We hear a lot about Spiritual Warfare these days. It is a real war and we need to take it seriously but we need to see it for what it really is. If you are a believer in Jesus and have received Him as your Savior, you are in the body of Christ, and this means you are in the spiritual war between God and His enemy.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV) 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
A lot of believers either don’t realize that they are in a war or don't take it seriously. So they are not actively engaged in the war,even though they are on the receiving end of the consequences of that war. They are attacked and become wounded and incapacitated because they are totally unprepared to face the enemy.
In order to survive the first thing we have to realize is that there really is a war and we do have an enemy. What we must realize is that our enemy is God’s enemy. In fact he is our enemy because he is God’s enemy. The mere fact that you are a child of God means that you are subject to attack at any time. You may believe you don’t have to engage in the battle, but you do.
Satan does exist and he has a military force. The war is never over because the enemy never never gives up. Jesus has defeated him but he continues to engage in gorilla warfare. Much like Isis or any other defeated enemy does until they are totally destroyed.
This is a spiritual war, but it’s every bit as real as the conflicts that we see being waged the world today. The Bible is clear that this is not a battle which is fought on a physical plane at all, but rather a spiritual one.
Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We must never go to battle without the things we need in order to protect ourselves and to win. Remember our battle is spiritual, so our protection and weapons are spiritual. God has provided some armor for our protection.
Ephesians 6:10-17 (ESV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
We must have the whole armor of God protecting us at all times so we can stand successfully against the enemy’s attacks and plans.
To “take your stand” literally means to stand in front of and in opposition to the forces and plans of evil. It means to be the one standing after the battle. It also means to stand ready for the next battle which will come.
You need this armor to stop any attack in your life and the lives of those you care about.
In this blog series we are going to look at this armor and how it protects us in our battle against Satan and his army.
The Roman soldier’s shoes were short leather boots. These would grip the ground and they would keep his feet firm on the ground. They would prevent him from falling. Roman soldiers had strong military shoes studded on the bottom of the soles in a way similar to cleats.
Imagine a fully armed soldier. He has his sword, his shield, his helmet, his breastplate and his belt...but his feet are completely bare. The picture probably seems strange, and it should! Just by thinking about it, we can tell something is missing. He knew that if he lost his footing and went down, it wouldn’t matter how great the rest of his armor was; the enemy had him.
Without good footing a soldier could run into real trouble in the heat of battle. Unless he is fighting on Astroturf, he is going to encounter some debris. It may be nothing more than twigs and pebbles, one of the last things you want to deal with in the middle of a fight is worrying about where you step.
In short, shoes allow us to step freely and without fear while we turn our full attention to the battle at hand. Properly shod feet can stand strong against the enemy and keep from slipping.
The shoes that God supplies His soldiers have two purposes: defensive and offensive. In order to defend ourselves against the “flaming arrows of the evil one”, we must have confidence in our position in Christ. We must stand firm in the truth of God’s Word, regardless of how terrifying the circumstances may be.
1 John 5:14 ESV And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
We must remember that our position in Christ is not based on our own abilities or worthiness.
Titus 3:4-7 ESV But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We need our belt of truth (See Armor Of God - The Belt Of Truth), and breastplate of righteousness ( See Armor Of God - Breastplate Of Righteousness) securely fastened.
When Satan attacks with a flaming missile of doubt, such as “If God really loved you, He wouldn’t have let this happen,” we dig our peace shoes into the turf of God’s Word and reply;
Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
When Satan stabs from behind with “Remember what you did?” we dig in more deeply and reply;
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In addition to standing our ground, shoes are also for moving. God expects us to go on the offensive and take the gospel of peace to others.
1 Peter 3:13-17 ESV Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
Sharing our faith is one of the best ways to maintain our own sure footing. God knows that, when we are active in speaking of Him to others, we not only charge into Satan’s territory, but we dig our shoes more deeply into truth and will be much harder to dislodge. When we have “studied to show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15), we are ready to stand firm in the gospel of peace no matter what the enemy brings against us.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 ESV So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
But this is not all. We should also tell the good news to other people. Our gospel boots should be a proper fit. We fight the war. But we send out the good news about peace at the same time. This is the good news about the peace of God. We should always be ready to tell this to other people. The word “preparation” means that the gospel of peace has already been accomplished.
The good news is that Jesus already prepared that for us. Having peace with God and peace in God is an unshakeable foundation from which we can defend ourselves and stay standing strong.
Romans 5:1 ESV Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You just have to walk in it. God has peace for us that is beyond our comprehension. It is not that we can’t imagine having peace; it’s just that we can’t imagine having that kind of peace in the midst of the things we experience here on earth. Jesus made it possible for us to have the peace that passes all understanding—the kind that carries us, stabilizes us, grounds us, and keeps us from slipping.
John 14:27 ESV Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Philippians 4:4-7 ESV Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.