By G.P. Avants
“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”
If you have been a believer for some time then you are well aware that times are changing. Look how fast things have changed over the past twenty years. Ten? Five? It feels like all the things we have heard about the End Times are coming to pass, fast! Throw on the events of just 2020 and it’s evident we are a world at war spiritually. As we pass into a whole new direction in the US it has never been more important to be ready for the days to come.
This is the fourth piece in a short series called, Overcome. We are stepping out from a year of turmoil and testing into uncertain times. But we are not sent into a battlefield without the right prepartion and equipment. In fact, those who are called believers are given a whole different kind of armor to fight with one foot in the spiritual world and another in the physical one.
In the book of Ephesians we have Paul’s description of this wonderful spiritual armor. If you think about it Paul had an upclose and personal observations of Roman armor while chained to guards while in prison. So, using this physical model, he begins to describe what God gives each believer as they face the challenges in life as a Christian solider. Let’s check out the armor and how it can be used to prepare us for the real conflicts ahead.
The Spiritual Armor
He first tells us to stand strong in the Lord and the power of his might along with the armor so we can stand against the wiles of the devil. It’s not a physical battle that we are engaged in but try a spiritual one that hides behind everthing in the physical world. I see the armor as the power of God through His Holy Spirit and seen physically through the person of Jesus Christ. Did you happen to notice that there are three person’s mentioned? That sounds like the wonderful nature of God in the Holy Trinity. If you think about it, we are being given the presence of Trinity as our armor. God himself wants to be present in all his holy nature to fight for us, in us, and through us. Let’s break down each part of the armor and see how that might be possible. I actually want to start from the top down, if I may. So, please bear with me as we get suited up.
The Helmet of Salvation
The helmet keeps your head intact so you won’t be mislead,brain-damaged, or disoriented in the midst of battle. It’s a covering from outside of this simple human experience with the Holy God of the Universe putting his seal on our heads. I see this as the God head, the Father, the wonderful creator of all, who grants salvation and the wisdom how to live out your faith in this world. Doesn’t he promise to transform our minds, renewing them so we can test and know His will for us in this world? God is the head and the authority like that helmet snuggly fit upon our heads.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
What does this piece of armor cover? Our fragile hearts. This is the place the enemy would love to run us through with his weapons or strike with paralizing fear. So this is where the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within. This is the internal working in our lives, deep down in the heart, where out real self dwells. The heart is the seat of our emotions, our inner spirit, character, and our eternal being. What a wonderful thing to imagine the Holy God of the Universe loves to dwell with all his goodness, kindness, patience, and true fruit of Himself within us. In many ways he is the fire within to be able to fight when all other lights go out around us.
The Belt of Truth
Here is where I think we find the glue or the connective tissues of God in this world. The belt of any armor keeps everything together to gird a soldier up for battle. In a fallen world being bound up in the truth is the most freeing thing one can experience. When Jesus the Son came to Earth, He was the bridge, the cross, the way for God and man to be reunited. We saw the truth bound in his flesh and people saw God face-to-face. Imagine the Trinity coming to Earth: head, heart and life in the person of Jesus. Through Him we see God’s presence on Earth, the spirutual world coming down into the physical realm.
As a reminder Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. So it is fitting to point out that we have the top half of the armor (God’s reaching down through Christ ) connected by truth to the lower part of the armor (Man in the person of Christ reaching out to the world). God made man as a trinity as well (flesh, spirit, soul (mind). In the person of Jesus Christ he brings both of these “trinities” together, reconciling them both. Does that make sense? So, I see the last three part of the armor as how God’s unseen spirtual self can work into the real issues in the physical world.
The Sword of the Spirit
A sword is an offensive weapon. It enables to bearer to go into battle ready to defend others, fight the enemy, and pierce into places a soider needs to go. God’s word is a living sword able to divide bone and marrow, spirit and soul. It gets down to the real heart of any isse. Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh. This sword is unique in that when it cuts it separates men and women from their sin, and opens the way for God to work redemption into the lives. It kills and brings life all at the same time. We are given the same access to God’s word, the Bible, which truly point us to the way one should go into battle.
The Shield of Faith
We have an enemies that we can see, and those we can’t see. A shield is designed as an defensive weapon. It protect us from arrows, fiery darts, and other projectiles with which our adversary contstantly assault us. When a soldier moves forward they take ground with the sword and the shield working in tandem. This saves their life and the lives of those they are fighting to protect. Think about people watching this battle in real time. They are literally seeing faith in action. When people fight the good fight of faith in every aspect of life, people see Jesus in every action. That struggle opens the ears, eyes, and heart of those on either side of this conflict. I would like to say when we allow Jesus to be seen in our daily lives He gets to prove that it’s God truly working in a regular person. He is the Way, Truth, and Life today as we speak.
Feet Shod with the Gospel of Peace
What do they say, if your feet feel good, you feel good all over. No one would go into warfare without good solid footwear. The Romans had heavy duty sandals (Sandles were the thing back then) that at the time had no rival for protecting one’s feet. Good shoes can take a solider into any and every kind of battlefield they might experience. In the spiritual realm, it is said, “Beautful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace,and bring glad tidings of good things”. We are told by Jesus in the Great Commission to take the Gospel into every corner of the world, starting from our homes into whatever places He takes us. When we walk into this battle, we are not alone. Wherever we walk we take the message of God’s salvation, in his strength and his precense, into a weary world, torn by endless warfare. Yet, the Gospel of peace leads the rich and the poor, the free and the slave, from every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue into a place where God has prepared for those who love him. In that wonderful kingdom there is no more tears, pain, and all warfare will cease. We go into battle not to just be victors, but to lead others to find their faith, hope, and love in the Prince of Peace.
Pray, Pray, Pray
After we have suited up, we aren’t asked to just jump into the fray. We like all other soldiers need to be prepared for what is to come. They are debriefed by their commander so they have the right intel before they march forward. As believers in Christ He tells us to pray. That sounds like it’s very counter-intuative, since we just got into this amazing battle ready armor. But this is the thing, my brothers and sisters, the battle is the Lord’s not ours. We need to open the doors for Him to work before we tackle whatever waits for us. Don’t worry, you haven’t doned that armor for nothing. If you are a follower of Christ you will see your fair share of battle, that’s a given. However, how many of us in our zeal have taken matters in our own hands and brought more hurt to the cause of Christ that prevented it? So, pray for the Lord to prepare your heart, search your soul, and let Him work from the inside out. Pray for the battlefield and to not be taken down in any way by the enemy and his forces. Most importantly pray for each person you will meet out there. Pray their hearts will be open to the Lord and the wonderful salvation He offers to them. May you find more companions than enemies at your side, rescue more lost souls then see the lost in the conflict.
If you haven’t thought about the armor, please consider what it really means in a conflict on the spiritual level. Go into battle friend. You have a suit, so suit up!
Thanks again for stopping by. Please check out some of the other creative things we have going on. If you like, please comment, post, and share.
Want to discover more about the Chronolocity Hexatron series? Check out your one stop time travelers hot spot at ChronolocityHQ.com.
Watch our Monday afternoon Facebook Live from God Among Geeks.