Tuesday, 18 December 2018
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Battlefields

Our souls, it is said, are what make us human. Our souls are comprised of our minds, wills and emotions. Michelle Frost discovers that when our souls are in turmoil, we cannot be at peace.

It is for this very reason that our enemy will strive to keep our souls in turmoil. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 that the devil is a roaring lion, seeking someone he can devour. He will not simply allow us to live victorious lives if he can cause havoc. This is why it is so important that we learn to arm ourselves in preparation for battle.

It would be foolish to stand in the front lines of a battle without ensuring that you are fully armed and prepared for the onslaught of the enemy. This is unfortunately how many Christians face each day-unprepared for the enemy's attacks.

It's vital to remember that we do not fight against flesh and blood: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Now, this verse may cause fear to rise up within you but there are three things to remember:

1 God's word tells us that God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. It is God's will for us to live with a sound mind, free from all fear.

2 We cannot fight the enemy in our own strength-Ephesians 6 also says that we must put on the full armour of God if we wish to stand against the devil's schemes.

Please note the word, stand.The passage doesn't say put on the full armour of God so that you can attack the devil. The word stand connotes a position of rest. Rest? I hear you ask. How can I rest in the middle of a battle? This leads me to a third point:

3 Victory is already ours! That's the beauty of serving the Creator of the Universe! He does all the hard work on our behalf. He already defeated our enemy the devil when His son Jesus Christ took the sin of the world upon His shoulders on the cross and rose from the dead, three days later. So why should we fear an enemy that we have already defeated?

The problem is that the devil refuses to acknowledge that he is defeated and he wants to take as many unsuspecting casualties with him as he can. This is why it's imperative that we stand on the truth of God's word.

If we read a few verses on in Ephesians 6, we read about our role in the battle:

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Eph 6: 14-18).

Paul instructs us, in this letter, to put on the armour of God. Let's take a closer look at each piece of the armour:

The Belt of truth: Jesus said that He is the way, the TRUTH and the life. If we wish to find the truth, we need to look to Him. As we buckle the belt of truth around our waists, let us daily ask the Lord to reveal His truth to us.

The breastplate of righteousness: What an awesome piece of armour this is! The breastplate protects the heart. It is His righteousness that protects our hearts. Even when we mess up and the devil attempts to rub our failures in our faces we can remember that God's word says that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This means that we have right standing with God. Jesus has paid the ultimate price on our behalf! "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe" (Rom 3:22) and 2 Corinthians 5:21 says it beautifully, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God"

Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: The gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace. When we have had a taste of this true peace, we will want to share it with others. As we place this part of God's armour on, let us pray and ask God for opportunities to touch the lives of those around us with His gospel and peace.

The shield of faith: Shields are used for protection. The shield of faith is invaluable to us.This passage tells us that this shield will protect us from the flaming arrows of the evil one. It is unshakable conviction in the goodness of God that will disarm every lie of the enemy.

The helmet of salvation: Much of the battle against the enemy takes place in our minds. Think about it, the devil will plant a thought in your mind-often the thought will reinforce a stronghold. For example, if he wants to throw you into a pit of despair he will remind you of all your past sins or reinforce the stronghold of rejection that has convinced you that everyone is going to let you down because you are not worthy of love. These thoughts are so subtle we don't even realize that the devil is engaged in a full-force battle against us. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." In 2 Corinthians 2:16 it says that we have the mind of Christ! As the saving presence of Jesus reforms our patterns of thinking the devil's most effective attacks on the mind become powerless.

The sword of the Spirit: This is our only offensive weapon. In other words, knowing God's word and declaring it is one of the best ways to stand our ground and remind the devil that the victory has already been won. Please note however, that it is the sword of the Spirit; the full power of the written word is unleashed when it is wielded in co-operation with the dynamic movement of the Holy Spirit.

The passage in Ephesians ends off by saying that we need to pray in the Spirit at all times. It even says: Be alert and always keep on praying for the saints. This is the key factor when dealing with spiritual warfare. Let us continuously pray and not let our guard down. The Lord has already done all the work for us, but may we not be caught sleeping on the battlefield. Let us put on His armour and prayerfully stand our ground!