Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Today I want to invite you to do some fresh thinking with me, come along . . .
The Following passage is all about Spiritual Warfare:
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For 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. 13 Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Pray Continually 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . . .
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Perhaps you have read it and are quite familiar with the armor. Perhaps you have been well taught to put your armor on every day, before you start so you can be well prepared for the battle of the day, understanding full well and receiving the warning from:
1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
If you have learned this, you are ahead already. Wonderful!!
Now, I have a question? When you go to bed at night in your pajamas, do you take off your armor? Hmm?!
I don’t know of anyone that does!
You see the armor is something we are to have on all the time. It is our twenty-four/ seven preparation. Satan does not take a break at night from prowling around, he looks for a weak moment all the time. So when we are given the armor in the Bible, and told to wear it, the idea is to be prepared all the time. That is 24/7 and 365.
There is no vacation from it. Oh, I do not worry about when I sleep. When I rest, my Father looks after me.
Psalm 4: 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.
I have another question: Have you ever wondered why you defend yourself against the arrows that come flying at you with your shield, but have no bow or arrows to shoot back at the enemy? Instead, you are provided a sword! Why weren’t you given a bow and arrows? After all, the enemy has them!
All our armor is defensive except the sword. Only one offensive weapon. Not even a spear! Just a sword!
Let’s look at this a bit. The Roman soldiers of the day used to wear this type of armor. Commonly we understand this to be what Paul had in mind when he wrote this passage.
The Roman soldier carried two shields. A small round one and a large oval or rectangular shield that provided almost full body coverage in the front. When the soldiers marched together to face an enemy who might be high up on a fortress wall, these long shields are what they used. As they drew within range of arrows, the enemy soldiers would rain down volleys of arrows upon them. The soldiers in the forefront would protect themselves and those behind them by using the large shields. The men in the rows behind would hold their shields above the heads so the arrows could not hit from above. When necessary they could used the shields to protect themselves from all sides.
The smaller round shield was worn on the belt and ready for use. This shield was used only in hand to hand combat when you were too close to the enemy to use the big shield for it would be very cumbersome at that point. When they were closer to the enemy, they could use spears to throw and hit the enemy. But when they got really close enough to look the enemy in the eye, only one thing worked! The Sword!! This was the only effective weapon to neutralize the enemy.
Now, think about it. We are not given bows and arrows, so we can’t shoot the enemy from a distance. He shoots at us from far, but is afraid to come near.
We are also not given spears, which could be used when closer to the enemy, but not necessarily be engaged in hand to hand warfare.
We are only given a Sword which is effective only in hand to hand combat, which means it is the only offensive weapon and we must use it not defensively, but rather, aggressively to destroy our opponent. If we choose to stay at a distance, we will forever be shielding ourselves and remaining crouched behind the shield.
So many of us have the notion, that if we do not engage the enemy, he will leave us alone. Far from it, when we act weak, we are weak, and we only embolden him to make us weaker. If he leaves us alone for we are no threat to him, we become useless to the kingdom of God, for we cannot accomplish anything.
One pastor I admire said “If you are not being attacked by the enemy, check your walk. you are doing something wrong.” He is right!
If we wish to truly put an end to the battle and emerge victorious we must engage in hand to hand using our sword in order to destroy.
So many of us live our lives in defensive mode only, barely surviving the arrows, making little or no use of the Sword. How can we expect to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” if we never engage in battle, and just cower in defensive positions?!
Matthew 16: 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
In this passage when Jesus says in vs. 18 that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, I believe He is making a declaration of war. I believe the call is to take the battle to the enemy. To charge the gates of hell, break them down and to rescue those trapped by the enemy. No, I do not mean literally going to hell, rather that the enemy controls so many on earth. He has our unsaved loved ones in bondage and has stolen much from us. We are to not take it sitting down, but wage war and rescue those that will be rescued, bind the enemy and bring out that which belongs to us, the church and the Lord Jesus.
How do we do that? By using the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Jesus Himself demonstrated how best to use it in everything He did, but especially in the wilderness right after He was baptized by John. When the enemy tempted Him, He used His Sword each time. He spoke what had already been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
That is how we are expected to win the battles we face. The enemy does not belong on our backs as many contend in defeat. He belongs under our feet.
It is special Sword we are given. it is the Word of God! With it every battle can be won, every mountain can be reduced to a plain in our lives.
We can and must live our lives in victory. We have been provided everything we need to be the kind of witnesses we need to be.
Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.
Please learn/study your Bible. If you are ineffective in battle after having known the Lord a while, please don’t blame God for your troubles, look rather to your own lack of knowledge and understanding of the Word, from which comes wisdom and faith.
Romans 10: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Get in the Word, it is life to you!! Don’t go by what others tell you about the Word, even your pastor, (even me), read/study for yourself. Invest time in your relationship with Him, you only will gain!
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