EXPLORING THE WORD
ArmorBy Lauren Birago
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Continued from Page One
I run through the list of components: the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the loins girded with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, and the shield of faith (Eph 6:14-17, KJV). When I declare that I've put these on however, it doesn't give me knowledge of what to do with them. Soldiers are trained to use their tools and even given a strategy. I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is the instruction manual and God is the instructor, but in pursuit of the training, I must read it not only to increase my knowledge and understanding of God, not only to feed my spirit as I feed my body, and not only as a guide to daily living. I must read it with a soldier's mindset, one who needs to know how to use his weapons of war as his life depends on it. I must be open to God's use of other soldiers and sergeants who have learned and are learning their spiritual weapons as well. As I look back on the moment when I lay on the floor feeling powerless with my sword, I remember searching for words that would pierce or cut the enemy with force, halt his activity and remove the residue of his presence while restoring a peace in my spirit and in my home. Now I consider Christ and his methods, so many of which, I do not know but will learn as I read with a soldier's perspective.
In the wilderness, when the devil came to temp him, Jesus used scriptures that were not forceful, but instructional. He reminded the devil of the Father's way, the way he was committed to follow. The enemy backed off after three attempts and left him for a season (Luke 4:2-13). When casting out devils, Jesus did not declare his stance with intensity, or attempt to weaken the unclean spirit with a verse, but sternly commanded it to come out (Mark 5:8 and others). Even when he saw the devil rise up in those close to him, Peter for example, he said "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Mark 8:33, KJV) Jesus did not fight with ferocity because he didn't need to; he reminded the devil of the truth each time; that he had the authority and victory… period.
From a desperate mentality I was searching for verses that would show the enemy I was more powerful than him through Christ. The enemy already knows that but takes advantage when I'm not operating in that power. Instead I should have shown that I was operating in Christ's authority by using scripture as an effective reminder of his defeat. I don't have to flex my strength. I am to stand with the calm security in Christ, which forces the enemy to retreat. My sword, does not take power from the enemy, it does not weaken him, and it does not stab or slice him. It forces him to retreat by revealing that I'm not fighting with my own strength, but with the power of the only one who has victory over him in all cases, Jesus.
I just recently learned how real this is and only because God has given me sight for his sake. It has gone beyond hearing what the enemy has done in someone's life or hearing about how active he is in his efforts to kill, steal, and destroy. I also know there's much more that I'm not aware of and without training, I will not be prepared to even see it much less face it head on. Though I'm still weary from the last encounter, I know that it has nothing to do with the makeup, function, or effectiveness of my weapons. It has to do with my understanding, expectation, and preparation before donning the whole armor of God.
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13, KJV)
Photo credit: Israel Defence Forces; Some rights reserved
Tags: Christian-Life | Hardships | Personal-Life
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