Summary: A message that explains the armor of God as found in EPHESIANS 6:10-20, and shows the individual what they have to do for protection, and how they have to do it. Audio, text, and communion message will be at www.sermonlist.com
Our teaching today will come from the book of EPHESIANS, chapter 6. You can turn there now and we will come back to it in a few moments.
But first, I want to tell you about a soldier who tearfully left his girlfriend back in the states as he shipped off to war in Iraq. Several months went by and all of a sudden, she quit writing him. And she didn’t reply to any of his letters asking if something was wrong.
He began to get more and more preoccupied with his worries until he finally received a letter from her. As he read it, his eyes filled with painful tears. It was a "Dear John" letter. In this letter, she asked him to send her picture back because she wanted to give it to another man.
After two days of moping, he did what most of us do in similar situations. He devised a plan to get her back! He went around and explained his plan to all his buddies, and asked them for pictures of their girlfriends. When he had about 40 pictures, he put them in a box along with her picture. He wrote a letter and put it in the box before he mailed it to her.
As she opened the box, she saw the pictures with a letter lying on top of them. As she read the letter, her spirit of happiness over this new found love turned to one of anger and humiliation, just as the soldier had planned. This is what the letter said: "Please take your picture, and return the rest --- I have tried, but for the life of me, I just can’t remember which one you are!"
In that situation, the solder’s heart was vulnerable, and he saw the need to guard it, and like most of us do, his first choice was to strike out and "get even."
Today, I want to talk to you about war. And how we need to protect ourselves from the onslaught of our enemy.
It seems that every generation has its own war, doesn’t it? And our great nation has had more than its share of wars, too. The first war we had was to fight for our own independence; to fight so that we could win the right to govern ourselves; to make our own national decisions and to have that precious freedom to worship the way we choose to worship, not the way somebody else tells us to worship.
And make no mistake about it; there was no way we could have these freedoms today had we not gone to war and fought for them yesterday.
The war I want to talk about today is a different kind of war. It is not like the physical wars America has fought. It is a very personal war that each one of us fights every day of our lives.
We do not actually see this war, but we can see the results of this war, because this war is a spiritual war. It takes place in the spiritual realm. That is where Satan does his best to overthrow Jesus Christ and takes His position on the Throne of Glory.
And every one of us are soldiers in that war. To be an effective soldier, we must first know who the enemy is. We must then understand what the enemy wants to take from us, so we will know how to defend ourselves. And once we understand all of this, we must put on our armor of protection; our battlefield uniforms.
The Apostle Paul tells us about this war. Let’s go back to our main text in EPHESIANS. Paul finished chapter 5 by telling people to treat their slaves with mercy, for they both have the same ultimate Master in Heaven. And then he goes into -
EPHESIANS 6:10-12 [NIV]
‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’
‘For 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.’
And in verse 13, Paul begins to give us details on how we can best defend ourselves.
‘Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground ….’
There is an old saying that says we cannot be aware of ore than we have been taught. So, with that in mind, let’s learn some things about this spiritual war.
1. THERE IS AN INVISIBLE WORLD
Not long ago, Diana and I stayed up a little later than normal and watched a movie on TV. It was one of those movies that seemed to capture our full attention while we watched, but the next morning, neither one of could remember what it was about. We have all done that, haven’t we?