In this series, we are going to deal with the subject of spiritual warfare and bring correct, biblical teaching to this often-misunderstood subject.
As a point of reference, we will be referring to content from the following books:
Dressed to Kill
by Pastor Rick Renner
The Triumphant Church
by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin
- We must always remember that the real battle with Satan was won at the Cross and the resurrection by Jesus Christ.
- We must approach spiritual warfare from a place of already obtained victory (by Jesus) instead of trying to get the victory.
There are three different aspects to spiritual warfare:
- Taking control of our minds
- Crucifying the flesh
- Dealing with the enemy
We see Paul write in Ephesians 6:
Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (18) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
God has not left us naked before the enemy!
God has given us spiritual weaponry that has the ability to counterattack and defeat any scheme that the devil would try to use against us!
Before we go on in our study of the armor, we need to mention the perfect balance that exists in the armor of God. There are three offensive weapons, three defensive weapons, and one neutral weapon.
Three defensive weapons:
- The breastplate
- The shield
- The helmet
These weapons protect you and give you confidence and assurance so you can move forward in your spiritual growth.
Three offensive weapons:
- The shoes
- The sword
- The lance
These are weapons that enable you to enforce and demonstrate Satan’s already secured defeat.
Ephesians 6:14 NKJV Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
2 Corinthians 6:7 NLT We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.
Why did Paul call righteousness a breastplate in his list of armor?
The breastplate was the shiniest, most beautiful, and most glamorous piece of weaponry a Roman soldier possessed. This is what got your attention before anything else.
This breastplate could weigh upwards of 40 pounds. Goliath’s weighed 125 pounds.
Usually made of brass or bronze. As they walked, the pieces would rub together polishing each other to a bright luster.
Can you imagine what it must have looked like when a legion of soldiers walked out on the battlefield with their breastplates gleaming in the sunlight?
The more you wear your breastplate of righteousness, walking through life fully conscious of your righteousness in Christ, the more brightly you shine as a light in a dark world of sin.
Your righteousness is not only a defensive weapon to protect you from the blows of the enemy, but it is also an offensive weapon to assist you as you assault the enemy and take back lost territory!
“Diabalos” (Devil) – one who strikes again and again until he finally penetrates the mind with slanderous accusations.
Because the devil desires to penetrate and immobilize a person’s mind and emotions, he especially delights in finding believers who do not know they are righteous. They are easy prey!
He says things like, “You’re the worst believer who has ever lived. Do you think God is going to do anything with you? God can’t use you, you stupid thing!”
What happens when we don’t know we have been made righteous in Christ? We tend to habitually walk in guilt and condemnation.
On the other hand, when you know that God has made you righteous – when you have your breastplate of righteousness firmly in place – it does not matter how many arrows the enemy shoots against you because not one arrow will penetrate.
No word of condemnation, no false allegations, and no guilty thought will penetrate your heart or lodge in your mind when you are walking in your breastplate of righteousness.
Paul is telling us in Ephesians 6:14, “stand – throw back your shoulders, hold your head up high, and walk tall and confidently, as all proud and victorious soldiers do!”
So, what is righteousness? – It is to be right and approved in God’s sight. It means we can stand in the presence of a holy God as though sin never existed in our lives because of what Jesus did for us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 AMP For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
2 Corinthians 5:21 MSG How? you say. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 TPT For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.
Why is this knowledge of righteousness so important?
Your mental attitude has everything to do with how well you perform in the midst of a fight.
If you are mentally and emotionally defeated before you go into a fight, you probably should not go into battle. Why? Because your negative attitude has already determined the outcome of your battle.
By understanding and developing an attitude of righteousness in your life and learning how to view yourself through the work of the Cross, you will receive a divine impartation of confidence and boldness that will always put you on the winning side of victory!
When a believer finally grabs hold of the truth that God has graciously imparted righteousness to him, that knowledge changes him.
He no longer views himself as a little, unimportant, defeated believer. He is so affected in his attitude that he begins to move with assurance from a life of chronic defeat to a life of reigning in life as a king!
An attitude of righteousness will profoundly affect your prayer life!
Your prayers will take on an attitude of power and authority. People wearing this breastplate know that they can come directly into the presence of God and pray with great boldness.
When you have been positively influenced by an understanding of righteousness, it gives you the assurance you need to step out and boldly do the work of God!
Example of Peter and John and the Man at the gate Beautiful!
Acts 3:4 NKJV And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.”
Ephesians 6:15 NKJV and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The shoes belonging to a Roman soldier usually made from brass and were composed of two parts: The greave and the shoe itself.
The greave was a tube-like piece of brass that started at the top of the knee and extended past the lower leg. The shoes themselves were made of metal and had inch or more long spikes on them.
Why would Paul call these shoes of peace?
Peace not only protects you, but it also provides you with a brutal weapon to wield against the enemy when he attacks.
Ephesians 6:15 NKJV and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The word “shod” means to “bind tightly.”
Hence, we must position peace firmly in place, “binding” it around our minds and our emotions in the same way that the Roman soldiers made sure to bind their shoes very tightly onto their feet.
The word “preparation” carries the idea of solidity, firmness, a solid foundation, or a firm footing.
Peace gives us a foundation so secure that we can step out in confident faith without being moved by what we see or what we hear.
The word “peace” is the Greek word “eirene”. It carries the idea of a peace that prevails or overcomes.
When used in a salutation, it carries with it blessings and prosperity in every area of one’s life.
However, the presence of chaos and the absence of peace does not necessarily mean that the enemy has attacked you. It may be an indicator that you have violated some principle of Scripture or disobeyed the will of God for your life.
Before you run out to fight the devil, look in the mirror! The devil is not always the source of your problems!
There are two types of peace the believer can experience:
- Peace with God – this is what a person experiences when they come to the Lord for salvation.
Colossians 1:20-21 NKJV (20) and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (21) And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
- Peace of God – this is a protective peace. It protects you from fretfulness, anxiety, worry, and everything else the devil comes to disturb your enjoyment of abundant life.
Colossians 3:15 AMP And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
Colossians 3:15 GNB The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make…
Satan can’t play games with your mind or emotions when they are being governed by peace!
Remember the greaves the soldier wore?
The greaves were designed to protect the soldiers’ legs from bruises, cuts or a lacerated leg. A damaged leg almost always meant that the soldier could easily be overcome or killed.
They often had to walk or climb rocky places or scale difficult barriers.
These greaves protected the soldiers from danger and gave them the assurance they needed to proceed in their mission that had been given to them.
Likewise, God may give you an assignment that leads you through some challenging places. If you do not let the peace of God work in your life, it is highly possible you will be mentally and emotionally bruised and battered by rocky relationships and rough situations.
- The brass greaves enabled the soldier to walk through the rockiest of places and never get hurt.
- The greaves enabled the soldier to walk through wicked thorn patches and never get scratched.
- With these greaves, the enemy could not kick repeatedly at the soldier’s shins, and his legs never broken.
With the peace of God operative in your life, you can walk through the rockiest and most difficult situations imaginable and never get bruised, cut, or seriously injured.
The spikes keep you firm footed. Refuse to worry and let your heart be anxious.
Philippians 4:6-9 NLT Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. (7) Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (8) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (9) Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Isaiah 26:3 NLT You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3 MSG People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit.