242. NOTE TO SELF: FEELING DEFEATED? CHECK YOUR ARMOUR

(The Faith Forum Series- Batch 6)

Last night, at Church, a brother who ministered the Word, read from Ephesians 6:11-18, in a topic entitled: ‘Knowing Who Your Enemy Is’.

This is a popular portion of scripture, one that many Ministers teach from and which I have read and studied on different occasions. However, when I read it afresh again last night, I knew to myself, that the reason why I was feeling so overwhelmed, weak, tired and even directionless lately was because I was under attack (as was to be expected) and there was an issue with my armour.

The armour I refer to is the armour of God. It is a spiritual armour provided to all of God’s children, equipping them to attain the victory that he has already guaranteed for them, despite what may come against them.

There was a chink in my armour (an area of weakness) and I knew that I needed to attend to it or else I would be taken out by the enemy. He never misses an opportunity to get at me, to attack me or to try to undermine me, each and every single day, sending people from all walks of life to harass, provoke and belittle me and sometimes, mobilizing even my own flesh, to try to fight against me.

I therefore need to be properly attired in what God has provided. Knowing this, I therefore resolved to spend some quiet time meditating on this scripture again and applying it to my own life, to see where my area or areas of vulnerability were and to have it rectified.

This morning, I did just that. It took some hours and so everything else planned for the day got thrown off or delayed but I knew it was worth it. This was the foundation. This was the determinant of whether I would be a success in life or a failure. I therefore needed to spend the time to do some armour examination and introspection.

What about you? Are you a Christian but feeling weak, down, defeated, overwhelmed by life and as if you have little or no desire to go on? I would give you the same advice I gave myself when I found myself feeling this way: Do an inventory of your armour. Check to see if there are any holes or weaknesses or anywhere in need of attention and repair.

As a Christian, whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly under surveillance and if you are trying to make progress in your walk with the Lord and for his Kingdom, you will be attacked. It is inevitable and the enemy is relentless. He never gives up, although he is a defeated foe.

Given that you are under attack, you are feeling the way that you are feeling and powerless because there is some part of your armour that is exposed or that you are not using as you ought. You are therefore vulnerable to the blows that come from the attacks of the enemy and to suffer damage as a result.

God intended every piece of the armour he provided, to be worn and properly used. Take the time to therefore go through each piece and see where you are at. Fix what needs to be fixed. Repair what needs to be repaired. Strengthen what needs to be strengthened. Put on what needs to be put on and take up what needs to be taken up, as some part of your armour may be off or down, which makes you prey for the enemy. Ensure that you are wearing everything that you ought to be wearing and holding everything that you ought to be holding and properly. Also, don’t just put on the pieces of armour and take up what needs to be taken up but take off anything that is not part of your armour and that will therefore burden you down in the battle.

Hebrews 12:1 states, “…Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

This morning, I did the introspection, reminding myself that I can only STAND against the wiles of the devil, if I am wearing and using the armour of God. Ephesians 6:11-13 reminds me:

  • “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The Word then tells me of the different parts of the armour of God and which part it is to be worn or held.

Verses 14-18 states:

  • “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”.

I therefore went through each piece of armour (not necessarily in the order given, as I don’t think the order is as important as making sure all the pieces are put on, functioning and properly used). I reminded myself of how each was to be worn and used according to the Word of God and identified some scriptures to remind myself of each piece.

This is what I wrote, intending to do a continual and periodic introspection (maybe once a week or once a month), to see if there were any areas in need of repair and attention or if I was neglecting to put on or properly wear or use any piece.

TRUTH – 1st piece of armour

The Word of God says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH”.

(Girt or fasten your loins with it therefore – wear it firmly around your waist)

Remember what is TRUTH no matter what, cling to it, let it be clasped securely around you and hold on firmly to it, even if unpopular. Never let it go, irrespective of what people (in the world and even many in the Church may be doing to the contrary).

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding (Prov. 23:23);
  • Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13);
  • And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32);
  • Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (Hebrews 2:1);
  • Only be thou strong and courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to ALL the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:7-8);
  • Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17:17).

RIGHTEOUSNESS – 2nd piece of armour

The Word of God says, “…and having on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS”.

(Wear it therefore as a breastplate, over your chest area and especially your heart)

Remember that righteousness is what you are because it is what you have been made. You were made RIGHTEOUS because you believed in your HEART the truth, after which, you were clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ. You therefore no longer stand condemned but justified in Him. For, when you believed in your heart the truth, he gave you power to become the son of God.

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the HEART man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10);
  • For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21);
  • And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians 3:9);
  • But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12);
  • There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?…Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth…Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:1,31-35);
  • But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30);
  • For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:3-8);
  • Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Having been made righteous, do RIGHT, no matter the actions of others and their provocation. Guard your heart. Don’t allow the actions of others or the difficulties and disappointments of life to make you grow bitter in heart.

  • Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous (1 John 3:7);
  • And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9);
  • Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15);
  • Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23);
  • Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:1-11);
  • For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

SALVATION – 3rd piece of armour

The Word of God says, “And take the helmet of SALVATION…”

(Wear it therefore as a helmet on your head, where your mind is)

Remember you have been positioned in light. After you believed in your heart and were made righteous, you were irreversibly SAVED as a result of what you did with your mouth, which is part of your head.

Remember therefore, that upon believing and being made righteous as a result, you then submitted further in obedience to God’s Word by confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus. You used your brain (head) to give command to your mouth, to speak or confess the words of truth audibly, that Jesus is Lord. Having been made righteous and then confessing the truth with your lips (mouthpiece), the process of SALVATION (which is now irreversible) was completed.

Now that you are SAVED, you are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise and are therefore a permanent part of God’s family. Nobody and no devil can will you out of it. Don’t allow doubt or thoughts of condemnation (even when you fail) to take up any space in your head. Keep that same mind that you used to decide to submit to Christ and to use your mouth to confess the truth, in the truth of God’s Word and be at peace, at rest in Jesus and in what he did for you and how he brought you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • That if thou shalt confess with thy MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the MOUTH confession is made unto salvation;
  • In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13);
  • And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28);

Remember who you are now, rooted to Christ, a fellow citizen with the saints, of the household of God, precious in in his sight, accepted in the beloved, dearly loved of him. He will never stop loving you, never stop accepting responsibility for you as his child and never just leave you to your own exploits but will guide and direct you and order your steps. Even when he seems silent, he is watching over you. He never forgets or overlooks any of his children.

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9);
  • That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ…Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:12-13, 19-20);
  • Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:16).

Remember, that as a child of God, Jesus has given you his peace, which nobody has the right to try to come to mess with. People will try to come to disturb your peace and mess with your mind, trying to get you to doubt who you are, that God loves you, that you are saved and to try to guilt, accuse, oppose, oppress, suppress, belittle, undermine and harass you, so as to create turmoil in your mind and head. For, the enemy knows that if your head is affected or damaged, that it will affect the rest of your body. You therefore need to guard your head (including your mind) with the helmet of salvation. Remember who you are, no matter how people may come to try to mess with disturb and wickedly create turmoil in your mind.

APPLICABLE VERSE:

  • Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27);
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3);
  • For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

FAITH – 4th piece of armour

The scripture says, “Above all, taking the shield of FAITH, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

(Take it up therefore as a shield (above all), to ward off and protect yourself from ALL the enemy throws at you.)

Remember, no matter what darts he throws and no matter how fiery or intense, it can’t hit you and therefore make impact, if you have your shield in place. Your shield is faith in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember that faith means:

  • to have faith in Jesus Christ, who he said he is, that he has power to forgive sins, to cleanse and to save and that he saved you because he does not lie and keeps his word, it means to have faith in God’s testimony of his Son and in his unchanging, faithful and perfectly good character,
  • faith that God loves you, faith that he has your best interest at heart,
  • faith that he is sovereign, all-wise, all-powerful and that nothing is too hard for him to do,
  • faith that his will is always best and perfect, that he is with you as he promised to be, even in moments where he seems silent and you are confused because you don’t understand what is happening and why you are going through,
  • faith that he is still Lord and still knows best in all circumstances, no matter how it looks or how you feel or how you hurt or how ashamed you feel, faith that he still loves and has your best interest at heart when you get disappointed in life or things don’t turn out the way you had hoped or dreamed,
  • faith that whatever he promised you will be done most definitely, no matter how long it takes,
  • faith that he that began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ, faith that if you diligently seek the Lord, he will reward you (as he sees fit), even as he did with Hannah, Blind Bartimaeus, the lady who was persistent in getting healing for her daughter and therefore mentioned eating crumbs from the table, even if not entitled to sit at the table of blessing, the lady with the issue of blood who pressed on in the determination that if she were to only touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed,
  • faith that even when you are suffering and feel ashamed, that he is with you and that it has happened because he has allowed it for his purposes and that your suffering is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in you one day (whether from on earth or in the next life)
  • faith that, although you are a weakling and not too bright, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,
  • faith that with God, all things are possible, faith that with God on your side, you have a majority, faith that he knows what he is doing even if you have not a clue and are confused and tired, faith that he has a plan and complete control and that whatever you are dealing with no matter how difficult or crazy it seems, he has in his wisdom and righteousness, allowed,
  • faith that he is able to feed you, provide for all all your needs and clothe you and that he will never abandon you but will carry you, even to hoar hairs.

When you hold up your shield of faith, every attack, no matter how intense, fiery or hot, fades in comparison. For you remember who God is, who you have believed in and are persuaded that he is able to keep that which you have committed unto him against that day. You remember that GREATER is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. You remember that you are to be courageous, to fight the good fight of faith without giving up or giving in and that you are not to be afraid because God is with you wherever you go and he will fight for you and take care of you.

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6);
  • (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (2 Corinthians 5:7);
  • That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5);
  • Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6);
  • And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28);
  • While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (Mark 5:36);
  • If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23);
  • And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:29-31);
  • Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9);
  • Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength… they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31);
  • Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13);
  • Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10);
  • Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7);
  • My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:2-4);
  • Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jeremiah 31:3);
  • But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10).

THE WORD OF GOD – 5th piece of armour

The scripture says, “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is THE WORD OF GOD”.

(Take it up therefore as a weapon to hit back at the enemy, to resist him and send him fleeing)

Remember that the Word of God is your only weapon and a more than sufficient weapon to hit back blows at your enemy, so as to send him in retreat, thereby freeing up your path where he was blocking and enabling you to make steps forward, towards God’s purpose for your life and progress. Hence the reason why your own flesh (which has a tendency to get sleepy), the world and the devil tries to keep you from reading it and studying it.

On the power of this weapon and its ability to send the enemy packing, the Word of God says:

  • Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17);
  • Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29);
  • For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12);
  • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Every time he launches his attacks, whether through people or by planting thoughts in your mind or otherwise, don’t just hold up your shield of faith to prevent impact but hit back aggressively with the Word, so that you can advance FORWARD. Here is what this weapon, the Word of God, says about oppressors, which you must apply when they come to try to derail, discourage, provoke or stress you out:

  • When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deuteronomy 20:1-4);
  • Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice…And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods. But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. (2 Kings 17:35-26, 38-39);
  • I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:12-13);
  • In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake…No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54:14-17);
  • The Lord is my LIGHT and my SALVATION; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the STRENGTH of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3);
  • Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice (Psalm 68:1-3).

THE GOSPEL – 6th piece of armour

The scripture says: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the GOSPEL of peace“.

(Wear it therefore on your feet, so that wherever you go, it can be given out, whether from the observance of your lifestyle or from you telling the world with your speech, writing or actions)

Remember that we do not love people if we see them lost, know that they are going to hell in the condition they are in and carry on with our lives selfishly without giving them the gospel. Remember that when we neglect to give the gospel, we are being disobedient to the Lord’s command.

Remember that the gospel is not to remain in one place or stagnant but that you are to move forward with it and in so doing, weaken the enemy’s empire by showing people how to get saved and contributing to the expansion of the Lord’s Kingdom.

Remember that the gospel that you have and received is the power of God, that you ought not to be ashamed of it and to hide it but to showcase it for the world to see.

Remember that no other message is as important and that it is the gospel that we have been charged to tell the world about, not what we feel like telling them, not about how to make money or how to attract a man or how to have good health or get promotion or breakthrough or make it in business or anything else but the gospel of the saving grace of God from hell, which is available through Christ Jesus, by having faith in him, believing that he rose from the dead and confessing him as Lord with the mouth.

APPLICABLE VERSES:

  • How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7);
  • And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14);
  • Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15);
  • Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16);
  • For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16);
  • Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16);
  • As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4);
  • Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word… (Acts 11:19);
  • The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30);
  • See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17).

PRAYER – to be used in conjunction with the Sword

No imagery is given of this as a part of the armour. All of the armour consists of items that you either need to put on or take up. Prayer does not seem therefore (in my view), to be something that you put on or take.

In particular, Ephesians 6:11 and 13 refer to each part of the armour of God as something that you either need to put on or take unto you, meaning, pick up. Verse 11 states, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Verse 13 then states, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” So clearly, you need to put on truth around your loins, put on the preparation of the gospel of peace on your feet, put on the breastplate of righteousness and put on your helmet of salvation but you cannot put on your shield or your Sword. You need to take up the shield of faith and take up the Sword of Spirit.

Although prayer is not something that you put on or take unto yourself and was not referred to in the scripture as a part of the armour of God, if it wasn’t important and necessary to the battle, it would not have been mentioned. While it does not seem to be something that you put on or take up for the battle, it is something that you must do with your lips, to have the victory.

Wearing and holding on to all of the armour and well, ensuring that nothing needs repair or attention and using what you are to use in the right way, will still not guarantee you victory, unless the Lord goes with you to help you. There is the armour of God that has been provided by God for you to wear and take up but there is also God himself, who has made himself and his power available to you, through the medium of prayer.

Prayer then is asking for help at the supernatural level, from the Lord, which is necessary, even when you are wearing and using your armour well. When you pray, you tap into God’s power, his strength and his help, when in the battle. You remember that it is not by your might or your power that you will be victorious but by His Spirit. When you pray, you invite him to send help, give you strength, guidance and to turn things in your favour.

In Hebrews 4:16, it states of prayer, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Notably, prayer is mentioned in the scripture about the armour, right after the Word of God is mentioned and a colon is used between them. To my mind, this therefore highlights the fact that Prayer and the Word of God (which is the Sword of the Spirit) are intended to go hand in hand. It is not sufficient therefore, to just wield blows with the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) without appealing to the Lord for help and it is not enough to appeal to the Lord for help and not use the Sword that he has given.

Remember to be discerning and alert (watchful), praying regularly for self and in love for other saints (even those that allow the devil to use them to get at you), based on what your watchfulness is revealing. Pray with perseverance so that you will keep the faith, no matter what you go through or how aggressive the attacks and having done all, to STAND.

APPLICABLE VERSES

  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7);
  • …pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16);
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).

IN CONCLUSION

In closing, no you have not been imagining it. What has been happening in your life, which you have found strange because it seemed as if some invisible force was operating at a supernatural level, sending people and circumstances to relentlessly harass and attack you at every turn, make you feel bad, worthless, discouraged, hopeless, worried and to undermine all your efforts and keep you down, has most definitely been happening.

If, like me, you have been dealing with endless OPPOSITION, ACCUSATION, SUPPRESSION, CONDESCENSION, UNDERMINING, WITHHOLDING OF SUPPORT, OSTRACISM, BELITTLEMENT, RIDICULE, INSULTS and overall, OPPRESSION, then, my friend, you are most definitely UNDER ATTACK!

The people sent by the enemy to derail, distract and discourage you may never change or repent, so you need to change your tactics. You need to change your response. Stop working up yourself in the flesh with worry, stress, sorrow and sadness (which is what the enemy wants). Strengthen yourself in the power of the Lord’s might for this fight and arm yourself with the armour that God has provided.

I have realized in my study and self-assessment, that every area where I am supposed to be wearing or taking up my armour, the enemy has throughout the years and even to date, been attacking.

Sometimes he comes after me trying to make me embrace a lie, to think that TRUTH is not really important anymore because many people who once professed Christianity are letting go of it and of sound doctrine.

He has tried to make me doubt that I have been made RIGHTEOUS, have been irreversibly SAVED and am therefore a precious, dignified and beloved child of the King and he has tried, through the actions of others and oppressive circumstances, to get me to do that which is not right.

He has tried on countless occasions to make me throw in the towel in defeat and let go of my FAITH in Jesus and he has tried in many ways and still tries, to mess with my MIND (HEAD), hoping to create turmoil within and not peace. He has tried to keep me from reading THE WORD OF GOD, sending endless distractions and to keep me from PRAYING. My own flesh has teamed up with his agenda in this regard, making me sleepy when I try to read the Word, having difficulty focusing and telling me that it is not in the mood to pray.

Every part of the armour and prayer are therefore important as the enemy will at different times, focus on different areas of your being, looking for vulnerability or even attack more than one area at a time.

As Christians who are serious about God’s Word and living for him, it is important that we realize (if we haven’t as yet), that the battle is real. The enemy will not allow us to just cruise through life without attacks. He will use whoever (ungodly people and even other people who have professed Christianity but are imposters or those who are genuinely saved but who decide to give in to his will and their flesh and disobey God), to get at you.

All that is coming up against you therefore, from different people and circumstances, is not by chance but by strategic design. The intention is to try to keep you stuck, prevent you from moving forward and being all that God wants you to be, to keep you from obtaining all that he desires for you to have, to strip you of your joy, your dignity, your faith, your peace of mind, your sanity and to take you out, rendering you ineffective.

I was reminded this morning, that I needed to stop getting surprised and alarmed when endless attacks come my way, unprovoked, one after the other, from different people and circumstances, some blatant and others subtle. For, the Word of God already told me that this would happen.

1 Peter 4:12 tells me, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Knowing that attacks will come and keep on coming (sometimes in ways and through people that shock you), I am to use times of peace to prepare for them. When the enemy comes in like a flood, I am also not to sit down and wallow in grief or to run away and cower in fear or defeat. Even if I feel like giving up and not fighting, the Lord has called me to endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), so I cannot avoid the warfare. I MUST therefore put on my armour and I MUST fight. I must reach out to the Lord in prayer as well, asking him to raise up a standard against the enemy and to go with me into battle, thereby securing my victory.

Isaiah 59:19 states, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

In doing my own assessment and self-examination, I realized that I was not holding up my shield of faith properly or as high as I should and therefore, the enemy had been able to infiltrate and damage me somewhat with the fiery darts he had sent my way.

I was also not wearing my breastplate of righteousness properly, forgetting at times that I was made perfectly righteous through Christ Jesus, that I am now the righteousness of God in Him and that, given that I had been translated from darkness into his marvellous light, I now needed to guard my heart from bitterness and do what was right, irrespective of provocation, people coming to make me fret and so on.

I was also neglecting to read the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) as I ought. Whenever I picked up the Word, sleepiness would overtake me or something would come to distract me from reading it and focusing on it as I ought. I was meditating on its truths yes (which I loved) and reading a bit here and there each day but I needed to spend time just reading more of it, even chapters at a time. I needed to be immersed and saturated to the point of overflow, in it. I needed to also remember to hit back when attacked by the enemy with any lie, not with my own words and in the flesh but with the Word of God in the spirit, as it is my weapon. The scriptures that I had taken from the Bible and listed under headings based on the areas where I felt I was weak and being attacked, I needed to spend time to read and speak out loud. For, it is the Word of God that will make the devil flee, thereby enabling me to advance forward in life.

Finally, this did not come as a surprise but I was reminded that I needed to spend more quality time praying, effectually and fervently (not with words of mindless routine but heartfelt prayers), to God. I wrote on this some years back but admittedly, I have not been praying nearly as much as I ought.

On the whole, I am grateful for the armour which God has provided and for the privilege of prayer. These are enough to get me through this life and victoriously. I know first-hand in the face of relentless attacks though, that my success or failure, whether I make progress in this life or remain stagnant, will depend on how well I wear and use them. Victory will not come from how well I write or my knowledge of the truth but of how well I put it into practice in my own life.

(Written on 19th May, 2022, added to thereafter)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, yo may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 161 – ‘Overcoming Oppression – Spiritual Warfare’
  • Note 163 – ‘What Is The Gospel Of God?’
  • Note 193 – ‘Woe, If We Preach Not The Gospel’
  • Note 203 – ‘How Important Is Truth To Christianity?’
  • Note 224 – ‘Dear Enemy Of My Soul, I Will Not Retreat!’
  • Note 243 – ‘Overcoming That Accusatory Spirit’

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