We often have battles in life that can be overwhelming. I tend to be a very emotional person and as a result I end up fighing my situation AND my emotions just so that I can have a clear mind. Many battles are internal. Recently one of my mentees was having a hard time and asking for advice on her struggle. She was dealing with feeling alone and didn’t know what to do because she didn’t feel God’s presence. (Side note: The thing that people tend to miss about NOT going to heaven and intead going to hell, is that they won’t have the presence of God. Fire, pitch forks, whatever has no comparison to being with out the presence of God. One of the victories in making it to heaven is being able to be WITH the Lord, His peace, His love, and His joy.)
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you don’t feel God’s presence, it could mean different things. For some it might mean that they’ve fallen astray from God’s will in their life. For others it might mean they are being pushed to go deeper with God. For some it might mean they are just under serious attack from the enemy. There could be different things that make a person feel like God isn’t here. I put emphasis on feel because the Word of God says that He truly never leaves or forsakes us. We have to remember that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience and that physical experience can sometimes distract us from the spiritual things going on around us.
As my mentee was talking God told me go to Ephesians 6 and focus on the armor of God. Sometimes we forget that we can fight back. As I was talking to her, God began to minister to me. When under attack we feel weak. It’s uncomfortable and our minds begin to wonder. We begin to question things and sometimes even question God. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions but especially when you are at war, the source of your answers are life and death.
In Ephesians 6,God says to be strong in the Lord and to put on the whole armor of God. God never tells us to do something unless he has a reason. In this verse he tells. If we want to be strong in the Lord, we need to put on the armor of God. I think the order God gives us the armor is important and there is a reason he placed this armor in that order.
The belt of Truth: How will we know whose side we are on if we don’t have the truth. For example I’ve battled with anxiety for a while. I eventually accepted it as part of my identity, but the word of God says to NOT be anxious in Philipians 4. The Truth is anxiety is not of God and in order for me to defeat whatever battle is going on in my life; I need to know that anxiety is not what God wants for me. (It’s such a blessing to serve a God that doesn’t want you to be anxious…. ) What is the Bible saying about your situation? Often times once I accept the truth that I can get rid of anxiety, my problems usually aren’t problems anymore. It was all the lies of anxiety.
The breastplate of righteousness: This to me is making a choice. In Romans 6 the Bible talks about how obedience leads to righteousness. Once we know the truth we can choose who we will obey. I can obey anxiety which tells me to worry and stress out or I can obey God that tells me to NOT be anxious. Once we know what to do, we have a choice to do it….. If we say that we want righteousness as our armor we have to obey the Truth of God.
The Gospel of Peace on our feet: Where you walk determines your peace. In Isaiah 26, God says that if we keep our eyes, our mind on Him then He will keep us in perfect peace. After we know the truth and choose it, it’s important to hold on to the Word of God. Distraction is both tempting and easy when we are at war, but when you hold onto Jesus there is promise of peace no matter what. It takes effort to focus and to remain focused. We have to ask where our focus is when we are in battle.
The shield of Faith: Knowing the truth, choosing to obey, and focusing on God usually leads to one thing…. Faith! Faith comes by hearing (The Truth) and hearing the Word of God ( The Gospel). But we must remember once we get that faith it takes works to bring it life. We can’t have victory in God if we don’t have faith in Him. Faith isn’t what we always see, but it takes trust…… Do you trust God? There is a protection we obtain from the attacks of the enemy when we have faith. The Bible says that faith protects us from the fiery darts from the enemy. When I think about darts I think about an air attack in which you don’t always know where it’s coming from. Faith protects us from the unknown attacks.
The Helmet of Salvation: Many people don’t get to experience true salvation. Salvation is deliverance. It means the victory that we have been fighting for. I think not only the order makes a difference in the armor of God, but the positioning of each piece of armor makes a difference as well. The Bible says to renew our mind DAILY. Salvation, deliverance, the mindset of Christ should be put on every day in order to win battles. Knowing that you are a child of God is key to continueing in victory. There is no coincidence that God tells us to have the mind of Christ, that the savior of the world is Christ, and that the salvation portion of our armor is covering our minds….. Our thoughts do make a difference in this walk.
The Sword of the Spirit : I think this is the piece we forget often. We know that God can protect us with our shield of faith, but we forget that God has given us authority as well. God gives us the ultimate weapon we need to defeat things in our lives. We love to be strong and to fight things on our own, but God said to be strong in Him. We have the authority to fight back. I use to just sit there when I was attacked with anxiety. It led to more confusion, depression, chaos, pain, anger, ect than I can explain. God didn’t give us a weapon to just acknowledge right from wrong, but He gave us a way to keep the right and to attack the the wrong in our lives after we acknowledge it.
God goes on to tell us to not stop praying. We can have all the armor but if we don’t know how to use it then it won’t be as effective. God created both you and the armor. He knows exactly how both are to work togther to receive the blessings He has for us….. Seeking God as we fight the battles in our life is key. Diligence in seeking is turning that key. Victories are in our future. That future is today. Sometimes it’s just knowing how to fight….. God gives us a strategic plan on how to get not just a victory…. but a beautiful victory….