Standing against the schemes of the Devil

The Bible makes it very clear that there is a spiritual battle ongoing; for we have been told that “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places“, (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). So whether you like it or not, there is a spiritual battle going on every day. In fact, because of this war, Peter advised us to be, “sober [and] vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”, (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). All Christians around the world face the same battle on daily basis, (1 Peter 5:9).  This is a battle that cannot be won in the flesh. It is a spiritual battle that must be fought spiritually.

And the only way the Christian can win against the devil and his schemes is not only by being sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8) but to put on the whole armour of God.  So Paul the apostle encouraged us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [scheme] of the devil“, (Ephesians 6:11 KJV). The devil is very cunning and crafty and it was this nature of his that he used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden, (Genesis 3:1-6). Now, notice the keywords here: whole armour! Not half armour or partial armour but whole armour.

So, what is the full armour? We have been told that the full armour (Ephesians 6:13-17) consists of the following:

  1. The Belt of Truth: Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). As a Christian, you are expected to stand for truth. You are expected to stop lying for lying is one of the things God detests, (Proverbs 6:16-17). You will be delivered from the wiles of the devil if you buckle your waist with the belt of truth. Don’t be afraid of ever telling the truth, especially when it comes to salvation and eternal matters.
  2. Breastplate of Righteousness: The role of the breastplate is to shield your vital organs from attacks or blows from the enemy. Remember that in battle, the breastplate is to protect chest area which has heart, kidney, lungs, etc. The righteousness being talked about here is not self-righteousness of man, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is available to the Christian upon conversion – all you need to do is to claim it and live right, (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Avoid deliberately sinning, (Romans 6:1-2).
  3. The Gospel of Peace: The Christian needs to continue preaching the good news of salvation to the lost, (Matthew 28:19-20). The Bible asks, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher” , (Romans 10:14). There are many people out there who need to hear the message of salvation, so go on and preach. Don’t feel shy and don’t be ashamed of the gospel. The more people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, the more Satan loses and that means you’re winning.
  4. The Shield of Faith: Faith pleases God and Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, (Hebrews 11:6; 12:2). Satan’s job is to sow doubts in the mind of the Christian and you need to defeat him by using your faith in Jesus. Remember, faith does not come by prayer, but by hearing the Word of God, (Romans 10:17). You need to daily study the Bible and listen to sermons to build your faith.
  5. The Helmet of Salvation: The head is a critical part of the body and a seat of the mind that needs to be protected. You need to know that you are saved and flee from every false doctrine that will mislead you.
  6. The Sword of the Spirit: This refers to the Word of God, which is available to you in the Bible. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, (Hebrews 4:12 KJV).

Of the full armour, the sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon – the rest are defensive weapons. When you put on the whole armour, you then go to battle by praying “in the Spirit on all occasions”, (Ephesians 6:18).

Finally, the reason why I write this article is because I noticed a great error among many Christians, who focus solely on “prayer” to the neglect of the full armour of God. Prayer is not bad, but you cannot go to battle without your armour and expect to win; that is how it is to pray without putting on the whole armour of God. You can’t be lying, fornicating and committing all kinds of sin and expect to win this battle by simply praying. Be guided by the word of God, (Psalm 119:105)

May the Spirit of God help you to understand these things, so that you may be equipped to daily win the spiritual battle.

 

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