The Art of Spiritual Warfareby James Andrew - Senior Pastor | Real Life Ministries Waller, Waller, TX
The alarm goes off blasting that nauseating sound that is now ringing in my ears. My left eye creeps open and looks at 5:00 a.m. now glaring back at me. It’s time to get ready for my shift. I get out of bed and stagger to the shower.
Shower complete and time to shave. Next, time to get dressed and prepare to enter the battlefield for eight and half hours. First things first, underwear and socks, in that order and then pants. Next, freshly polished pristine black boots, tied tight, but not too tight…just right! Now, the most essential part, the inner belt, which holds the outer belt in place. It is the foundation for all non-lethal and lethal weapons. This is followed by a black t-shirt that is properly tucked in, which is immediately followed by the most uncomfortable, yet essential piece of gear, body armor. Weighs a ton and is super uncomfortable, but hey it beats the alternative. Patrol shirt goes on next, zipped, buttoned and properly tucked in. And now for the last piece, I can’t go to work without it, my gun belt. This belt holds the tools of my trade. All of the necessities to serve and protect the community that I love and swore and oath to. I kiss my wife goodbye on her forehead and tell her that I love her, can’t forget that…ever! I walk out the door and that looming question enters my mind again, “Will I make it home tonight”? Nope, can’t think about that, I am a warrior and will fight till my dying breath to make it back home to my family.
You would think that after 20 years in law enforcement this part of the job would be routine, but you guessed wrong. Every piece of gear has to be strategically put on daily and worn in its proper place, which affords me protection and the ability to protect and serve the community.
Since retiring from law enforcement and going into full-time ministry I have seen many parallels and this is no different. For many years I fought a physical battle, against a fierce enemy, while wearing armor and protecting and serving. Now, in ministry I still fight, but it is a spiritual battle. The battle that I face is against Satan. He wants to kill and destroy me, so it is imperative that I put on the armor of God daily and go to war through the power of the Holy Spirit. You may ask yourself, “What is God’s armor and how do I put on His armor”? Well, I’m glad you asked.
We need to understand the armor belongs to the Lord and is made available for believers. It is made available, so that we may stand firm against the attacks of Satan daily.
Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this priest darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
God’s armor that he makes available to all believers for spiritual warfare:
- Belt of Truth – The foundation for all of the armor. The Lord is truth and as believers are truth and faith is anchored in him.
- Breastplate of Righteousness – Protects the vital organs, specifically our hearts. Christ’s righteousness imparted to us to build up our hearts against the attacks from Satan.
- Shoes of the Gospel of Peace – Protects against fear. Allows us to stand firm, so we are always ready to boldly proclaim the Gospel.
- Shield of Faith – Protects against the lies and doubt that Satan is always attempting to convince us of. Constantly reminds us that we will always fail, unless we put our faith in Christ.
- Helmet of Salvation – Protects our minds from doubt and temptation. Our hope and salvation keeps us trusting in God and finding our joy in him.
- The Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God, which is our only offensive weapon. We fight the lies of the enemy with God’s word, which is truth. Remember, as believers we know that God defines truth, not us.
God makes his armor available to all believers and I believe there are 3 key principles for putting it on.
- Walk in the strength of King Jesus. Ephesians 6:10 “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might”. We realize that when we walk in humility our strength comes from King Jesus.
- Respond in obedience. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil”. We obey the command, iwe must do our part and that requires us to put on the armor and go into battle. It is extremely important that we recognize that we must put the armor on daily. To put on the armor is to put on Christ.
- Pray. Ephesians 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints”. We can have all of the armor, but we are still powerless without praying at all times in the Spirit.
God did not provide us with any armor for our back because we are warriors in Christ’s army and his army does not retreat. The battle is going to be close quarters, hand-to-hand and a fight to the death. Remember, don’t buy into the enemy’s biggest lie, “You are alone”! We fight together, together as the body of Christ we pick one another up and no one gets left behind. So, put on your armor, lock shields and get in the battle.
With God and each other we are never out of the fight.
by James Andrew – Senior Pastor
Real Life Ministries Waller
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