I just wonder, how many saints do we have here tonight? Just raise your hand! How wonderful to see so many saints here for worship.
Now let me ask you saints a question. How many of you saints are soldiers? Thank you. Now learn this: every child of God, every saint is a soldier! We’ve all been drafted! And do you know why you’ve been drafted? I’ll tell you why: because there is a war on!
You see, the Christian life is not a playground, it’s a battleground! There’s a war on! But I’ll let you in on a secret: victory is ours! That’s right! Victory is ours. You see, we’re not fighting toward victory, we’re fighting from victory! Our enemy is a defeated enemy and he knows it!
But while the victory is ours, our enemy tries to bring us down along the way! He’s out to discourage you. He’s out to discredit you. He’s out to disqualify you. And ultimately, He’s out to destroy you.
Now that’s what Paul’s talking about in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians. So I invite every soldier to take God’s Word and join me in Ephesians chapter 6. It’s from this chapter that I want to show you how to get dressed for the battle. I want to show you how you can experience daily victory over temptation! How you can experience daily victory over your enemy.
Now, to experience daily victory, to get dressed for the battle, the first thing you must know is ..
(1) THE CHRISTIAN’S ENEMY.
Every Christian has an enemy. Now, somebody asks, ”I thought when I was saved that I was set free from the Devil.” Well, in one sense you were. I mean, when Jesus steps into your life, you were set free from the Devil’s hell. But you’re not set free from the Devil’s harassment’s. In fact, do you know who the Devil enjoys harassing the most? A new Christian. Somebody whose recently met Jesus in salvation.
You see, salvation is not the end of your struggle, it’s just the beginning! But be of good cheer, ”He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” And with Jesus, you can have victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
That’s what I call a trilogy of trouble! The world, the flesh, and the Devil!
Paul mentions this trilogy of trouble in Ephesians 2.1-3, ”And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the prince of the power of the air (the world), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (the devil), among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, (the flesh) fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
And look if you will to Ephesians 6.11-12, ”Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle (face to face combat, hand to hand, foot to foot) 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.”
Don’t think your enemy is man. Man is no enemy. Sinners are not your enemy. In fact, you ought to have pity on sinners because they’ve been duped by the Devil.
Our enemy is the Devil. And these words found in verse 12 describe the various levels among the Devil’s demons. The Devil’s hierarchy! The Devil’s army. And there’s no escaping them.
I mean, you can go to the moon and you’ll still battle them. You can find them in a monastery! You can find them on Mars! And there here in Odessa, Texas tonight causing havoc and hurts. Their destroying homes and lives. Their dividing brother against brother.
Now, with enemies all around, Paul tells us in verse 11 to ”put on the whole armor of God.”
THE CHRISTIAN’S ENEMY. THE CHRISTIAN’S EQUIPMENT.
Now the bad news is that we have an enemy. The good news is that we have the necessary equipment for victory. That’s why Paul issues the command in verse 10, ”.. be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
When he says, ”be strong in the Lord” He literally says, ”clothe yourself with power.”
And the word Paul uses here is in the Passive Voice which means that it’s something God does for us. Do you see it? God clothes us with power for the battles!
So how does He do that? Verse 11, ”Put on the whole armor of God.” Are you wearing the whole armor of God tonight? If not, why not? No wonder you’re losing the fight!
Let me show you something here in verse 11. Do you see the verb ”Put on?” It’s in the Aorist Tense in the Greek language which means to put it on as one decisive act! It means you put it on and keep it on!
In other words, you’re not to be putting it on and taking it off. That’s when you get into trouble. Put it on and keep it on!
So, what are we to have on? Well, he tells us in verse 11, ”Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
What are the ”wiles” of the Devil? Well, it speaks of the Devil’s strategy, his methods, his scheming. We’re told in Genesis 3.1 that he is ”more cunning than any of the beast of the field ..” And the word ”cunning” means to strip. That’s the Devil’s strategy. He’s out to strip you of your character! He’s out to strip you of your convictions! He’s out to strip you of your courage!
Do you remember his strategy in the garden of Eden? First he cast doubt upon God’s Word. Then he denied God’s Word. Next, he distorted God’s Word and Eve fell for it and Adam followed.
Look if you will now to Verse 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.” Now what evil day is he talking about?
Well, would you consider today an evil day? What about tomorrow? What about yesterday? Friends, as long as the Devil’s lose, every day has the potential for being an evil day!
So, how are we to dress for battle? What are the pieces of armor we’re to put on once and for all? How do we prepare for victory in these evil days? Well, Paul mentions 6 pieces of armor that a Roman soldier wore into battle.
The first three pieces became ours when we were saved. The last three pieces become ours as we become surrendered. The first three pieces look back, the second three pieces look forward.
Verse 14, ”Stand therefore (maintain your position) having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
”Gird your waist with truth.” That’s the place to begin when facing an attack! The soldiers wore short skirts in those days. Over them they wore a tunic they secured to their waist. When they were about to go into battle, they would tuck their tunic up under their belt to leave their legs free so they could move around freely.
So, to gird your waist with truth is to be prepared, be ready to fight! And notice, he says to ”gird up your waist with truth.” It’s the truth of God’s Word that directs you in the battles!
Next, ”having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” The breastplate protected the soldiers vital organs: his heart and lungs. Just as girding up your waist with truth readies you for battle, ”having put on the breastplate of righteousness” protects your heart. He’s talking about holy living, being in right standing with God.
There’s no strength like the strength we receive from holy living! Walking with God in sweet fellowship readies you for any satanic attack!
Verse 15, ”and having shod your feet with the preparation (make ready or equipped) of the gospel of peace.” It would be difficult to fight with no footing! And do you know what gives us footing in the fight? The gospel of peace.
Did you know that you can have peace in the battle? Well, you can! And that peace provides you with footing for the fight! It prevents you from slipping. It provides you with protection!
Verse 16, ”above all, taking the shield of faith with you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
The shield would cover the soldiers entire body. And the ”shield of faith” protects you when the Devil begins throwing fiery darts of criticism your way. The ”shield of faith” isn’t the faith that saves you, it’s the faith that sustains you. It’s trusting the promises of God when trouble comes.
Do you hear what he’s saying? Faith protects your mind against doubt in the heat of the fight. Faith provides you assurance while in the battle. We need to be more like those men in Nehemiah’s day who built the wall of Jerusalem. In one hand they held their sword and in the other hand they worked on the wall.
Verse 17, ”and take the helmet of salvation ..” What does a helmet do? It protects your head. And when Satan attacks, where does he generally attack? Your mind! Your thoughts! Oh, be careful to guard your mind! An unguarded mind is vulnerable to Satan. Guard you mind!
When God controls your mind, you don’t have to worry about Satan leading you astray!
So, how do you protect your mind? Well, verse 17 goes on to say, ”… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” There it is! By the word of God! It’s like a sword! It will cut off that which doesn’t resemble God and it will guide you as Satan attacks. Psalm 119.11, ”Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
2 Corinthians 10.4, ”For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”
Now, before we leave, let me just mention one last thing in thinking about being dressed for battle.
THE CHRISTIAN’S ENEMY. THE CHRISTIAN’S EQUIPMENT. THE CHRISTIANS EXHORTATION.
Verse 18, ”praying always (every occasion) with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Do you want to know where the battles are won or lost? In your prayer closet! If you’ll stay prayed up, no surprise attack will defeat you.
Prayer + Equipment = Victory!
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