“Ephesians 6:11” – “Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes.“
I’ve been saved now for 50 years and thus I have been in the Army of the Lord for 50 years. However, It does no matter if you have been saved for – 1hour, 1 day, 1week, 1 month, 1year or even 1 century – as soon as you were born again you were conscripted in the Army of the Lord and the training continues right through intro eternity.
We are in a uniquely unusual position in Gods Army. Why? Well, the reason is this – In any natural Army troops are being trained to fight should an enemy attack and all their training is designed for readiness.
The unusual position however for us is that from the very moment we are born again we are immediately engaged in the fierceness of the battle. The battle against principalities and powers in heavenly places – “We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places.” – “Ephesians 6:12” The Voice
Trials, Skirmishes, Conflicts and Battles will all be fought but unlike a natural army – We may lose the odd battle or conflict, but we know the “Actual War has already been won”. I said earlier that Jesus declared “It is finished” and the outworking of that victory is manifested in His Resurrection where He defeated the last enemy Death. In “2 Chronicles 20:15” it says, “The battle is not yours but Gods”.
In Ministry the Leaders are faced with a significant challenge. People expect them to have all the answers, but it is an unfounded expectation. Why are Leaders faced with many challenges? The answer is simple “Soldiers neglect their God given armour.”
In “Ephesians 6:14” we are told that God has given to all without exception the following items: –
- The Belt of Truthfulness.
- The Breastplate of Righteousness.
- The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.
- The Shield of Faith.
- The Helmet of Salvation.
- The Sword of the Spirit.
None of these items are forged in a human weapons factory No! they are heaven built – “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 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: 3-5” NIV
We are expected to Drill, March and Rest in this armour at all times. However, people don’t.
Let’s take a look at just one of the Sword of the Spirit. We need to recognise that no trial or conflict can come against us unless – God has permitted it – Even then, when He has permitted it the trial or conflict is – Controlled in its Outworking. Its also encouraging to know that no temptation that comes our way is without a way of escape or designed with the end result without the hope of success. It says in “1 Corinthians 10:13” – “Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward “– The Voice
We are all faced with a predicament _ Why? – Do we fail? Is it Gods fault? Of Course not. Is it our fault? Of course, it is.
When the Apostle Paul penned and spoke these words what was he drawing the attention of the listeners too? By referencing the Sword, it was immediately understood that it was the Short Sword that the Roman Soldier would carry, and it was utilised in 1 to 1 combat. In our understanding the Sword is the Word of God.
We need to remind ourselves that this is no Natural Sword No! It is Divine in its Origin and as such we can rejoice in its quality.
It is: –
- Infallible (Perfect)
- Inerrant (Contains no faults)
- Determinative (It decides a future)
If we were to combine all these qualities and attributes together, we would have to conclude that the Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God is Invincible.
When you take up your Sword it does two basic things: –
- It brings about people’s salvation.
- It liberates both saved and un-saved from the dominion of the enemy.
- If you want to change Error to Truth.
- If you want to change Sadness to Happiness.
- If you want to change Darkness to Light.
- If you want to change Stagnation to Growth
Then there is an absolute imperative and necessity to use your sword. You must know it intimately and wield it with expertise and skill.
Have any of you ever faced a conflict or temptation? If so, you are in very good company. Jesus did and He was victorious, not because He was the Son of God but because He knew how to wield Hi sword.
In the wilderness temptations recorded for us in “Matthew 4:1-11” we see what a master swordsman Jesus was.
Temptation No 1: –
- He was tempted in the midst of His severe hunger to turn Stones into Bread. He countered the temptation by quoting “Deuteronomy 8: 3” which says – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Temptation No 2: –
- He was tempted to put God to a test. He countered the temptation by quoting “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” from “Deuteronomy 6:16”
Temptation No 3: –
- He was tempted to take Kingship of the World if He would give worship to the Devil. He countered the temptation by quoting from “Deuteronomy 6:13” where it says, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
What was the net result of this encounter with the Devil – The Devil fled from Jesus as he could not withstand the effectiveness and the authority of God’s Word. In “James 4:7”we read “So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.” – Gods Word Translation
If you have the same attitude of heart where you are submitted to Gods Authority in your life when you quote Gods Word it will be as “Thus says the Lord” it will be like “Let it Be Authority and Power” there will be a creativeness contained within it that the enemy is helpless to counteract.
Jesus knew what principles were relevant to all situations – Do You? Off course not we are in training. However, I have met Christians who have sat in Church all their Christian Lives and yet have not grasped even the 1st Principles of Gods Word. When it comes to conflict they fail.
What is the right way to use the Word of God? Our lives are described as a Garden and in it there are various insects and visitors such as Butterflies, Bees and Botanists. It was observed that the Butterfly would alight on a number of flowers, stay for a second or two then move on to another (It derived no benefit from its visit). The Botanist entered the Garden took copious notes regarding design of the flowers put them in his notebook, closed it and filed it away (He derived no benefit from his visit). The Bee visited many flowers. He stayed a while entered into the flower and came away with his legs covered with pollen – He arrived empty but left full.
Do you flit from one scripture to another, do you take notes and get no benefit because you lock away all the information gained? Or do you like the Bee inwardly digest Gods Word.
If your desire is to live a victorious and clean life pleasing to God, then the Scriptures gives you the answer in that it says: – “Psalm 119: 9-11” – “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.” – The Message
Do you want: –
- Faith like Daniel in the Lion’s Den?
- Do you want Hope like Moses in the Wilderness?
- Do you want a Heart like David?
So, you can face the giants of conflict and temptation then: –
- Faith is Increased by Gods Word.
- Hope is Established by Gods Word.
- Hearts are Defended by Gods Word.