Friday, September 20, 2013
I was talking recently with my friend, Stephen, describing to him a serious issue my family was facing. He said, “You realize that this is a spiritual battle, don’t you?”
In the Christian life we can expect to be attacked, especially if God is working on something significant in our lives. So, what should we do when we sense the enemy coming after us?
The following is a tool that I have found very helpful over the years. Written and adapted by Avery Willis as a part of Lifeway’s MasterLife discipleship process, this has been proven to be an extremely helpful tool by missionaries, ministers, and God’s faithful followers for years.
First, we need to understand the nature of the conflict. It’s a spiritual battle. Paul reminds us of this in Ephesians 6:10-20. We don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of darkness. And we, as followers of Christ - as soldiers, if you will - are instructed to engage this enemy, particularly through prayer.
God equips every believer for this struggle. He has given us the means to victory. He wants every believer to:
• Stand against Satan and his schemes.
• Withstand his assault.
• Be standing when the battle is over.
In 2Chronicles 20 is an account of God’s people facing a daunting foe. As they considered what to do, the king called the people to prayer. Following this period of fasting and prayer, God spoke through one of the prophets to assure them that he will fight this battle, and that they are to 1. take their positions, 2. stand in place, and 3. watch God win the battle.
The battle is won in prayer, and the victory is claimed as we advance and engage this unseen foe. Here are the means to put on the armor for waging spiritual warfare.
The Helmet of Salvation
1. Thank God you are his child. Remind yourself that “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world."
2. Praise God for eternal life, and remember that this salvation cannot be taken away.
3. Claim the mind of Christ. (1Corinthians 2:16) It is yours because of your salvation.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
1. Ask God to search your heart and reveal any wicked way.
2. Confess any sin.
3. Claim Christ’s righteousness, that covers your sin and gives you right standing with him.
The Belt of Truth
1. Ask God to sanctify you in the truth, which is his word. (John 17:17)
2. Hold firmly to the truth. Pray that God will reveal his truth to you. Remember that Jesus promises us that we will know the truth.
3. Master your emotions. Don’t trust your feelings, that can deceive you. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit and produce in you the love, joy, and peace that are yours for the asking. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Shoes of the Gospel
1. Be prepared, before the struggle begins. Know how to verbalize your faith.
2. Share the gospel. Look for how God can use you to declare his grace and mercy.
3. Intercede for those who are lost, and who may be tools the enemy is using to come against you. Pray for their salvation.
The Sword of the Spirit
1. Grasp the Word. Know it. Spend time in it. Speak it to remind the enemy that he is defeated.
2. Let the Spirit use the Word. It is his tool.
3. Pray on the basis of the Word. If you know that something is God’s will, pray for it boldly, confidently. (see 1John 5:14-15)
The Shield of Faith
1. Claim the victory.
2. Advance in faith. Put feet to your prayers.
3. Use the Word to quench the fiery darts of the enemy.
You are now clothed and ready to move forward. Talk to God about the concerns of your heart. Intercede for those who need to know Christ. Claim the victory that is yours. And STAND firm against the fiery darts of the enemy.