God has given you all you need for the fight, so stand firm together without breaking ranks. Your Almighty God declares your victory. Paul started the letter declaring God’s power, and he’s ending it with the same declaration
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT
In our Scripture today, Paul is reminding Christ followers that they are heading into battle. He gave them a rousing speech of encouragement as they prepared to fight a battle daily, and His encouragement is for us as well. The fight is not only against things that they (and we) could see, but was (is) also happening in the heavenly realms.
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. 19-20 And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out. Ephesians 6:10-20, MSG
Instead of adding “God-Provided Armor for Christian Soldiers” to the graph, I am going to share a selection from the “Overcoming Evil” Section of my newest book, Strike the Match, Light the Fire. This book helps you to step into the God-given chain reaction (Praise-Faith-Prayer-Overcoming Evil-Reigning and Ruling with Christ) so that you can live what you believe.
DEFENSE: THE ARMOR OF GOD. Ephesians 6 draws a picture of the armor that God has provided for us to wear to battle.
BELT OF TRUTH: Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14, NLT). This belt is not a “what,” but a “who”—Jesus surrounds you and holds you all together. Whatever controls your mind, controls your identity, so be dust-covered disciples walking closely with Christ. So when we really believe this is true and that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, it changes everything. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith (1 John 5:4, NLT).
Put on the BODY ARMOR OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS (Ephesians 6:14). When God looks at us, He sees Jesus’ perfect record that replaces ours, but there’s more. As apprentices in the faith, we are transforming and conforming our lives to Christ’s righteousness through praise, activated faith, and continual prayer.
HELMET OF SALVATION. Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies (Ephesians 6:17, TPT). A helmet guards our heads, our brains, our center of thinking, so we continue to think: “I am saved, and God is faithful.” God designed our brains to be malleable or changeable. That means that when we choose to think about our immense, almighty, faithful God, we wear a helmet that declares our salvation, and it is impenetrable (1 Corinthians 10:13).
SHIELD OF FAITH. In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One (Ephesians 6:16, TPT). We know how to light the bonfire of our faith—by striking a match through praising God. Satan aims lies at our hearts, shooting fiery arrows as he tries to penetrate our shields. Head knowledge, logic, or our own efforts aren’t strong enough to protect us. Instead, wrap yourself with faith by
repeating: “I am saved by grace through faith. I do not have to fear because I am adopted as a child and heir into the family of God. And if God is for me, who can be against me. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
OFFENSE: THE AUTHORITY AND POWER THAT CHRIST HAS GIVEN US. There is nothing flimsy about the weapons that every Christian wields. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4, NLT).
GOOD NEWS SHOES. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared (Ephesians 6:15, NLT). The Message version says it this way: God’s Word is an indispensensable weapon. It is your feet that carry you—your whole body—into the battle (Isaiah 52:7). Your body is a temple in which the Holy Spirit lives, and Satan cannot remain in the presence of Jesus. Step into the fight full of the Good News, and go on the offensive by sharing it in your thoughts, words, and actions. The Word of God is a double-edged sword that cuts through the bone to the marrow (Hebrews 4:12), and your ability to overcome evil is
directly proportionate to your consistent presence with God, listening to His words. Read the Bible, memorize it, meditate, and pray in ongoing conversation. Saturate yourself in the fullness of God so that when life cuts you, you bleed God’s words.
PRAY PERSISTENTLY. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18, NLT). Evangelist Phyllis Shirer compares a Christian who doesn’t pray to someone who owns a refrigerator, but doesn’t plug it into the power source; it just doesn’t work. Praying powerful prayers is our divine power source. God gives us what we need to engage in battle in both the worldly and heavenly realms. When we boldly ask much of God for His Kingdom, we put the gospel into action and can declare Jesus’ victory over Satan.
This is the battle plan God set up for us: we pray faithfully, and God supplies His power and authority.
The Bible makes it clear: we are in a battle we can’t escape from against an Enemy we can’t see. When we confess Jesus as Lord and have the Spirit of God within us, Satan will launch everything he can to destroy our faith. That’s why we are told to “stand firm” against his schemes (Ephesians 6:13)
I’m going to include two pictures that I doodled of the armor that God provides for us. The first is my “re-draw” for the new book. The second is the original drawing I doodled while studying Ephesians a few years ago.
Pray with me: Father, we are being inundated with ideas, words, and actions for the purpose of making us fearful. This is an everyday occurrence in our world today. Yet Your words for us say, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” You don’t tell us to run away from the danger, but to face it in faith, because You—Almighty God—are in command. We are protected, armed, and guided by You, our Commander and Chief. Not only that, but victory is assured because You made it so. Help us, Lord, to not succumb to fear, to not hide from the fight, but to step forward in faith together with the rest of Your army of God-Followers. Sound the battle cry, Lord, and we will engage the enemy with the weapons only You can provide. Your Name is our battle cry. Amen.
We are in a war against evil, but we don’t have to be afraid. God’s strength and power are ours for the asking, even the youngest and weakest can prevail over evil, so I though it fitting to include the hymn “Sound the Battle Cry” sung by the Cornerstone Children’s Choir.