2019-11-26 Strap On That Armor, Soldier!

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,
that he might sift you like wheat,”
Luke 22:31

I have another message for someone. I’m not sure who it is. Maybe it’s for me. I woke from my sleep thinking about the Armor of God. I should make it a regular habit to armor up, but I don’t. So, let’s do it together today.

First, let’s make sure we understand the nature of the enemy and that we must be aware of these things.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Next, let’s understand that God will allow Satan to test us. That’s crystal clear in Job and with Peter, as we see in the opening verse. There is no reason to believe that God won’t allow the same with you and me. If we know this, it behooves us to be prepared, right? But, before we do that, let’s also keep in mind that God is in control. He authorized it. He knows the outcome. It is good. In fact, Jesus prayed for Peter.

v. 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

God didn’t leave Peter even though Peter left Jesus. Now, you might say that things got really bad for Peter, and they did, but God took all that and made Peter a great leader of the faith. The same with Job. God didn’t leave him, although Job certainly thought he did. No, God knew all along how things would turn out. And you know how things ALWAYS turn out for believers:

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Can we trust God on that? Good.

Now, let’s settle another thing, just in case you or I decide to go there. Testing may be very difficult. Is it unfair of God to allow Satan to take away all that we hold dear? Take away our livelihood, our friends and family, or our reputation? No, it’s not unfair. None of this is ours to begin with. It all belongs to God. Who are we to complain about things of this earth when we have such a great gift ahead of us? The creator of all things has granted us mercy with a promise of eternal life in a heaven in which there is no more sorrow, no more tears, no more sin. God is far more generous than we can imagine. So, what if he desires to take away that which we enjoy on earth! That’s his business. He may have reasons he will never share with us.

Can you settle yourself on that? Good.

Having said all that, God also provides us with protection against these onslaughts. Sure, there may be times that we seem destroyed, but our armor is far superior to anything the enemy has.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For our weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Divine power, friends. Satan isn’t divine. He and all the fallen angels are created beings. We have weapons from God. Think about that. Let’s also remember some good advice that even your parents taught you about trouble on the playground. Did you ever hear them say, “Just walk away”? God tells us the same thing.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Remember that. Somehow, God at times puts limitations on Satan that you and I can control. Often, it’s a matter of persistent resistance that will keep him away when he would otherwise mess with us. We don’t want him messing around even a little bit, so it is wise to resist him at every opportunity. Right?

Here’s another verse along the same lines. The best way to win a fight is to avoid one.

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

That’s a powerful, necessary prayer, if you ask me. Only the foolish would forget that one. Ok, so I’m foolish more than I care to admit, but you know as well as I do that this prayer would save us a lot of heartache. I shudder to think how much trouble I have experienced simply because I did not resist or pray.

Now, let’s get into the actual armor. I’m going to put this whole passage here.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil 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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

If you do these things, you will be PERFECTLY prepared for anything God allows to come your way. Anything.

Put on the armor of God, my friends, and stand firm. Avoid conflicts, but don’t run away. God has you covered; and no matter the battle, God will turn everything for your good. He is trustworthy and true. You can rely on him with your life.

One last thing. I don’t recommend you say to the devil, “Bring it on!” You have spiritual weapons, but taunting the devil seems extremely foolish to me. He’s not a cartoon character. He is the most evil thing ever created. We have no idea how much he hates us.

Father, may this message encourage someone in particular today. May it also encourage all the saints to be aware and trust their daily walk under your protection. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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