Summary: Armor is useless unless it is put on!
BEING INVOLVED IN GOD’S PROTECTION
Do you seem to have more trouble now than when you WERE’NT a Christian? That’s because when you became a Christian, you gained an enemy! That’s right.....Satan doesn’t like it that you are trying to do what’s right for God and yourself. Satan is the destroyer and he is not happy that you are no longer trying to destroy your life...rather save it by losing it for Christ! I’ve said this before...if Satan is not attacking you, it’s because he already has you! And he is not going to curl up his tail and leave you alone because you came to Christ......he is still comitted to fouling up your life...to prove that Christianity doesn’t work....it’s a myth.....God’s word isn’t true.....and nothing REALLY happened to you whenever you were born-again!
Those are all lies of the enemy. Yes, you are going to come under attack...that’s a given! Matter of fact, James 1:2 says Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. But most of us find it really, really hard to have joy in the face of trials, don’t we? So then you may ask "what’s the benifit of being a Christian if I’m gonna have all these trials?"
I have good news for you. You don’t have to be a defenseless "victim" of Satan and his little demons that lie in wait for you. We need’nt be christian hypochondriacs always worrying about where the next attack will be. We already talked last week about fear not being of God and the fact that fear works in direct conflict with faith. The more faith you have, the less fear you will have. That is a fact! So let’s look at what protection means God has provided for us.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
1. WE MUST TAKE A PRO-ACTIVE STANCE
Many of us grew up not really understanding this. Even today we hear a lot of christians say "well, I guess we’ll just let God handle it!" Listen...God IS eventually gonna handle everything....but that doesn’t mean we are to just stand idly by! God has given us His armor...to use! If you were a soldier in Iraq right now, you could sit back and say "we have the most advanced weapons in the world. No one can come against us!" And then watch as the enemy infiltrates camp and you are the first to get picked off....all because you had your weapons, but didn’t use them! Just as the Army supplies our soldiers with everything they need for battle, so God provides everything christians need to fight against the attacks of the enemy. We MUST take an active part in our own protection.
When you put on the armor of God, you are really putting on Christ. Look at Romans 13:12] The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13] Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14] But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. ...and by putting on Christ, we take ourselves OUT of the fleshly realm where we are vulnerable, and we put ourselves UNDER the dominion of Christ....and Satan can’t stand anywhere around there! Remember...make no provision for the flesh
2. ARMOR YOU ALREADY HAVE PUT ON
Look at Eph 6:14, 15. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.