June 14, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I want you to notice something about the spiritual armor God has provided for His children to protect them as they engage in battle with the devil and his hordes. Although some of the armor pieces afford protection to the back of body parts, the general defense is for the front of the body! Read again the description in Ephesians 6:14-17:
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breast-
plate 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
While the belt of “truth”, the boots “of the gospel of peace”, and “the helmet of salvation” gives some protection to the rear of the body parts they are designed to fit, “the breastplate of righteousness” and “the shield of faith” only protect the front! So when Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:10 and 13 “to stand against the wiles of the devil…to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand,” he is only thinking of a soldier facing the enemy, not a soldier in retreat!
Jesus, more than once, faced the enemy head on, as when Satan three times on the Mount of Temptation tried to make Him fall (Luke 4:1-13). And Jesus is the One who goes before us to show us how it’s done! Peter faced the enemy head on when he confronted Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10: “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…?” (verse 3). When thus confronted, both of them fell over dead! Paul faced the enemy head on in Acts 13 when, on his first missionary journey with Barnabas in Cyprus, he met a sorcerer named Bar-Jesus. This sorcerer tried to oppose the gospel and turn the procounsel Sergius Paulus away from the faith. In verses 9 through 12 it says,
Then…Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full
of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness,
will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed,
the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for
a time. And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking
someone to lead him by the hand. Then the procounsel believed, when he
saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Again, in Acts 16 a possessed slave girl harassed the Apostle and Silas in Philippi:
And this did she for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to
the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And
he came out that very hour. (verse 18).
Many others in the Bible and through the centuries have stood and faced the battle with the enemy – the devil and his demons. When we examine in the next blog the first of two offensive weapons God has provided for us, we will see just what we are called to do in this close-quarters combat to which every believer is to be engaged. And if we learn how to fight the enemy, we will experience many more victories, both personally and – as the Body of Christ, the Church – corporately. And God’s kingdom will advance abundantly!