Tag Archives: armor of God

WE NEED BETTER WEAPONS

The battle is fierce. The strongholds, formidable. Daily, we face terror from without…and within.

We walk into this battle with self-control, resolve, desire, strategy, innovation. We hope to see victory in our lives, our hearts, our relationships. We stare into the face of pain and struggle and dig in our heels in hopes of achieving growth, peace, healing.

But we’re going into this battle basically…unarmed.

We need better weapons.

We need weapons that shatter strongholds. That are fiercer than the battle. That will truly allow us to claim victory in those areas of our lives where defeat has been the norm.

The battle can be won. But we need better weapons.

We need the following truth to be true in our lives:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

And…we must remember that the armory is open. The arsenal is fully funded and well supplied. We just need to open the door and suit up.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

With these weapons, we can and will have victory. Natalie Grant says it well. The lyrics to her song, My Weapon, are a powerful prayer to wield. Make them your own, and go into battle equipped with better weapons…the best weapons…to live the abundant, hope-filled, victorious life in Christ.

Let every lie be silenced
And all depression cease
Let every dark assignment
Bow down at Jesus’ feet

Let every curse be broken
Let every storm be tamed
And all that come against us
Be bound in Jesus’ name

Your presence is my greatest weapon
Pushing back the darkness
Breaking every chain
My worship opens up the heavens
Crushing every stronghold
When I speak Your name
‘Cause Your presence is my weapon
Your presence is my weapon

Your strength will not be shaken
Your love will not back down
Death has been defeated
What can stop me now?

I hold on to what You’ve spoken
You said that I am free
You’ve given me Your promise
And You are my victory

Your word and a melody
Are making a way for me
You defeat the enemy
This prison is shaking now
And these walls are coming down
Your presence makes me free
I am free

Your presence is my greatest weapon
Pushing back the darkness
Breaking every chain
My worship opens up the heavens
Crushing every stronghold
When I speak Your name
‘Cause Your presence is my weapon
Your presence is my weapon

Amen!

Equipped for Happiness

Are you happy?

My church is finishing up a summer teaching series on “Happy Songs.” We’ve studied several Psalms (songs), which tell us how to be blessed (happy).

I was thinking about all this, and do you know what came to mind? A lego guy. Yep, this guy right here.

lego guy

I realized I am like this lego dude. On my own, I am pretty ill-equipped. While he looks pretty happy right now (everything is awesome, right?), he probably won’t be so happy if he encounters any challenges. He’s not very impressive. He is pretty helpless and vulnerable. Incomplete. Like me.

Also like me, he doesn’t have to stay this way. God offers us the tools we need to be happy. Inspired by the Happy Songs study, I started digging through Psalms to find what’s available to us.

Guess what? God offers us everything we need. We just have to accept it. It’s there for the taking, if we are willing to put it on. We can be transformed. We will be fully equipped for whatever comes our way. As we are told in Ephesians 6:10-13 –

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

When we can’t stand, and we lose this struggle, we lose our happiness.

What is this happiness-protecting armor?

Ephesians 6:14-17

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Breaking this down, we find the essential tools for happiness. Reaching back to the Psalms to equip ourselves, we find:

Truth: Psalm 25:5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Belt of truth

…with the belt of truth buckled about your waist…

Righteousness: Psalm 112:6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.

...with the breastplate of righteousness in place...

…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…

The Good News: Psalm 22: 29-31

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

...with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace...

…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace…

 Faith: Psalm 25:1 In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. 

,,,take up the shield of faith...

…take up the shield of faith…

Salvation: Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

helmet of salvation

…take the helmet of salvation…

The Word: Psalm 119:16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

full armor

…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Praise the Lord I can look like this instead!

Fully armed, I can be ready to battle whatever comes my way. You can too!

Are you fully equipped today? Which picture are you?

lego guy (3)

fully equipped

Which do you want to be?

It’s easy to let down our defenses. We think we’ll be fine on our own. But, our happiness is quickly stolen when we aren’t equipped with God’s armor to protect it.

Get geared up!

 

Suit Up

I see myself, standing in the middle of the battlefield. Dark forces coming in from all sides. Am I wearing my helmet of salvation? Do I have the belt of truth about my waist? Am I protected by the breastplate of righteousness? Are my feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace? Is my shield of faith up in front of me, ready to extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy? Is my hand gripping the sword of the Spirit? Am I ready for battle?

Then I see that I am not standing there alone. My brothers and sisters in Christ are in battle with me. We are standing in a line, poised for the fight. As an army, I hope we are all ready. I hope we can help each other up when we get knocked down. I hope those whose armor is weakened will be helped by the stronger.

I come to realize I can’t aid my fellow soldiers with most of these items – they can only protect me. But, with my sword, I can help those on my left and on my right, as the enemy tries to sneak up behind them. I can wield the sword and help protect, help them fight. I can stay alert. I can pray for them as we battle. And they can do the same for me.

I then see myself, standing in a canyon – dry, cracked dirt and jagged rocks all around, steep brown earthen walls on all sides. I am standing there, in full armor, with my shield up on front of me. It feels so small as I am desperately trying to keep behind it, arrows flying at me from above and around me.

I cry out to God that I need help in this battle. And it’s then that His enormous arm reaches in from behind me, gripping a massive shield, taller than the cliffs around me. He slams it down in front of me, the pointed bottom crushing into the ground, secure, and I am fully protected as I lean into it, resting there in the shadow of His shield.

It is with these images in mind that I grow grateful. Grateful for the armor God has provided. Grateful for the others in battle with me. Grateful that He sometimes steps in and wipes out the enemy. Grateful that at other times He doesn’t – that He sustains, shelters, even as we are still on the battlefield – that He uses the struggle to strengthen us, increase our faith, and teach us – as individuals – as an army. Grateful for the privilege of being one of His soldiers.

And so, with these images in mind, with grateful hearts, we battle on.