Written by MayBell Developments – June 29th, 2022
MayBell is a vision given to us by God. It began this way in 2015 and we continually strive to continue in this way going forward. Living in an imperfect and sinful world means we are, like many other faithful Christians, swimming upstream against the current
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
There are times that we are more aware of this spiritual battle than others. In a battle, the enemy will launch targeted attacks against the other side’s strongest troops. As we, with MayBell, and you in your personal walk, strive toward God’s Kingdom work we are more likely to be attacked by Satan and his forces. We can see the logical sense in the devil’s battle plan and yet so often it catches us off guard.
As you go about your life, there are times that you will feel perfectly in step with God’s Kingdom plan. You are confident that this is where God needs you to be at this moment and you’re listening for His guidance in your life. All of a sudden you feel the shift. It’s an almost palpable thing where all your actions and motivation appear to grind to a halt and you feel as though you’re walking through quicksand. Little stumbling blocks appear as towering, insurmountable mountains and the way forward isn’t as clear as it once was.
Satan is cunning. He works in subtle ways to introduce tiny seeds of doubt into our relationship with the Lord. When we are close to God we can see and feel these attacks. We identify them for what they are, a spiritual attack on God’s Kingdom plan. Even when we are aware of the attack, we are still human and our sinful tendencies, no matter how strong our faith, can lead us to dwell on that seed and question. Am I following God’s plan for my life? Did I fall off the track at some point and is God telling me to turn back or that He has another, better plan for me? Is this God talking or Satan?
When we feel this doubt creeping into our hearts we should prepare for battle. Even if this small voice is God telling us to turn around, our battle preparations will draw us closer to Him and guide us in the right direction.
What does it look like to prepare for battle?
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – Ephesians 6:11
In Ephesians, Paul gives us a clear and visual description of our battle armour and how it will protect us from the devil’s attacks, including those seemingly small seeds of doubt.
Belt of Truth – A belt was used as a girdle or a way to secure your undergarments to yourself. This is the foundation of the armour just as truth should be our foundation. Truth can be a tricky thing as we often bend things to create “our own truths”. The truth that Paul speaks of here is a basic, universal truth. The character of God, His purpose of sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and the moral duties that we have as humans.
Breastplate of Righteousness – A breastplate protects the front and back of the torso. Protection of the heart from the weapons of our enemy makes this a key piece of armour. Righteousness is a state or condition of a person that is acceptable to God. When we put on the breastplate of righteousness we are protecting (surrounding) our hearts with integrity, virtue, purity of life, and correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting.
Feet Fitted with the Readiness of the Gospel of Peace – Our footwear helps us to travel well. Would you wear stilettos to run a marathon? Didn’t think so. We prepare or ready our feet to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Gospel translates to good tidings or good news. The gospel of peace is the good news of “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is”
Shield of Faith – The shields used in this time were oblong, four-cornered, and covered a lot of your body. This was a great defensive battle tool. Faith in this instance is three-fold:
Our faith in God and Jesus is action. It actively stifles the devil’s weapons and attacks against us.
Helmet of Salvation – It may seem obvious to protect our heads. We may also question why this isn’t closer to the top of the list. Salvation is offered to us through Jesus’ death on the cross but we must choose to take what is offered to us. Salvation is ultimately a choice that we make. God works in us to create a knowledge of truth, a heart of righteousness, to show us the good news of Christ, and to build in us a deep faith-trust in Him and Jesus but ultimately it is us who choose to put on the Helmet of Salvation and accept Jesus’ sacrifice.
Sword of the Spirit – Belts, breastplates, shoes, shields, and helmets all have one thing in common; they are defensive armour. Our armour is not complete without being able to fight against our enemy. When we accept salvation we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit is powerful and can create change in us that is easily seen by those around us. We are called to take up the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The word of God is His utterance or message as the Godhead meaning any message coming from God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit is our weapon. Many of these messages are found in the Bible and others may come to us in prayer. We must be careful to discern whether messages heard in prayer are from God and know that His messages will never contradict one another. If what we have heard in prayer is contradicted by the Bible then we are not hearing the word of God.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:14-17
Sun Tzu makes this statement in his book, “The Art of War”. Claiming that the battle is always won in the planning and preparation. As Christians, we know the spiritual battle has already been won. We have faith, not in our own actions, but because Jesus Christ has fought Satan and overcome death on our behalf. It is not our own planning and preparations that have won the war, God’s great plan has been in place from before the beginning of creation. We are fighting a battle that we already know we have won. This gives us strength and hope to push forward and do battle well.
When you feel under Satan’s attack today, tomorrow, next month, or next year, know that we have won this war. You are fighting the good fight. Stand up, arm yourself, and go to battle for the Lord.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. – 2Timothy 4:7-8
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