The Armor of God: Understanding the Battle
It can seem overwhelming at times when we just want to be free to raise our kids in a godly environment and teach them the ways of the Lord and live peaceable lives…
but we seemed to be assailed on every side today by those who subvert our ideals and undermine our beliefs that we are trying to hand down to the next generation. As pastors and leaders and parents and grandparents we cannot afford to be aloof and unaware of the schemes of the devil and the tactics he uses to discourage us and to influence the next generation.
It’s easy to feel intimidated and bullied and give in to the temptation to just keep quiet and not make waves, to avoid conflict. But when you have an enemy like the devil there is no such thing as negotiating for peace. Light can have no relationship with darkness. The light must defeat the darkness.
John 3:16–19 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
The love of darkness- this is a hard truth to swallow for those who think people are generally good by nature or that its merely our environment that that forms us into who we are. This darkness comes from within the human heart, not from the outside. Within each of us is this potential for that darkness if left unchecked to grow and to spill out of us into all kinds of evil works such as hatred and violence that we have recently witnessed.
Not the age of reason but the age of emotion- If this is the case then why don’t people just accept Jesus. why would anyone embrace the darkness? But we are not living in times of logic or reason where truth is given a fair hearing, where a calm debate about the facts may win the day. But instead, we live in a time where the truth is purposely suppressed, where the spiritual forces of evil are at work
The devil’s schemes – Demonize your opponent, cause chaos, use slander and lies, blame them for every evil thing. Take them out by any means necessary don’t let morality hinder you.
Consider the recent outrage in the wake of these horrible shootings by the media and many politicians, calling the president a racist and a white supremacist and blaming him for the shootings. Its all by design. `
Or consider this recent trailer for a movie coming out called the hunt that glamorizes shooting any supporters of the president or those who support values that aren’t like theirs.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV)
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
when you are blind you cannot tell if you’re in the dark or not. The same goes with many who walk in darkness some believe they are actually in the light and the Christians especially those who believe in the Bible as God’s Word are the real threat. The only hope for coming out of such darkness is an encounter with Jesus Christ
(How then can we battle against such powerful deception?)
Not a Battle of Flesh and blood- (the mind, mere intellect and reason) -we need to understand that when Paul talks about flesh and blood he isn’t merely referring to physical battle but political debate and science and reason as well. If our battle was merely of flesh and blood of reason and truth, of merely presenting the best evidence than I am convinced that the teaching of random human evolution would be tossed in the garbage heap of history, abortions, doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia would not find much popular support and the biblical stance on sexual morality would not be so attacked at it is today.
The weapons of our warfare- now we have talked over the past few weeks about the armor of God but at the end of the passage is how we are to do battle once we are suited up.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil., 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Pray Be Alert and Persevere.
Prayer is powerful and should never be discounted in fact nothing happens without it. prayer is what moves the heart of God it is what keeps our minds centered on him along with his Word. Throughout the day we ought to give him glory, tell him to thank you, say I love you, ponder the scripture. Think on his goodness. Prayer is more than a segregated moment of focused supplication it is a continuous attitude and awareness of the mighty and holy presence of God in our lives.
Be Alert- How are we attacked, what are the schemes and battle plans of the enemy. Lies, lies and more lies. The devil loves to get people stirred up and emotional to the point where they will say and do destructive things not only to themselves but to others. His greatest weapon is the tongue, the tongue that manipulates peoples feelings to get them to act rashly and do his bidding. We cannot be aloof or ignorant of the battle raging around us or tune it out as if it doesn’t affect us. You might ignore the battle for now when one day it will make its way to the door of your house and affect your children and your household. Consider then if you have equipped yourself or your children with the Word of God.
Persevere- many of us feel like Elijah after he confronted the priest of Baal and was threatened by the queen Jezebel. He went and hid in a cave and God asked him what he was doing there. And he lamented that he was the only one left that was serving God and being true but God said he had 10000 that had not yet bowed their knee to Baal. The good news is that we are never alone. We are not the only ones stand our ground against the spiritual forces of darkness.
Equipping the Next Generation. I know that we constantly hear news about how the younger generation is leaving the church and how America has become a post-Christian culture. But I think that has more do with the church shedding its weakness and worldliness and getting back to its original missions which are to train spiritual warriors. God always has a plan. This younger generation has grown up in an environment having to defend their faith and having to learn how to articulate what they believe. They are rejecting the theater of church and instead of seeking the power of the holy spirit and desire to be disciples. When the church is on mission it doesn’t matter what storms whirl around it. it is only when we acquiesce and give in and become like the world that we are weak and ineffective.
Helmet of Salvation- they need to know the true gospel message and be able to articulate their faith.
Shield of faith- mom dad your kids need to see your faith in action. This is the best thing we can hand down to them.
Sword of the Spirit- Teach your kids the Word of God get your kids to church make sure they are being disciplined in the Lord.
Conclusion: what does it matter if our kids gain the world but lose their souls What does it matter if you have given them money and iPhone but they don’t know the Word? They must learn to stand their ground put their faith in Jesus Christ and to fight the spiritual battle now while they are young.