Preparing for battle…

PREPARING FOR BATTLE…
a very necessary, often hurtful, scary, overbearing, howbeit important part of our training for EVERY believer in order to build our faith and reliance upon Jesus Christ in the Spirit and in Truth (the Word)!

God’s will for us

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 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 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.

“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. Stand therefore, 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; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints….”  Ephesians 6:10-18

What is the Armor of God?

God’s armor brings victory because it is far more than a protective covering. It is the very life of Jesus Christ Himself.

“Put on the armor,” wrote Paul in his letter to the Romans, “…clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:12-14)

When you do, He becomes your hiding place and your shelter in the storm — just as He was to David. Hidden in Him, you can count on His victory, for He not only covers you as a shield, He also fills you with His life.

“I am the vine; you are the branches,” said Jesus. “If a man abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Since living in the safety of the armor means oneness with Jesus, we can expect to share His struggles as well as His peace. Remember, God offers us His victory in the midst of trouble — not the absence pain.

So “do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ…” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Committed Christians who face torture for their faith continue to testify to the supernatural strength–even joy–that enables them to endure unthinkable pain. They affirm with Paul–

“that in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers…. will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

This wonderful truth has become reality to all who believe and follow Jesus. When you put on His armor, His life surrounds you and keeps you safe in Him. He is your precious friend, and you are His! So “put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) He is your victory!

How do I “put on” God’s Armor?

This life in Christ begins with knowing and trusting each part of the armor. The first part is TRUTH — God’s revelation of all that He is to us, all that He has done for us, and all that He promises to do for us in the days ahead. This wonderful, everlasting TRUTH is written in the Bible, revealed by the Holy Spirit, and realized through Jesus Christ.

It cuts through all the world’s distortions, deceptions, and compromises. When you study, memorize, live, and follow TRUTH, He enables you to
see the world from God’s high vantage point. For He is the Truth! Putting on the first piece of the armor means feeding on truth through daily Bible reading and making it part of yourself.

http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/Armor.htm

God’s Armor

Know the Truth about…

Affirm key Scriptures

Belt of TRUTH

God: the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit

I am the
Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Deut. 4:39; Psalm 23:1; 18:1-3

Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS

The holy and perfect righteousness of Jesus in those who are “born again” and filled with His Spirit

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) Psalm 100:3; Rom. 3:23-24, 6:23; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:8-10.

Sandals of PEACE

Inner peace and readiness

“For He Himself is our peace…” (Eph. 2:14-15)

Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14; John 14:27, 16:33, 20:21.

Shield of FAITH

Living by faith

“I am crucified with Christ:…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God….” (Gal. 2:20) Rom. 4:18-21; Heb. 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:6-7

Helmet of SALVATION

Salvation through Christ today and forever

“Nor is there salvation in any other…”(Acts 4:12)
Each day: Ps. 16, 23; Heb. 1:3-6

For eternity: 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 John 3:1-3

The victorious Sword of the spirit: GOD’S WORD

God’s Word countering spiritual deception and accusations

“…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory….” (John 1:14) Heb. 4:12; Matt. 4:2-11; 1 Pet. 3:15; Ps. 119:110-112

To put on the “full armor”–and enjoy a daily and eternal love-relationship with Jesus Christ, thank Him for what He has shown you in His Word. Know the Scriptures behind your prayer so that your words and faith are grounded in the authority of the Bible. (Some of those verses are listed in the chart above.) Then pray through each piece. You can use the following prayer as an outline:

  • The belt of truth:
    Thank you, my Lord, for showing me the TRUTH about Yourself, Your plans and Your ways. Thank You for reminding me that You are the only God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the King of the universe, my Father who loves me, and my
    Shepherd who leads me. You are my wisdom, my counselor, my hope, and my strength. You are everything I need each day!

  • The breastplate of righteousness:
    Thank You for showing me the truth about myself — that on my own I could never be good enough to live in your presence. Thank you for taking my sins to the cross and offering me your perfect, RIGHTEOUS life.  Lord, show me any sin that I need to confess right now, so that nothing will hinder me from being filled to overflowing with your Spirit. [Take time for confession] Thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with your RIGHTEOUS life.

  • The sandals of peace:
    Thank you for the peace you give me when I trust and follow you. Show me how to help others find that PEACE.

  • The shield of faith: Thank you for helping me have FAITH in you. I choose to count on everything you have shown me about yourself — and everything you have promised me in your Word.
  • The helmet of salvation: Thank you for promising me SALVATION both for today’s battles and for all eternity.
  • The sword of the spirit, the Word of God:
    Thank you for the scriptures you have given me to memorize. Please show me which  you want me to use to cut through deceptions and gain your victory in any battle I may face today.

God’s Armor clashes with the world system

Remember: “…the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

EACH PIECE

CHRISTIAN PARADIGM

GLOBAL PARADIGM

Put on:

Know and affirm:

Recognize and resist:

Belt of TRUTH His sovereignty, love, wisdom, and holiness. (Deut. 4:39; Ps. 18:1-3) Pantheistic, monistic, polytheistic gods and goddesses.
Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS Jesus Christ and His blood, which cleanses us from sin. The cross which frees us from bondage to selfish nature. The natural goodness, connectedness, and sacredness of all life.
Sandals of PEACE Our peace through our union and ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ. Peace through occult practices and union with a cosmic force or nature spirits.
Shield of FAITH Our continual trust in God, His Word, and His promises. Trust in Self, inner wisdom, dreams, visions, gods, goddess, cosmic force, coincidences, etc.
Helmet of SALVATION God’s promises of daily and eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. Evolving spiritually by growing in consciousness staying tuned to the cosmic mind.
Sword of the Spirit His WORD The power of God’s Word to counter deception and triumph over spiritual foes. The power of thoughts, words and affirmations to change reality and direct spiritual forces.

I know for me and possibly for many of you as well this past year has grown increasingly tiring and trying; and truly I think I’d have to say it is the absolute worst year of my life.

I listen to a very good message today about the absolute necessity of our clothing ourselves in the Battle Armor provided us in Jesus Christ; and by so doing we are in fact clothing ourselves in Christ Himself.

The point was made that in today’s modern warfare our soldiers are required to carry all there necessities, their battle gear, on their backs all the time, and it weighs upwards between 60 and 80 pounds.

Their battle gear includes such things as:
A weapon or weapons, ammunition, weapon cleaning kit, 1st aid kit, gas mask, a blanket, helmet, a few days rations, comfort rations (razor with blades, toothbrush & paste, soap, foot powder, gum and candy), often a change of socks, mess kit, poncho, canteen with cup, water purification tablets, bayonet, and entrenching tool just to list most items issued.

No soldier would ever go into battle without the necessities provided to him for his survival, because you can’t all the sudden in the middle of a firefight call for a timeout because you forgot your ammo, or your weapon; and yet Christians do this all the time… myself included!

How often are we facing situations and battles, which the Bible says clearly are spiritual in both nature and origin, and yet we are fighting with only carnal weapons, according to our resources and abilities, against much more powerful forces?

The truth is we are out matched and gunned going out the door, unless we are clothed in and with the POWER provided for us in Christ!

The point was also made how when God sent Moses to go and confront pharaoh, telling him to “Let my people go,” one of the signs he was to demonstrate to pharaoh was to throw his walking staff on the ground and have it turn into a snake.

What God didn’t tell Moses was that pharaoh’s people would be able to do the same thing, only they threw down three staffs, that generated three serpents; but in the end ALL three were swallowed up by the first serpent that God generated.

Think about that for a minute, in how we try and take a stand on God’s Word, in faith and obedience to His Word, and as soon as we do all hell is unleashed and breaks loose against us. In Moses case it was three to one; and often in our battles the odds are just as bad, or worse. Folks, this is a test of our faith and our tenaciousness, in whether we will bear up and remain resilient and strong in the Spirit, or whether we will crumple in a pile on the floor and give up.

Remember the words that our Lord gave to Peter:

Luke 22:31-32

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Notice how He didn’t say anything about preventing this test, but only that He would pray that His faith would not fail.

The same goes for the three Hebrew children, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, where God didn’t keep them from the fire, but met them and walked with them through it.

So how are we doing today? How is your battle faring?

For me, personally, this message is as much for me as it is for any of you.

Shalom,

Skip Barland

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3 Responses to Preparing for battle…

  1. francis says:

    The brethren of The Messiah are but “aliens and pilgrims while the earth” for their “citizenship is in Heaven”!

    So it is that they are exhorted to:

    “Love Not The World”

    ”For the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one”…….(I John 5:19)

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)

    “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)

    “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

    “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

    The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

    John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)

    “Come Out of her, MY people”!

    Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease(no-peace),,etc,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” all of which fuel the fires of mankind’s “imag”ination ;-(

    “Come out from among them and be separate”!

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it’s systems of religion, for “the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one” indeed and Truth……

    Truth IS, a lie never was and is not…….

    Abide in Truth……. francis

  2. francis says:

    And i thank Our Father.

    For it is not often that i receive a favorable comment.

    Father Help! and HE does…….

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