Also see - Battlefield of the Mind 1
Luk 22:31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired (to demand - for trial) to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:"
The Spiritual Armor of God in Spiritual Warfare
When Christians make a
commitment to trust their lives to the promises and
power of God, they are still living in hostile territory
that presently is under the influence and power of
Satan, sin, and a fallen world. This leaves the
Christian at a disadvantage, in which we are cautioned
in God's Word to put on the whole spiritual armor of
God, because like it or not, we are in spiritual
warfare. As Paul has revealed to us, the true
nature of this battle is against supernatural evil. The
purpose of the armor of God is to equip us with the
power of God, in order to stand against the evil schemes
and deception of the devil, who has blinded the minds of
those who believe not.
The power of God is released, as we utilize every piece
of the armor of God against evil spirits, who are
labeled by Paul as principalities, powers, rulers of
darkness and spiritual wickedness on high. We are
asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual
warfare, because as a forbearer of God's truth and
power, Christians and God's work are targets of the
devil for destruction. The intense hate of the devil,
and his devil spirits against God's creation is
unimaginable, but nonetheless real, he is cruel and
merciless; however, he cannot defeat God, and therefore
he uses trickery and deception to defeat believers, or
draw them into vulnerable positions. Some of these
positions are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation,
temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual
blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to
frustrate the purposes of God through His people.
He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest
areas (through our thought life or other people and
circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into
chains of depression and other forms of bondage.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we actually wrestle
against these forces of evil; Many times we will find
ourselves in a literal struggle from within and without,
described by Paul as hand to hand combat (direct
contact) in order to overcome them. However, this
wrestling is spiritual, in which the devil and his
demons will take many forms in order to attack or
distract us in our thought life, and disarm our faith
and the power of God. If we believe their lies,
then they succeed in gaining their foothold. The devil
and his evil spirits have the power to manipulate the
realms of the world and the flesh, in an attempt to
obstruct God's truth. God has not left us defenseless,
and as we will see, He has provided us with a greater
power, providing everything we need to stand.
Let's take a look at our
Christian manual on spiritual warfare, and the Apostle
Peter's conflict with the forces of darkness.
Our Christian Manual on Spiritual Warfare
Ephesians 6:10-18 is often
referred to as "the Christian’s manual for spiritual
warfare," our instructions for victory. We need
the divine strength of God to overcome the supernatural
power of evil.
How do Christians begin to prepare themselves for
First - Understand that our strength lies in the power of God.
"Finally be strong in the Lord and the power of his
We will become the sport of
the enemy if we rely on our human strength in the fight
against supernatural evil. Christians, who have
experienced the intensity of the spiritual conflict,
between good and evil, come to realize that only the
power of God will suffice, and guarantee victory over
the powers of darkness. The intensity of a struggle will
vary, however, if we rely on our strength, we will fall
into an endless pattern of defeat, being victimized by
the same snares or traps. Often, unpleasant
circumstances may reoccur because the spirit forces
behind a situation are left undetected, and by relying
on our human wisdom and strength, we are left without a
solution to our problems. We must attempt to identify
the area of the enemy's infiltration, whether we are
struggling with our own flesh, other people, or a direct
hit into our thought life, or any combination of these
three areas. We need to keep in mind that we are
never told to remove the armor of God; it is a way of
life for the Christian.
Second - Understand that the battlefield is in the mind.
We fortify our minds with the knowledge of God as Paul
instructs us in 2 Corinthians.
10:4-5 "For the weapons of our warfare are not
carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of
strong holds (dominated or occupied by the enemy);
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience
necessary to study the Word of God, and align our
thinking accordingly in place of our own understanding
and sense knowledge. Whether our minds are being fed
with fleshly thoughts, or thoughts influenced by the
devil, we settle the matter with the thoughts of God.
The power of God will destroy the strongholds of the
enemy in the life of a believer. In this, we take
back the ground that the enemy has stolen, and weaken
his influence upon ourselves and others.
2:11 "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are
not ignorant of his devices."
For example, Jesus healed a woman suffering from a
physical infirmity, in which Jesus identifies the source
of this infirmity, as the work of Satan. We read in the
gospel of Luke,
Luk 13:10-13, 16 And he was teaching in
one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there
was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen
years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift
up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to
him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from
thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and
immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
13:16 And ought not this woman, being a
daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these
eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath
In this instance, it was the
devil who afflicted this woman for 18 years, and
although the symptoms manifested in the physical realm,
it was a spiritual problem.
Third - Understand that the whole armor of God is
required in our daily spiritual warfare.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of
God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of
Paul instructs us to put on the whole armor of God,
in order to "stand" or continue to hold up against the
"wiles" (trickery or cunning schemes), in which the
devil lies in wait to deceive us. We have an
unseen, spiritual enemy, but once the enemy is detected,
he is stripped of his greatest weapon of power,
In addition, the devil often operates by using surprise
attacks, as does the "roar of a lion." He seeks to
intimidate his prey by paralyzing them with fear. These
attacks can leave one with a sense of defeat if left
unguarded; it takes the full armour of God to have the
advantage in every circumstance.
For example, out of fear, the Apostle Peter denied the
Lord on more than one occasion; this threw him into a
spiritual battle of fierce conflict, in which the Lord
already warned him, "Satan hath desired to have you ...
to sift you as wheat." Peter, who was the first disciple
to acknowledge the Messiahship of Christ, and boldly
confess his willingness to die for the Lord, was
overcome by the power of fear in those excruciating
moments of denying the Lord. Our human frailties are
often the target of the enemy. In this situation, the
devil used fear against Peter in order to enslave him in
condemnation and failure.
Fourth - Know that our spiritual warfare involves
entities that are extremely powerful.
Eph 6:12 "For our wrestling is not
against flesh and blood, but against the principalities,
against the powers, against the world-rulers of this
darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in
the heavenly places." (See post #2 on "Principalities,
etc." for a thorough explanation of this verse).
Principalities-Powers-Rulers of Darkness-Wickedness
- Understand that God has
provided everything we need to stand, and when we put on
the armor of God, we have done all to stand.
Eph 6:13 "Wherefore take up the whole
armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the
evil day, and, having done all, to stand."
This is the
second time we are told to take hold of the whole armor
of God in order to resist and oppose evil; wherein, the
importance of wearing full armor is established.
Sixth - Identify each piece of spiritual armor and put
Our spiritual armor
of God for spiritual warfare consists of the
Truth (belt), righteousness (breastplate), the
of peace (shoes), faith (shield),
salvation (helmet), Word of God (sword of the spirit) and
prayer (intercession for all saints).
Stand therefore, having girded your loins with
truth, and having put on the breastplate of
To gird our loins is to fasten the belt of truth around
our waist. The word fasten indicates the typical use of
a belt to support clothing, or to store tools and
weapons. Our lives are supported by the truth of God as
it was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ; whereby, we
acknowledge, believe and live by this truth.
Joh 1:17 For the law was given through
Moses: grace and truth came to be through Jesus Christ.
With all that encompasses God's truth in His Word,
honesty with ourselves is pertinent toward protecting
ourselves from Satan's deceptions. We examine our
thoughts and motives honestly, and lexamine them in the ight of God's truth.
God's light is a liberating light:
Joh 3:21 "But the one doing the truth
comes towards the Light, so that his works shall be
revealed, that they have been done in God."
We can deceive ourselves into thinking we are more than
what we really are, in which the devil relies on our
self-deception. The truth or light of God reveals to us
those things that need to be changed in our lives.
By acting on the illumination of the Holy Spirit and
God's Word, we experience spiritual growth and liberty.
We become less vulnerable to the infirmities of the
flesh and the powers of darkness. This is part of the
Christian victory; however, if this process is viewed
negatively, then the temptation to repress the truth for
fear of condemnation or a fragile self image, will keep
us in bondage.
Knowing our strengths and weaknesses are essential
components of spiritual warfare:
The Apostle Peter, in a sense, was not in touch with
himself; he boldly declared he would die for Christ;
however, quite the opposite occurred. Satan sought
to sift him as wheat for his human failings.
Later, Peter was restored to his faith by the power of
the Holy Spirit, and spoke the good news with all
boldness. Our human frailties vary individually;
however, honesty is the best policy, and understanding
and dealing with our own human nature realistically,
gives us a healthy advantage, and allows us to
strengthen those areas in the grace and power of Christ.
8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which
believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye
my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free.
As we grow in the knowledge of God
and His Word, and exercise that knowledge, we learn to
discern truth from error. Scripture states, "My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).
We will be alert to the many distortions in the
interpretation of God's Word, yesterday and today,
intentional or unintentional.
I strongly encourage reading the book "THE
SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE:
Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and
False Spiritual Authority Within the Church,"
by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen. (1991, Bethany
"Spiritual abuse is a real phenomenon that actually
happens in the body of Christ. It is a subtle trap in
which the ones who perpetrate spiritual abuse on others
are just as trapped in their unhealthy beliefs and
actions as those whom they, knowingly and unknowingly,
Righteousness is our breastplate of armor against
the enemy. We no longer identify with our fallen nature
but with the image of Christ. We no longer call
ourselves sinners, but we call ourselves saints.
Paul addressed the Christians in his letters as "saints"
of God, not as sinners (see 1 and 2 Cor., Eph 1).
We never read "to the miserable and worthless sinners of
Christ." We have two natures: the old sinful
nature, and the new nature (called the new man in the
Bible) given to us by the Holy Spirit. We don't
need to fix the old man (he is dead), but we need to put
on the "new man."
Rom 6:6 Knowing this,
that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of
sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not
Eph 4:24 and put on
the new man, that after God hath been created in
righteousness and holiness of truth.
Col 3:10 and have put
on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge
after the image of him that created him:
We are righteous in God's eyes through His Son;
therefore, we walk by faith in the righteousness that He
has freely given to us, and are transformed into His
image. When we fail, we acknowledge and forsake that
sin, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all
unrighteousness. Putting on the breastplate of
righteousness means staying in fellowship with God.
God's righteousness protects the vital organ of our
hearts, and as we walk in His righteousness, our hearts
are assured before God. We read in first John,
1Jo 3:21 "Beloved, if our heart condemn
us not, then have we confidence toward God."
III. The Gospel of Peace:
Eph 6:15 and having shod your feet
with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The shoes are the preparation of the Gospel of
peace, and are indicative of preparedness to stand on,
and deliver God's message of reconciliation to humanity,
through the work of Jesus Christ. Peace means "to join"
in a harmonious relationship to God. Military sandals
were made of strong leather, and thickly studded soles
with hobnails for a sure footing, in order to stand
firmly against the enemy (Manners and Customs of the
withal taking up the shield
of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the
fiery darts of the evil one.
The shield is the barrier between the body of the
soldier and the weapon of his foe. The shield protects
us from the enemy's attempt to seriously or fatally
wound us, as indicated by the "fiery darts (missile.
spear or arrow)." Our faith allows the power of God to
extinguish that weapon or attack directed against us.
Trust in God and faith are exact opposites to both doubt
and fear. Both are powerful beliefs, in which the
appropriate outcomes are experienced. Regarding the
Lord's message to Peter mentioned above, He further
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy
faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen
Jesus taught about the power of faith. When His
disciples failed to expel a demon from a person he
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them,
Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If
ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say
unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it
shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God:
Since the greatest point of vulnerability for a soldier
in combat is his head, he protects his head from injury
by wearing a helmet. Salvation is the helmet for the
saint in spiritual warfare, and our preservation from
destruction. We are not only assured of our complete
salvation at the 2nd Coming of Christ, but we wear or
put on that salvation. We have already been
delivered and liberated from the power, and destruction
of the enemy, in the name of Jesus Christ. We seek our
victory based on this mindset.
O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head
in the day of battle.
VI. The Word of God
Our sword is to "speak the Word of God in faith," and a
very real weapon in the destruction against the
onslaughts of supernatural evil in spiritual warfare. We
speak the promises of God and His truth in faith as it
applies to the situation. God magnified His Word above
all His name, and Jesus Christ is the Word of God in the
flesh (Ps. 138:2). Our sword of the Spirit includes both
the power of the Word and the "name of Jesus Christ."
Note: To those who believe
that Scripture is not the inspired Word of God, you have
already laid down your sword, your offensive weapon in
spiritual warfare. It is important not to confuse man's
interpretation of Scripture with the inspired Word of
God as originally penned through the vessels of God. For
more information click this link to read a short but
informative post on Why Christians Believe in the Bible
Why Do Christians Believe in the Bible?.
Jesus spoke the Word of God as His weapon against Satan
in response to three temptations recorded in the gospel
of Matthew. (Matthew 4: 1-11)
Mat 4:3-11 "And when the tempter [Satan] came to him, he
said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these
stones be made bread.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh
him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle
of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of
God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give
his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands
they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy
foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written
again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high
mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world,
and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these
things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it
is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and
ministered unto him."
VII. Power of Prayer:
Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with
all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
We remain in God's
peace and strength through the power of prayer.
Phi 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus.
To be "careful" for nothing is to be "anxious" for
nothing. We are protected from worry and anxiety through
prayer, in which we cast our care upon God who cares for
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth
In addition, we offer supplication for all the saints,
and again we see the example of Jesus in His prayer for
Peter, He said, "But, I have prayed for thee that thy
faith fail not . . .."
The Lord loved Peter, and in observing his need, He intercedes to God on his
behalf, He prayed for Peter's victory.
The saints prayed for Peter when he was in prison:
Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer
was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
The results of their intercession for Peter,
Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon
him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote
Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up
quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
A note on the shield of faith:
Key Words - Above all (take the
shield of faith) and all (the fiery darts of the devil).
Faith is in operation for all of our defensive and
offensive weapons of spiritual warfare. Truth,
righteousness, reconciliation of the gospel of peace,
salvation, the Word of God and prayer are all
effectually operated in faith. In addition, it is by
faith that we quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked
for Christ, we need to continually grow in the power of
God, and fortify our walk with the complete armor of
God. We never underestimate the power of the enemy, nor
his attempts at destruction; he remains a formidable
post - 2005 Last update
- slightly revised
If you would like to know more about
Salvation click below:
What is Salvation and How Do We Know if We Are Saved?
If you would like to read more on
spiritual warfare just click on the titles below for
Posts 1, 2 & 3.
Why the World, the Flesh, and the Devil in Spiritual
Principalities, Powers, World Rulers of Darkness, and Spiritual Wickedness in High Places
The Battlefield of the Mind Part I - Prepare Your Heart for War
The Dragon and the Sword of Praise in Spiritual Warfare
(Especially for those presently under spiritual
affliction or attack)
below for an example of the roar of the lion
A Response to "I abhor the devil and don't understand
why I still dance with demons"
*Bible Refs. KJV - ASV
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