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 ancient sword was short, and usually two-edged, and resembled very much a dagger. The sword is the only piece of armor that the Roman soldiers used for attack. The other pieces were for protection. The sword was an essential part of the armor. His other weapons were the bow, the spear, or the battle-axe. But, without a sword, no soldier would have regarded himself as well armed.
The sword is both an offensive and defensive weapon used by soldiers or warriors. Swords were used to protect oneself from harm or to attack the enemy to overcome or kill him. In both cases it was necessary for a soldier to get rigid training on the proper use of the sword to get maximum protection.
All Christian soldiers need the same rigid training to know how to properly handle the Sword of the Spirit, “which is the word of God.” This sword is the Holy Scriptures. The word of God is from the Holy Spirit and written by men.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Since every Christian is on the spiritual battle with the satanic and evil forces of this world, we need to know how to handle the Word properly. Only then will it be an effective defense against evil, but it will also be an offensive weapon we use to “demolish strongholds” of error and falsehood.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
God, Himself, refers to His Word as a sword.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Word is described as living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword. The Roman sword was commonly made in this manner. The fact that it had two edges made it easier to penetrate, as well as to cut in every way. The idea is that of piercing, or penetrating; the Word of God reaches the “heart,” the very center of action, and lays open the motives and feelings of those it touches.
The purpose of the sword of the Spirit—the Bible—is to make us strong and able to withstand the evil onslaughts of Satan, our enemy.
Psalms 119:33-40, 99-105 ESV Teach me, O Lord , the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
The Holy Spirit uses the power of the Word to save souls and then to give them spiritual strength to be mature soldiers for the Lord in fighting this corrupt and evil world we live in. The more we know and understand the Word of God, the more useful we will be in doing the will of God and the more effective we will be in standing against the enemy of our souls.
When we are attacked we have to use our weapon. A good example of this is our Lord himself. When Jesus was baptized and led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, Satan attacked Him. Jesus’ weapon against him was God’s Word.
Matthew 4:1-11 ESV Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Emphasis mine)
No spiritual battle can be fought and won without our greatest weapon—the Word of God.