Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Armored For War

Armored For War
(The Battle for Your Soul)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1Pe:5:8

I am grieved when I hear anyone say that "Jesus did it all for me so I don't have to do anything now, but just believe in Him." Excuse me, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Jas:2:19 So, all the devils have to do is believe also. Not good company to keep. Breaking news folks, you are in a battle for your very soul! That is the truth! And I will give you another truth: You don't spend enough time in the Word of God to care to know the Truth!

Are we truly prepared for war, Saints of God; The daily war against the wiles of the devil, the protracted war in the spirit, the ultimate battle for your soul? Satan wanted Jesus to turn from God in Matthew chapter 4. Satan wanted to lord it over Jesus. Satan still wants to be like God. Satan wants God's elect to turn away as well and he is pouring in the rounds to get us to quit the Good Fight! Either by complacency or willful sin, he will stop at nothing to distract, deceive and destroy the Saints, the Elect, if that be possible, (M'r:13:22).

Are we fighting against Satan and being victorious? Well, soldiers of Christ, the time has come for us to check out our gear and provisions. Let's take a break between incoming rounds to go down the checklist and see if we're up to this "fight" of Faith (1Tm:6:12) And if your armor is on, leave it on.
Shall we.....

THE RULES:
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. Eph:6:12

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2Tm:2:3-4
OUR EQUIPMENT (THE ARMOR):
IT'S PRIMARY PURPOSE:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph:6:11 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. Eph:6:13

WEAPONS CHECK:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds;) 2Cor:10:4

THE CHECKLIST:
TRUTH
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, Eph:6:14
The Truth is what will stop Satan in his tracks, get him out of your ear and make him change his tactics, put him on the defensive. Jesus calls Himself the Truth and since He is in us, we can stand the test. Read Matt 4:1-10 of Jesus' experience in the wilderness. Our Pastors have no truth today do they. Nor do their blind charges. They are tossed by the wind to and fro and double minded (Jas:1:8). We are instructed not to be as these in Eph:4:14. No Truth, and we are easily deceived. We believe the lies, we are weakened and confused. The poison of deception seeps through the cracks and put us into a sleep of death. No freedom there. No victory. Speak the Truth against your adversary in whatever form he comes at you. We LIVE by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and if that be so, the Lie cannot prevail. If Jesus IS the Truth and He lives in you, as you, and you as Him, you're off to a great start.

THE BREASTPLATE
...and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph:6:14
Righteousness is "rightness" as Christ is righteous. It is given to us when we are born again into the image of Christ (Ro:4:24). We live clean and pure in meekness and humility. Not involving ourselves in the works of darkness, and being not OF this world. (Joh:17:14 - Joh:17:16 - 1Co:2:12 - 2Co:6:14 - 1Pe:2:9 - 1Jo:2:15-16)
Though righteousness be imputed to us we are obligated by obedience to God's command to bear the good fruits of His Spirit and not shipwreck our faith (1Tm:1:19). There is no eternal security in sin implied in this passage! Sin of any kind after conversion will destroy us! So many professed followers of Jesus Christ live as the world don't they. They retain the same passions and interests, goals and games. Without the Breastplate of Righteousness, one's heart is defenseless and is clearly exposed to the enemy. One swift stroke and the heart is deceived, darkened, hardened, defiled, lost to sin. 1Jo:2:29: If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. If Jesus Christ lives in you, and you are obeying His commands, your breastplate is secure.

FOOTGEAR
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Eph:6:15
It is a powerful allegory! The Gospel of peace is reconciliation through repentance and forgiveness. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Ro:10:15 And: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Isa:52:7. Our feet carry us out into the World we live in, to bear witness to Christ and spread the Truth of Salvation. It brings peace where it is heard and accepted. It also brings reproach from those who reject the Truth (Matt 10:22). Are we laced up and going forth or are we like the barefoot, lazy Church of today, spreading a false gospel of user-friendly ease, worldly prosperity and counterfeit light. If we are laced up and bearing witness to the real Christ, we're doing fine along the Way.

SHIELD
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph:6:16
Note well, the scripture says the darts of the "wicked", not just the wicked one (Satan). Also note "all" the darts! NOT just a few! The spirit of antichrist embodies men and women and the attacks come to us through the physical world as well as our "thought" (spirit) world. The shield is the first line of defense! It is held out before the rest of the armor. Heb:11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Your faith is your belief in Jesus and His power to save and protect, your belief that His Truth will prevail and you along with it. Faith is not a faulty thing, manufactured by man, it is a gift of God (Eph:2:8) Faith makes us strong, steadfast and immovable! That is why we are exhorted to "hold fast" to it (Heb:10:23) lest we let it slip away and pay for it (Re:3:3). Our faith moves mountains and turns back the waves of attacks meant to distract us, lower our defenses and strike us down in defeat. Without this mighty shield before us, we are exposed to the brunt of the attack. Faith is moveable as a shield is. We place it against the direction of the hammer blows of Satan and the World and they are turned aside. But only if we haven't forgotten how to use it. Is the faith of today's Church unseen and working in the spirit realms out into the physical realm? I say no. Their "faith" is of the carnal realm, what they can understand with the five senses and includes a false faith produced by the smooth pabulum of instant salvation and the reward of Heaven despite the sins they commit "following" Christ. Faith today is based on a belief in one's self, not God. If your Faith is in Jesus Christ totally and you are striving to live sinless and pure before God and men, your shield is in good working order.

HELMET
And take the helmet of salvation, Eph:6:17
The helmet covers the head. The head is where it all begins, where the commands come and go. The head gives the orders! The renewing of the mind is paramount to victorious living in Christ, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Ro:12:2 Four out of the five senses are located on the head. The ears are located there and we all know Ro:10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The eyes are located there and when we see only Christ and His Way, we possess a single eye: M't:6:22: The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. And the mouth! What can we say. Col:4:6: Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Warnings! about the "tongue" : (Jas:1:26 - Jas:3:5-6 - Jas:3:8 - 1Pe:3:10) How about (Ti:2:8)
So, when we are saved, converted, changed into the image of Christ, this Salvation covers like a helmet guarding our Headquarters against the noise of the world, causing our "output" to be Godly, reserved and pure. The sensual sights and sounds try to get in to pollute our minds and thus cause the mind to be used to generate sinful thoughts and then cause us to act upon them with the members of our bodies. ...But to no avail if the helmet is firmly in place. Ro:6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. The orders which go forth from the head protected by the helmet are righteous, the eyes stay fixed on Jesus, the ears are deafened to the allures of the worldly voices, the sirens of sin. The mouth speaks as one whose emotions and passions are under control, subdued, sweetly seasoned, with meekness and respect. Where are the helmets of the professing Church goers today who blend in like chameleons with the wicked world around them? What's wrong with their salvation message? If you have been truly given the merciful gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ and you are not compromising in any way, your helmet is properly guarding your Headquarters.

SWORD
...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Eph:6:17
We all know : For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb:4:12 Before we start swinging away in some mystical dream of real combat we must read the next verse of Ephesians chapter 6, following verse 17: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Eph:6:18. Did we get the word "for" here? We are defending each other also. The Word discerns not only the intents of one's own heart but those of others!
Remember that the shield and breastplate, the helmet and belt do well in protecting us from the fiery darts and wiles of the enemy but the Word of God, our sword, is used to really reach out and touch someone, friend and foe alike! We must be careful to use this in a Godly manner, meekly blessing as we go with it. We must also remember that this Word of God is a most deadly weapon against those satanic spirits who embody those who plot to destroy us and the spirits themselves that come against us in the long cold watches of the night, in our own thoughts. Our own new Life is being thrust forth with this sword since we are in Christ and He is in us! The Word of God IS creation power (2Pe:3:5-7)...and able to destroy! Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. M't:24:35 Jesus speaks TRUTH. The Word IS Truth which will never pass away from God's creation. The Truth is ALIVE! This is awesome, frightful, glorious power here Saints.
Today's church-goers know pitifully little of the Word of God. So how can they defeat anything? They are already defeated themselves, sadly. Today's Wolves in shepherds clothing have them believing they need only what the church gives them along with their false grace messages, eternal security in sin, prosperity and the like. There is no need for personal search of the scriptures, pastor Wolf has all the answers. Lazy sheep have become cash cows, sleepy hosts of the parasites embodying angels of dark light. The armor of the sheep lies in pieces, scattered and forgotten. Their swords rust on the ground, useless, impotent. Their desire for the Truth and the Word has all but drained away like water into the sand. And their leaders? While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2Pe:2:19 No armor, no defense against the lies, only bondage, no real freedom, and certain spiritual death. If you love the Word of God and it lives in you and is spoken through you and the Love which is in Christ abounds in your heart (Ro:5:5), your prayers are heard by God. Your sword is sharp and true, stained with the blood of righteous battle for Truth. And strongholds fall like houses of cards before the wind!
Checklist complete.

If one piece of our spiritual Armor is missing, we can be assured of deep
and possibly MORTAL wounds by the enemy!
.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armour of light. Ro:13:12

Check your spiritual gear at all times Saints. Never lay any of it aside especially after a victory over temptation to sin or after you've calmly beaten off an attack by those who despise and revile you for Christ! Don't take any of the armor off and don't park your sword and shield beside a tree and think to relax and bask in the victory. That is when the enemy will hit all the harder! Take heed lest you fall (1Co:10:12)! A cunning foe waits until the defenses are weakened or down completely before they strike. This is war according to the Bible. Act accordingly and be sober, vigilant and awake.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Ro:13:14

YOU are the one called to be shielded and armed, equipped to fight the battle. Why should we never fail to keep our armor on at all times? Because the Gates of Hell are coming against us constantly because of our Faith. And too many of us fail to understand our enemy's persistence and subtleties. We must respect his power to destroy and be vigilant (1Pe:5:8) and do combat righteously. ON OUR KNEES! And by our words and actions!

How hard is it to keep on the narrow way? Remember what Peter said :
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1Pe:4:18

May God bless and keep you in His Way. And get that shield up! ...that's better.
Now keep to the Road Saints! Amen.

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