Wow…I was looking at Ephesians 6:13-18 which describes our spiritual armor when God showed me an amazing parallel in the Message Bible translation.
"Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. (1) Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. (2) Truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. (3) God's Word is an indispensable weapon. (4) In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. (5) Keep your eyes open. (6) Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.(7)"
From this powerful scriptural passage God showed me seven facts you should know about your spiritual armour.
1. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.
The World English Dictionary defines preparation as:
“the act or process of preparing and the state of being prepared; readiness”
Preparation is a mental decision because it becomes a practical reality.
Before any well-trained soldier goes into battle. . .he/she will inspect their equipment to make sure they’re fully prepared to face and defeat every attack of the enemy.
In preparation for spiritual warfare. . .the most important you can do. . .is to sanctify yourself for battle.
Joshua 7:13 in the New Living Translation says:
“Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.”
How do you purify yourself for battle?
1. Enter into His presence
2. Read your instruction manual/battle plan.
4. Eliminate any doubt about the outcome of your mission
5. Receive your forgiveness
6. Determine who will be in the foxhole with you.
7. Get out in front of your battle by praising God.
Joshua 3:5 should become our expectation for each new day.
“For tomorrow, Jehovah will do wonders among you.”
If you want to be successful you can never ignore or minimize preparation time.
The price for success is always paid in advance of your victory. . .never after the fact.
2. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
The commanding General is mobilizing to provide you air support. . .defeating the prince of the power of the air.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
You’re going to shout as you read the the Message Bible translation of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 which says:
“We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken.”
You may not know the best strategy to employ in your next battle. . .but God does.
As the verse said “…we’re not sure what to do, we know God knows what to do...”
There are two things that you should know in every battle.
The first is found in Deuteronomy 31:6 in the Message Bible which says:
“God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you. Don't be intimidated. Don't worry."
You don’t have to be intimated by trouble or spiritual terrorism. . .God is right there with you and will NEVER let you down and He will NEVER leave you.
The scripture says “Don’t Worry.”
It doesn’t say. . . “you can worry if you want to.”
It doesn’t say. . . “you can worry in specific circumstances.”
It doesn’t say. . . “you can worry some of the time.”
No, you and I are told. . .DON’T WORRY.
The second thing that you need to know is found in Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Message Bible which says:
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.”
The part of the verse that says “. . .don’t try to figure out everything on your own. . .” is critically important to your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
If you’re trying to figure things out. . .to solve your problems by yourself. . .then you don’t need God.
Simply said, only one of you will be working on and through the problem, situation or attack. . .that’s either you or Him.
As the verse says, you must “. . .listen for God’s voice in everything you do. . .”
3. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. APPLICATION
Our primary scripture Ephesians 6:13-17 in the Message Bible lists the five key pieces of spiritual armour that any good soldier must utilize and share with others.
Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.
The truth you need to be victorious in every battle you face. . .will not be found in a textbook.
John 8:32 says:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It’s not the truth. . .but the truth you know. . .and, I might add, do something about that will set you free.
John 14:6 says:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
1 Peter 2:24 is much more than a healing scripture.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
The word righteousness in the Strong’s Concordance and found that it’s the Greek word dikaiosynē(G1343) which means:
“(1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God: integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting.”
That’s when I saw it . . . righteousnessis the “state of him who is as he ought to be.”
How “ought” we to be?
Walking victorious. . .winning every battle. . .because of the Greater One who is in and empowers us.
Real peace. . .never comes from compromising with evil or any other tactic of the enemy.
Psalm 29:11 in the New Living Translation says:
“The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.”
Daniel 10:19 in the New Living Translation says:
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”
Simply said, means believing that God will do what He says He will do.
1 John 5:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
The helmet of salvation is to protect your mind against mental assaults of the enemy as he seeks to create doubt about your salvation, undermine your faith, break your focus and cause your defeat in life.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 in the New Living Translation says:
“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
4. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. WEAPONIZATION
You’ve got unlimited access to the most powerful weapons every created. These weapons have more power than the strongest bomb ever created by the mind of man.
These weapons have the potential to bring one person, a family or even an entire nation to their knees in absolute surrender to your Heavenly Commander-in-Chief.
The weapons are:
Your weapons are not carnal. . .but mighty through God to the pulling down of the enemy’s strongholds.
Your weapons prepare you so that NO evil, negative, self-destructive, potential-limiting, self-defeating, morally-wrong, ungodly thought can ever stay in your mind.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
I certainly can’t say anything more powerful than the words found in Philippians 4:8-9 in the Message Bible.
“Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
I recommend writing out Philippians 4:8-9 on a index card and take it with you during the day if you are suffering from negative thoughts. . .read it at least seven times.
Here’s a better suggestion, memorize the verse because you'll do best by filling your minds with such powerful thoughts that you can reproduce them in your imagination.
When you put into practice what you learned from Him then Proverbs 16:3 (AMP) can be manifested in your life.
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
5. Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters.
First, God wants us to eliminate all fear of failure
“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up….”
Second, God wants us to know that He is our salvation so we have not reason to be fearful or afraid.
Psalm 27:1 says:
“THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?”
Third, God doesn’t want to us worried or fearful about what my happen tomorrow.
Romans 8:32 in the New Living Translation says:
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible says:
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Fourth, God is your helper so there’s no need to fear.
Hebrews 13:5-6 in the Amplified Bible says
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”
Fifth, fear will flee when God takes you by the hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10 in the Message Bible says:
“Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."
Sixth, God is fighting against your enemies with you so you have no reason to fear.
Exodus 23:22 says:
“But if you will indeed listen to and obey His voice … I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”
Romans 8:31 in the Amplified Bible says:
“… if God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]”
Seventh, you have no reason to be afraid because of the anointing that’s
living within you.
You have the Holy Spirit. . .teaching you how to manifest the anointing in your daily life.
1 John 2:26 in the Message Bible says:
“I've written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they're no match for what is embedded deeply within you—Christ's anointing, no less! You don't need any of their so-called teaching. Christ's anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.”
Wow. . .live deeply in what you were taught.
6. Keep your eyes open. Don’t take anything for granted.
Sadly, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other danger spots around the world. . .many soldiers have lost their lives when killed by the unlikeliest of suspects.
An unsuspecting child or a helpless seeming woman. . .become agents of death and dismemberment because of the bomb strapped to their bodies.
What appears benign is anything but.
Sadly, these are the tactics of terrorists with a conscience or any regard for human life. Our soldiers. . .standing in harm’s way. . .must be cautious and vigilant in every conversation.
The same is true of many unsuspecting believers. . .they become the victims of deception without realizing what’s happened.
How do you become deceived?
2 Corinthians 4:4 in the Amplified Bible says
“For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.”
Deception puts you in bad company
1 Corinthians 6:9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality.”
How can you develop spiritual 20/20 vision to avoid deception and keep focused?
2 Samuel 22:21-25 in the Message Bible says:
“GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I’ve kept alert to GOD’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”
7. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
In the midst of battle. . .there is nothing like an encouraging word. The same parallel is true in our daily lives.
Hebrews 3:13 in the Amplified Bible:
“But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].”
We’re to encourage one another. . .HOW OFTEN?. . .EVERY DAY.
So let’s look at what encouragement means.
According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary the word encouragement is defined as:
“1. The act of encouraging; incitement to action or to practice; 2. That which serves to incite, support, promote, or advance, as favor, countenance, reward, etc.; incentive; increase of confidence.”
William Arthur Ward, noted for his inspiration maxims, said:
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”
When you give a word of encouragement, pray with or give counsel to someone else. . .you are lifting them up.
In reality, if you’re lifting them up. . .encouraging them, praying for them, counseling them, blessing them. . .then you are also lifting up yourself.
Which leads me to the next question. Who is the first person you should encourage?
1 Samuel 30:6 says:
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
In times of great trouble, danger and distress. . .when all seemed lost. . .the scripture says that David encouraged himself in the Lord.
David and his men returned from battle to find the enemy had stolen their wives, children, possessions and valuables. All they found in their camp was the smoldering remains from the fires of enemy invaders.
David’s men. . .who had been so loyal to him . . .were ready to turn on him and stone him to death. . .but the scripture says “David encouraged himself in the Lord.”
David encouraged himself in the Lord. . .and so should you.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS