There was a time when I first began serving God that I thought it was impossible to experience freedom in certain areas of my life. Week after week I’d turn to the altar for forgiveness because I fell for “the schemes of the enemy.” I knew that God said I was more than a conquer and greater is He in us than he that is in the world but I had only known defeat.
In order to withstand the enemy and resist him we must put on the “whole armor of God.” Partial armor is no different than putting on no armor. We are incapable of resisting the enemy on our own because he targets our carnal nature. Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 “…For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Will-power is not enough to overcome the schemes of the devil.
If you have been losing the battle in some area of life and have given up trying to win, it’s time to armor up! If the enemy has convinced you that you cannot win, know that he is attempting to deflate your faith. God says that you are “more than a conqueror through him who loved us” Romans 8:37.
Paul illustrated five attributes needed to resist the enemy.
#1 A life of character. (The belt of truth) v.14 This is a call to live without hypocrisy. Be genuine. You are going to stumble but Proverbs 24:6 says, “The righteous falls seven times and gets back up.”
#2 Guard your heart. (The breastplate of righteousness) v.14 The breastplate protects your most vital organ, your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else guard your heart.” What we allow into our heart influences our entire being.
#3 Be secure in Christ. (Shoes readied with the gospel of peace) v.15 Here the word “peace” is synonymous with salvation. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. The enemy will attack your position in Christ and use condemnation to separate you from God. Remember “ there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
#4 Trust in God’s promises. (Shield of faith) v.16 Faith is our shield. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert he quoted scripture to defend Himself. God’s word is our ultimate shield and is able to put out the fiery darts of the enemy.
#5 Commitment to the Word. (Helmet of salvation/Sword of the spirit) v.17 The sword of the spirit is the word of God. Just as the breastplate protects our heart, the helmet protects our mind. Our mind must be filled with God’s word and in doing so we leave no room for the enemy to inject his thoughts.
Make a daily commitment to armor up and be equipped to effectively resist the enemy when he attacks. You are stronger in Christ!