Summary: As Christians, we will engage in battle with the enemy. Actively taking up faith, assurance, and the Word of God are the keys to being victorious in the battle.
1. The first key to victory is standing armored through the battle (6:16)
2. The second key to victory is standing assured through the battle (6:17a)
3. The third key to victory is standing armed through the battle (6:17b)
A story is told about a man who was really down on his luck. It seemed that no matter what he tried, nothing worked out for him. He tried starting a business, but that didn’t work. He tried investing, but the market crashed. He tried real estate, but he lost his shirt. He had the opposite of the Midas touch. Even if he would have had gold to touch, it would have probably turned to lead. It eventually got to the point that he was completely broke. He was broke, but he still had friends. And his friends knew they needed to help him. They knew he was a very proud person, so he wouldn’t accept their charity. But they had to do something. So, here’s what they decided to do. They decided to make up a raffle. Here were the rules they told him: They told him they would all draw numbered slips of paper from a hat. Whoever drew the number 4 would win $1000. Then without him knowing, they put the number 4 on every slip of paper. What a plan! Their friend would get the money he needed and wouldn’t feel like he was a charity case. They would have done a good deed and his pride wouldn’t be offended. Well, the day came for the raffle. Each of the friends drew a number, looked at it, and wadded it up like a good loser should. Then they waited for their friend to announce he had the winning number. But he didn’t. The silence was deafening. Finally, they asked him what his number was. He held it up so they all could see. 6 7/8—he had drawn the tag that showed the hat-size. If I believed in luck, I’d say that man didn’t have any. But I don’t really believe in luck, do you? I tend to agree with the first century Roman philosopher Seneca. He said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Imagine the soldier heading out to the battlefield and his commander telling him, “good luck.” That probably happens, but what does the commander mean when he says that? Do you think he believes that pure luck will win the battle? “Sorry son, the only thing you have going for you in this battle is pure chance and luck.” If he really believed that way, what were all the months and years of training and exercises for? When he says, “Good luck,” he really means, “Remember your training. Remember all the preparation you’ve made up to this point.” When the soldier faces the enemy on the battlefield, he brings all his training to bear on the situation at hand. It’s true that the battle never goes exactly as planned. But since his life has been completely dedicated to training and preparation, he is able to adapt and overcome any problems that face him. He is able to use all the weapons available to him. He doesn’t even have to think twice about how and when to use them. His training and preparation enable him to take up the weapons he’s held at the ready and lethally use them. And because of the way he’s prepared to use his weapons, he is victorious. A few weeks ago, we started to look at what happened after Paul commanded his readers to take up the whole armor of God. He began to list each piece. In verses 14-15, we looked at the first three pieces—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and cleats of the gospel of peace. We saw how those three pieces of armor were worn constantly. Whether the soldier was in the battle or not, he stood ready by wearing those three pieces. The three pieces we’re looking at this morning were not constantly worn by the soldier. Instead, they were always carried at the ready. They were carried at the ready and specifically brought out during the battle with the enemy. See, the soldier always stood ready for the battle. But there were times the battle wasn’t going on. During those times, he carried the pieces we’re talking about this morning at the ready. Many times he would attach them to his belt. But when the battle ensued, he wore them. Before the battle came, he had trained so extensively to wear them that, when the battle ensued, it was second nature. These final three pieces are always held at the ready and specifically taken up to achieve victory during the battle. As Christians, we will engage in battle with the enemy. When the battle ensues, will we be victorious? That’s what I want for us this morning. I want each of us to achieve victory in all of our spiritual battles with the enemy. In order to be able to do that, we’re going to look at three keys to achieving battle victory over our enemy. The first key to victory is standing armored through the battle. Look with me in verse 16: