Yesterday morning I was walking to college, the birds were singing and the sky was blue – after the events of the Mission I really felt that this was God's morning. Despite this, I felt that after the battle we'd fought that Satan wasn't ready to give up on Glossop. The fight was/is still come.
One of the things that we are apt to forget, mainly because we live in such a materialistic and rationalistic society is that there is a spiritual world, bear with me. The Bible often talks about Jesus healing demon possessed people and banishing demons. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. [Mark 1:34] Does this just not happen today?
I don't think so. In fact after all I've seen in the past few days I just think that the devil is better hidden. From building up feelings of tiredness and anger to outright tempting people he is out to get us – he is out to take us away from God and cheapen our relationship with Him. But the thing is: the devil has already lost.
Jesus died so that we could be saved. There is absolutely nothing the devil can do to get rid of that. Nothing.
Despite this the devil is still out to get us, Paul tells us of a thorn in his side, I could tell you tales of electrical equipment that has failed before really awesome services and how I'm most stressed before God does something amazing. Nicky Cruz in his book "One Holy Flame" tells of many times that Satan attacks events and people. But we have God – and God has armed us against the enemy.
Ephesians 6:13 tells us to take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. God has given us not only His Mercy, His Spirit and His Son, but His spiritual armour as well. As we look through this passage we'll see that God doesn't just want to withstand the attacks of the devil – he wants to take part in active spiritual warfare for Him!
Stand your ground, then, 'with truth for your belt,' The belt of truth??? What? God has armed us with a belt? Yes. Without your belt – everything falls apart. Your armour just wouldn't stay on, it would fall off. Truth forms this belt because it provides the basis of everything that we believe and therefore, without it we couldn't fight the devil! To start with we wouldn't know why we were trying to do so!
and 'with righteousness for your breast-plate,' What does a breastplate do? It protects your heart. Righteousness therefore is the way to keep your heart out of the way of the devil – and keeping it true to God. Righteousness is absolutely vital if we are to fight for God – without it we'll not survive long! Thankfully God gives us His righteousness to add to our own – certainly mine wouldn't serve me all that well. In the words of Be Thou My Vision, Be Thou my breastplate.
And with the readiness to serve the Good News of Peace as shoes for your feet. In battle you need to be able to move fast – both to defend yourself but also attack! You need to have good, strong, but light shoes to allow you to do this. But you also have to open and ready for God to tell you to move, it's crucial. Just look at Phillip's talk with the Ethiopian eunuch Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” [Acts 8:26-40] Philip definitely had his feet fitted with the readiness of God, just look at what happens later when Philip suddenly finds himself somewhere completely different.
At every onslaught take up faith for your shield; for with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming darts of the Evil One. Faith is our shield – without faith we are nothing! Remember that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains – imagine how much that can defend us against the devil. When I started this blog I really wanted to look at the flaming darts of the Evil One. The devil is there to tempt you, and to try and turn you from God – always remember that. He knows your faults and weaknesses and he will always know how to tempt you – he's not just firing normal arrows at you, he's firing flaming arrows. As a Christian you are on the front line of this spiritual battle and the devil is trying to take you out! But you have faith, use it! Pray! Every time you are tempted pray that God will give you the faith and strength to stand up against it!
And receive 'the helmet of Salvation What do helmets do? They protect your head and everything you know. Salvation is your key to knowing God, as such it is what protects your head from the attacks of the devil. Always remember that Jesus died and rose again to save you! Even when the devil is messing with your head remember that Christ makes it possible for you to be saved – against that the devil cannot win.
and 'the sword of the Spirit'- -which is the Message of God The sword of the Spirit. God gives us His Holy Spirit so that we can go out and actively combat the evil forces in this world. The sword is the final item in our armoury, but reminds of God's aim for Christians in the world, to spread the Good News and fight the devil in all his many forms. Check out the Great Commission for Jesus' instructions to His disciples.
Pray in spirit at all times. This is absolutely vital! We must keep talking to God, our spiritual commander for help and also for instructions on where to fight Satan next! Many important battles have been lost when communication breaks down – the Charge of the Light Brigade for example.
Just to finish off, God has armed us for our fight against evil – just don't forget that you're fighting. For ours is no struggle against enemies of flesh and blood, but against all the various Powers of Evil that hold sway in the Darkness around us, against the Spirits of Wickedness on high. As a Christian God has placed you on His front line – you have been chosen to fight for your king – answer that call and clothe yourself for battle daily!
Love In Christ,