckoned’ as leading a life that is pleasing to God.”
3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (John 14: 25-27) Feet implies action; there is no tie in our battles. We win or lose depending on our state of readiness. We’re in the middle of discussing warfare, when Paul throws in the “Gospel of Peace” for our feet. We fight without fear because of God’s peace (Phil 4: 4-7)
4. Shield of faith (Ps 35: 2) A shield is a defensive weapon meant to intercept attacks from arrows or deflecting a strike from a sword-like weapon. It redirects a blow to the side of the bearer. Law enforcement officers still use shields sometimes. Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing- in this case God. So our faith that God will defend us is our shield of protection from the arrows that Satan launches our way.
5. Helmet of salvation (Jer 46: 3-5) Since our battles are largely in our mind, how appropriate that our salvation protects our head. We know, in our mind, that even while we face these daily attacks, the war is already over and our side won but we often lose sight of that fact during our battle.
6. Sword of the Spirit (Rev 1: 16) The only offensive weapon we have is God’s Word. Yet so many of us never use it. Recall that believers who read their Bible during the week (non-church times) is about 62% (in 2011). This is the reason this study was created. After I stopped teaching, I pretty much stopped everything. Satan can and does easily distort thought patterns in an unprepared mind. Simply stated we MUST use ALL of the resources we have or we cannot hope to win our daily battles.
What do we do when we are attacked? What does an attack look like and how do we know that is what is happening? Consistency, persistence and patience are all necessary ingredients to our daily battles. As for developing our own ways of dealing with an attack, that is an individual exercise in step with the Holy Spirit. What might work for me could be totally ineffective for anyone else. But for me, the attack normally comes as a thought out of the blue offering something that would be appealing to me. Knowing that it is something that I should not do, there is a “tug of war” for some amount of time. If I am prepared, I would have a plan of action to stop the thought train. I could read my Bible, sing some Christian music, even go for a walk. The main thing is to be prepared with a response that works for you which requires you to plan ahead and know what that response is.
All of us know where our weaknesses are; so give some thought as to how you would respond to one of those thoughts the next time it comes. How can we use the weapons we just discussed to fight off the attack?