Even today, there is spiritual wickedness in high places — put on the whole armor of GodPublished 6:02am Friday, February 15, 2013
By REV. ADREN BIVINS
Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach
In the Christian life, we do not fight against flesh and blood, but we battle against rulers and authorities (the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter), as it says in the Bible in 1 Peter 5:5-8.
To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of armor. The apostle Paul, formerly Saul, is not only giving this counsel to the church, the body of Christ, but to all individuals within the church. The whole body needs to be armed. As we do battle against the powers of this dark world, we fight in the strength of the church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit.
Those who are not flesh and blood are demons over which Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies, but they are real. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ. These beings become our enemies and they try every device to turn us away from Jesus and turn us back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in this struggle until Jesus returns. Because Satan is constantly battling against all of us, who are on the Lord’s side, we can not defeat Satan on our own.
We are not strong enough, so we need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us the Holy Spirit. If Jesus had not gone to Calvary, and if He had not died and was placed in a borrowed tomb, stayed there three days, and if he had not been risen from the dead, and stepped out on resurrection ground with all power in his hand, and ascended to the Father, then he could not have sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
When we feel discouraged, defeated and powerless, as we all do at times, we must remember Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail.” He said it, and as believers, we should believe every word because Malachi 3:6 tells us that God’s word never changes. We have to put on the whole armor of God so we can take a stand against Satan the devil. We cannot put on part of the armor and expect victory, but must put on every piece.
We must put on the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the footgear for readiness to spread the Good News, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must put on the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and have the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. Satan fights with deception and lies. Sometimes his lie sounds like the truth, but only believers have God’s truth, which can defeat Satan’s lies.
Satan often attacks our hearts, the seat of our emotions, self worth and trust. God’s righteousness is the breastplate that protects our hearts and ensures his approval. He approves of us because he loves us, because he sent his only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross for the entire world.
Satan wants us to think that telling the good news to others is a worthless and hopeless task, but the footgear gives us the motivation to proclaim the true peace that is available in good news everyone needs to hear. Have you ever noticed it seems like Satan attacks the pastors, preachers, their families and Christians that are living for the Lord? That is to throw God’s people off course and stop them from preaching, teaching, or serving. We see Satan’s attacks in the forms of insults, setbacks, and temptation; but the shield of faith protects us from Satan’s flaming arrows.
With God’s prospective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that victory is ours. It does not matter how we feel because our feelings of defeat is a way for Satan to make our hearts believe that all hope is gone. Satan wants to make us doubt God, Jesus and our salvation.
The helmet protects our minds from doubting God’s saving work for us. The sword is the only weapon of offense in the list of armor. There are times when we need to take the offense against Satan. When we are tempted, we need to trust in the truth of God’s word. In all occasions, we need to pray not only for ourselves but for others.
We, as Christians, need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Paul was telling the people that believers should have unity in their commitment to Jesus and their use of spiritual gifts. We, as Christians, should have the highest moral standards and live lives worthy of the calling.
The purpose of Ephesians is to strengthen the believers and their Christian faith by explaining the nature and the purpose of the church. It was written to the church at Ephesus and to all believers everywhere. Paul wrote this Letter to the Ephesians about A.D. 60 from Rome during his imprisonment there.
He was telling them, back then, that “There is one body, and one spirit, just as you were called to one hope, when you were called, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, one God and Father of all and through all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Knowing all of these six short chapters, we all should be able to sing the spiritual song, “Victory is mine, victory is mine, I told Satan to get behind, because victory today is mine.”
Prayer: “Dear Father in heaven, thank you for providing our spiritual needs to withstand the attacks of Satan. Please cover us with the blood of Jesus and protect your people everywhere in the world. Help us to stand still and wait for your victory to come, which is only in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
The Rev. Adren Bivins Sr., a clergyman, is the founder of Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center Inc., a non-profit Bainbridge organization. He can be reached by calling (229) 726-8946 or (229) 416-0884.