The Armor of God
When you think of “armor” do you think of shiny knights wearing armor and fighting dragons to protect their castles in a long-ago time and a faraway land? Well, I am here to tell you that the Bible says that you, living today in the here and now, need armor to protect yourselves from the enemies around you. Believe it or not, you are in a spiritual battle every day of your life. It may not seem like it, but you are. But there is good news. If you have trusted Jesus to save you from your sins, then you are already on the winning side … God’s side!
Sadly, our enemies will try to keep you and me from being victorious and living our lives as God intended. These seven lessons will help you know what to do so that you can win the battle and live a life that is pleasing to God. You need to equip yourself for battle and put on the Armor of God. How do you and I do that? Well, the first thing we need to do is know our enemies.
1st ENEMY SATAN
Satan is an angel. His name was Lucifer (Light Bearer) when God created him. He became prideful and wanted to take God’s place of authority because he thought he was better than God … imagine that! One-third of all the angels in heaven rebelled with Lucifer and God kicked them all out of heaven. Ever since then Lucifer (now called Satan or the devil) has tried to take God’s place in the lives of people on earth. He will stop at nothing to keep you from God.
The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Satan is your enemy. He roams about like a hungry lion looking to destroy you and to keep you from having the life God wants you to have.
2nd ENEMY THE WORLD
Satan uses many things in the world around you and me to try to influence us to live apart from God … to live a life that isn’t God’s best for us. Satan uses things like the entertainment industry (movies, music, books, the internet, etc.) to sneak his ungodly messages into your mind and heart. He can even use some of your friends and some of your teachers to tell you the wrong things. He is very tricky. He makes his lies seem like the truth and tries to make you think that following them won’t hurt you and that you’ll be better off living his way. Wrong! Again, Satan will stop at nothing to keep you from God.
The Bible says a lot about following God’s ways to become more like Jesus … and not following the ungodly ways of Satan in the world around us. Check out 1 John 2:15-17 and Romans 12:2.
3rd ENEMY THE FLESH
When Adam and Eve, the very first people, disobeyed God’s one and only rule for them, they became sinners. They passed this sinful nature down to every person born after them. Now, from the time we are born until the time we die, every single person has a “want” to do things that God says we shouldn’t do. This is called sin. This is a very challenging enemy because our sinful nature (also called “the flesh”) is always with us. BUT if you have asked Jesus Christ to forgive you of the wrong things you have done and asked Him to come into your life, then the Holy Spirit now lives inside you and God also gave you a “New Nature”. The New Nature is a new “want” to do things God’s way. The sinful nature still wants control of your life and fights with the new nature for control. This is a constant battle BUT it is a battle that you can win because the Holy Spirit gives you the power you need to say “no” to the sinful nature and “yes” to the new nature God gave you.
When you say “yes” to the new nature and live as God wants you to live by reading and obeying your Bible, praying, and going to church, then your life will be filled with many good things: love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humility), and temperance (self-control) (Galatians 5:22-23). BUT … you let the enemy win the battle when you give in to the old sinful nature and spend your time doing other things like watching worldly movies, playing violent games, and listening to non-Christian music. When you let the enemy win, then your life will not be the best life that God has for you to live. (Galatians 5:16-25)
Who is winning in your life? Is it Satan, the world, your flesh … or God? Keep reading to learn how to prepare yourself to win the battle and live for God every day.
As a Christian, you have the power to win the battle. God tells us about the power promised to you and me in many places in the Bible. Ephesians 6:10-11 is just one of these places:
Your power comes from God. You can always trust Him to give you the strength you need when you need it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can do this alone. You must rely on God every day and in every situation. Trust Him!
In the next verse, God reminds us that we are fighting against Satan and the sinful elements of the world around 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 (schemes) of the devil.
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.
It may seem sometimes that we are fighting with the people around us. But these verses clearly tell us that our true fight isn’t against the people and things that we can see but instead against those we can’t see … Satan and his workers (demons). So the people that make fun of you or bully you for being a Christian are not your real enemies. These people have actually been deceived by Satan and they don’t really know what they are doing. Remember, your real enemy is Satan and his demons. And, although we cannot see them, the Bible tells us that they are very active and they work through the people and world around you and me trying to destroy the work of God.
BUT the very next verse tells us what we can do to win against our enemies:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In order to stand firm and fight against our enemies (Satan, the world, and our flesh), you and I must put on the full armor of God. To stand means to be strong in God’s Truth and fight for what is true and good. Full means all of the armor and not just part of it. Because each piece of the Armor of God is essential to our victory, we will spend the next 6 lessons looking at what God says about each piece. He is a good God, and He gives us all we need to win the battle and live a victorious life. I am very thankful for that! Are you?