Updated: Aug 2
This week, we’re talking about the weapons and armour that God has given us, in the spirit, to fight and stand against the forces of darkness. In Pastor Richard's teaching on Spiritual Warfare, we've been looking at principles of warfare. We are on Principle 4: Use Your Spiritual Weapons.
In Ephesians 6, Paul uses the analogy of the Roman Armour. Today we’re going to look at the first three: the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the gospel.
The Roman Soldier’s belt protected his groin area, a pretty vulnerable area right? Well, truth protects us in vulnerable areas. What are some common vulnerable areas?
Confusion is a vulnerable place. But, if we hold to the fact that God’s Word is true, whether I understand it or not, whether I see how it applies in my current circumstance or not, we will be able to navigate through any confusion. God will bring understanding if you’re patient. But sometimes we just have to hold on to that conviction that God’s word is true.
Disappointment is another area of vulnerability that we can all relate to. Everyone’s has experienced disappointment on one level or another. Satan will jump all over disappointment if you’re not careful. He will get you, wherever he can, to question the truth of God’s Word. We might not understand everything that happens in this life. There are usually explanations for everything, both spiritual and natural, but sometimes we just have to accept that we don’t understand. However, if you are committed to the truth of God’s Word, you will get through even the worst disappointments. And, if you don’t have that girdle, that protection of truth, you can be subject to Satan’s temptations and vulnerable to his attacks.
Hurt is the third area of vulnerability we’re going to talk about today. To protect that vulnerable area, we must reaffirm the truth of God’s love and acceptance and choose, not matter how bad the hurt was, to forgive and love the other person with God’s kind of love. You won’t do that if you don’t have a commitment to truth. Your carnal nature will dominate. You have to have an intolerance to offence.
The critical thing about Truth is that it empowers the other weapons. The Roman Soldier would hang his weapons on his belt. Without truth, you can’t carry the other weapons effectively. As followers of Jesus, we must be committed to the truth. The Word is true, no matter what!
The second piece of armour that Paul talks about is the breastplate of righteousness. A critical piece of armour that protected the soldier’s heart, lungs and more. The soldier without a breastplate would have no confidence going into the fight. We must put on the breastplate of righteousness. It’s powerful! It drives the devil nuts. There’s nothing he can do about your righteousness. That’s so important to remember, church! There are two aspects of righteousness; right standing with God and right behaviour. What we are focusing on here is the right standing with God. It’s the position you are in as a born again believer. It’s a powerful position which we’ve talked about before! One you need to know the truth of! Go back and read 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:17 and Philippians 3:9.
This truth about your righteousness before God is so important because one of the devils most effective tactics is condemnation. We so often beat ourselves up because of our mistakes and the devil loves that. Zechariah 3:1 calls Satan the ‘Accuser’. In Hebrew, the word ‘satan’ literally means ‘accuser’! Revelation 12:10 calls him ‘the accuser of the brethren’. He’s trying to separate you from your relationship with God and your confidence in who you are in Christ. Why? Because it takes away your confidence. In spiritual warfare, a confident soldier is a strong soldier. It’s our heart that condemns us. 1 John 3:20-21 says; For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
The breastplate protects the heart! Again, go back and read Romans 8:1 and if the devil tries to make you feel bad for your past sins, or anything else for that matter, you say to him loud and clear; “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and I will not be condemned. For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and I am in Christ Jesus, hallelujah!’ Get established in your righteousness and put that on every day!
The last thing I want to cover today are the Shoes of the Gospel! Actually, it's the 'preparation of the gospel'. Be prepared! Without proper footwear, the soldier would not be ready to go to war across open territory! Shoes are what enable you to be in a state of readiness; to move forward when needed and to carry out a mission. We are here on this planet to be Christ’s ambassadors, to represent Jesus to the world. In order to do that, we have to be ready to go. We need to be ready to share the gospel with people at any time with anyone. 1 Peter 3:15 says; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
The preparation of the gospel of peace means having a mindset ready and able to share the gospel with anyone anywhere and to be ready and willing to do whatever is needed to accomplish that objective. How any christians do you think fulfil every single thing God has for them? I’d say none! There are very few who achieve close to all that God has called them, but I’d say the vast majority of us don’t come. Why is that? Hardships. So many of us don’t have a heart that is established to the degree where we will go through any hardships to accomplish the call of God. Acts 21:13; Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Paul was ready to give the ultimate sacrifice to advance the kingdom of God. For us to endure and overcome in this spiritual warfare, we have to shod our feet with the preparation with the gospel of peace. No one in life ever achieved anything great without suffering in some way or another. All great things that we are called to do have a price attached to them. The preparation of the gospel of peace means I know what God has called me to do and I’m going to do it, whatever it takes. I’m willing, able and available. This life is not ours, we don’t belong to ourselves. We belong to God. That means, when our commander and chief tells us to do something, we need to be ready, able and committed to that mission, whatever it takes.
So are you ready? We’re going to continue next week with more spiritual weapons to help us in the battle. Be of good cheer, build yourself up on your most holy faith and keep swimming upstream! It might be hard at times, but it’s where true life is.
See you next week for more powerful teaching from Upstream Ministries.
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