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 (emphasis mine).
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, (emphasis mine)
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.
Every soldier needs something to shield and protect him from the weapons of the enemy.
The Roman soldier's shield at the time, that Paul wrote his letter to the church in Ephesus, was called a scutum, the Greek word for door. This type of shield was as large as a door and would cover the warrior entirely. This kind of shield was not just defensive but could also be used to push opponents. When fighting as a group, a group of soldiers standing or moving in close formation, could position their shields to form an enclosure around themselves, much like a tortoise of turtle moves into their shell. This was especially helpful to protect against arrows launched from the walls of cities they were attacking. Shields, were often made of wood and then covered in hide, which when wet, could extinguish flaming arrows.
The enemy shoots spiritual arrows and darts at us designed to pierce our heart with discouragement and make us fearful, anxious, uncertain, or incapacitated. The shield we have against these arrows of the enemy is our faith, and it is a powerful protection from all that the enemy can throw at us.
How do we know our faith is strong enough to be a protective shield from the enemy? We know because God’s Word says that it is our faith in God and His faithfulness to us that becomes a shield for us.
Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
Psalm 91:4 (NKJV) He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
The buckler is a small shield, used mainly to deflect, trap and strike (While it is useful for duels and small fights, it is not good for large-scale battle. Bucklers are not good for handling arrows or other large projectiles. These little shields were mostly carried by individuals who might have to defend themselves in day to day situations. They were a civilian rather than a military weapon).
When we put our faith in God and His Word, He is our shield and defense.
When the enemy comes to test your allegiance to the Lord, focus on God, His Word, and His faithfulness.
Our faith must grow strong enough to believe for the impossible because we believe in the God of the impossible, and with Him all things are possible.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Satan’s attacks can sometimes cause us to doubt God. Faith prompts us to believe God. We give in to temptation when we believe what it has to offer is better than what God has promised. Faith reminds us that, although the fulfillment of God’s promise may not be readily visible to us, God is true to His Word. When Satan attempts to plague us with doubt or entice us with instant gratification, faith recognizes the deceptiveness of his tactics and quickly extinguishes the arrows. When Satan accuses us, faith chooses to believe that Jesus has redeemed us and that there is no more condemnation.
Romans 8:1 (NKJV)1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
We have been justified by faith;
Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Because we have faith in God, our suffering need not faze us; in fact, we can persevere under it. The things Satan attempts to use to discourage us can actually become tools in the hands of God.
Faith is a protective barrier between us and the attacks of Satan. When we believe God and take Him at His word, we remain grounded in truth (see Armor Of God - Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace), the lies of the enemy lose their power, and we become overcomers. In that way, faith is our shield.
1 John 5:4 (NKJV)4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.