(By M. Waldock, @CCL)
Ephesians 6: 10-24
1. Beware. The enemy we face is brutal
Christian, you are being hunted. By Satan, who exists in our world opposing God. And though he cannot win, he can cause a lot damage. He is an enemy prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. He schemes to undermine your confidence that the promises of the gospel are true, or that they apply to you. When you are frustrated at God for a recurring health problem, or dissatisfied with God’s plan for your life when a relationship breaks down, the devil schemes to lead you into believing the lie that God does not care about you, and that you are no longer His beloved child. He seeks to damage the faith of God’s children.
Satan is the father of lies. Be cautious of his lies during periods of spiritual dryness.
When your emotions do not catch up to what your head knows, or when you are feeling completely disengaged from church life, and you hear a whisper in your ears that “you can’t possibly be a Christian if you feel like this,” remember the helmet of Salvation. Your place in heaven is guaranteed by Christ’s death and resurrection regardless of what you feel. It has never been dependent on you in the first place.
When you find yourself falling into the same sin time and time again, and you hear a voice saying “if you are a Christian, you would have fixed it by now,” remember the breastplate of righteousness. When God sees you, he sees the righteousness of Christ. Your spiritual debts have all been paid, and your spiritual account has been indefinitely credited by Christ’s righteousness and perfection. There is no horror that you can do that can exhaust God’s amazing grace! Let the guilt of sin bring you back to Christ, but don’t let it destroy your faith in Him. Stand firm against satan’s lies.
2. Be confident. God’s armour is sufficient
To frightened and overwhelmed Christians, know that there is a huge difference between how ill-equipped you feel and the invisible spiritual reality of how truly protected you are. Know that when Satan sees you and what you have been given, he is intimidated by you. God has given us an armour. Not just any spiritual armour, but His own– one that God Himself has worn in the toughest battle that has ever been. Put it on.
Before Jesus died, in the garden of Gethsamane, when he prayed “any other way but this,” and sweated drops of blood- notice that the belt of truth could not be removed and the shield of faith could not be crushed. When Jesus was hanging on the cross with the crown of thorns pressed onto his head, remember that the helmet of salvation would not be budged. The certainty that this would all be worth it could not be diminished. Even the shoes of gospel readiness could not be slowed when pierced with a nail as Jesus said to the thief beside him “today you will be with me in paradise.”As they stripped Jesus naked and struck him with a spear in his side, know that the breastplate of righteousness was unscratched even with the sin of the entire world laid upon him. Even at His death, the sharpness of the sword of the Spirit could still cut a soldier through to the core as he realised “surely this is the Son of God”
The armour you are wearing has been tested and it works.
The promise of the armour is not that you will not be hurt. Instead, it guarantees that the promises of the gospel will not be snatched from you. Your power to impact this world and city for Christ will not be taken from you.
If you are in Christ, you are more than equipped for the fight ahead.
Christian soldier, go forth and fight the good fight of faith.