Ready for battle!
By Barry McKechnie
We are in a battle on a daily basis right, individually and as a church?
So, when we are under attack, the reaction and the thing to do is to go into battle.
How do you feel when you go into battle? Afraid? The bible tells us…….
2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Romans 12: 2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
So, how do we prepare for battle?
Put on the full armour of God!
The armour of God is described in Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage we are told that our primary battles are of a spiritual nature and that we need spiritual armour to be able to stand firm in the midst of these battles. The armour includes the following pieces:
The belt of truth; A belt holds the other pieces of clothing and armour together. It secures the outfit and allows a soldier to move freely. Truth both secures us and gives us freedom (John 8:32)
The breastplate of righteousness; The breastplate of righteousness covers our hearts and other vital organs. In a sense, the breastplate covers the most vulnerable areas of a warrior. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
Footwear of the readiness of the gospel; Because we know the good news of Christ and by that knowledge experience peace in Him (John 14:27), our feet are willing to move. In obedience to Christ, we will flee temptations (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22) and walk into whatever He has called us to (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 30:21; John 15:10).
The shield of faith; The shield of faith is used to "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16). When Satan attacks us, our faith in Christ lessens the blow. We are able to withstand the attack because we know whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).
The helmet of salvation; A helmet protects the brain, basically our minds. It is because of salvation that our minds can be sound. We are assured of our eternities, and made righteous recipients of peace, practitioners of faith, and knowers of truth.
The sword of the spirit; The sword is the one offensive weapon in the list. We are told, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12)
Prayer is an often-forgotten part of the armour of God, but is essential to using the armour of God well. Prayer is the way we draw strength from God and rely on Him. In essence, it is what "activates" the armour. Apart from God, and reliance on Him through prayer, our efforts in spiritual battle are ultimately futile. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "pray without ceasing."
In Ephesians 6, Paul conveys the belt, breastplate, and shoes as a spiritual uniform that should be worn by believers at all times. Minute by minute. Day by day. But the shield of faith, he commands for it to be “taken up.”
A nurse wears scrubs every day to work because it is their uniform. But when the need arises, they will pick up a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, or any other number of tools to use on their patient. Likewise, we must always wear our daily, divinely given uniform, but also be prepared to “take up” the others when required.
We are all soldiers of Christ, let’s be bold, go forward and win souls for him.