Breaking Down the Armor of God, Part 1

In my last post, The Devil’s Attacks, I shared a few things that I had learned recently by studying the devil and the way he attacks. Priscilla Shirer has two really great books that I have found to be great study tools- FerVent and Armor of God. The books dig deep into Scripture and you are left with an astounding knowledge of Satan.

Today I want to break down the armor of God a little for you. Maybe you haven’t studied it much, maybe you know it better than I do. Either way, I just want to share what I’ve learned. Growing up, I always heard about the armor of God, but rarely was it taught in great depths.

Ephesians 6:10-18 says “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (bold is mine)

Belt of Truth ~ This is discovering a standard that ALL right and wrong can be compared to. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and we find out in John 1 that the Word was with God and the Word was God and that the Word became human… So God’s Word, the truths from Jesus, is what this belt of truth hinges on. We believe God’s Word is ABSOLUTE. There is nothing gray here- it is black or white. Right or wrong. In order to wear the belt of truth, we have to measure everything we do against the TRUTH of the WORD.

Body armor of God’s righteousness ~ The body armor, or the breastplate, is LIVING the TRUTH of the WORD. The belt tells us what is right or wrong. The breastplate is doing what is right. You can’t have one without the other. There was no mistaking when Paul linked the LIVING part to the breastplate. Think about it…. what part of the body would a breastplate protect? Things like the heart, right? Vital organs. Without protection, it wouldn’t take much before the enemy (in our case, the devil) got us right in the chest and down we went… Protecting our vital organs is of the utmost importance! Listen to what Jesus (remember, he’s the TRUTH) says in Mark 7:21-23 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” YES!!!! We MUST protect the inside and make sure that what is coming out lines up with the ABSOLUTE truth we find in Scriptures! Compare each and every move and see if it lines up with God!

Shoes of peace ~ Peace…. everyone wants it. Everyone seeks after it. Colossians 3:15 says to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…” and Philippians 4:7 says “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Yes, it is lovely knowing our peace comes from God. Here’s the thing though, the devil is going to try to convince you that you need to worry or stress out over things. He’s going to fill your mind with doubt and fear. He’s going to bring things up from your past that causes you to freeze and not move forward. Did you catch all of that? Worry, stress, doubt, fear, the past…. it is all from SATAN. Those are LIES!!!! Lies, lies, and more lies! Lies that the devil hopes will cripple you and keep you from moving forward. The shoes of peace are designed for just the opposite. Fun fact- Roman soldier shoes had nails on the bottom- similar to our cleats- so they could stand firm on any ground and would help them keep moving forward on the battlefield. YES! We are to move FORWARD! We are equipped with everything we need to move forward boldly on our Christian walk! It won’t be easy, but thanks to the armor pieces Paul tells about, we can!

Linked up with: The Modest Mom Blog, What Joy is Mine, Mondays at Soul Survival, Tune in Thursday, Oh My Heartsie Girls Wonderdul Wednesday Linkup

The Devil’s Attacks

I am sick and tired of the devil always attacking. Can I get an AMEN??? I am sick and tired of hearing his lies, seeing him get victory in the lives around me, and for the general chaos that he produces.

I’ve been studying him and his attacks for the last year. Priscilla Shirer’s FerVent and Armor of God books are excellent study tools for this subject. They dig deep in God’s words and pull back the shades to reveal just how much of the devil’s craftiness is around us each and every day.

It’s mind blowing.

Ephesians 6:10-18 says “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Here is what I’ve learned.

  1. You are only strong in the Lord- never on your own.
  2. The people and situations you THINK cause you problems are NOT the REAL ENEMY! The real enemy is the devil. Next time you blow up at your husband because he did something, stop and think it through. Your husband is NOT your enemy. The devil is trying to get you to blow up and he will use any little thing to get you to do it.
  3. The armor of God is a vital piece of equipment. It’s the only way we can be strong in the Lord and withstand the attacks thrown at us.
  4. The belt of truth, body armor of God’s righteousness, and shoes of the peace that comes from the God News is DAILY items we put on. Just like every day, we put on clothes of some sort.
  5. The shield of faith comes out when necessary- much like a nurse’s stethoscope. She has it handy, but only uses it at certain times.
  6. The helmet of salvation is a VITAL part of Christian living- without it we are truly doomed. One well planned blow and we’re finished. Yet, we’ve been given everything we need to find victory.
  7. Sword of the Spirit- the word of God- is CRUCIAL! The devil will flee at the mention of Jesus.
  8. Prayer. I cannot stress this enough…. prayer is continued conversation with God. He’s your boss and leader and cannot lead you if you aren’t in communication. It’s the walkie talkie of the battlefield. We also need to lift up others and help them become strong in the Lord.
  9. We must always stay alert.

The devil is a sly one…. He came to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), but the Lord came to give us life- and to give it to us more abundantly! We have been given what we need to have that life, but we have to be ACTION Christians! Not couch potato Christians…

Plunge Deep, Climb Steep

Also linked to: Tune in Thursday, Susan B Mead, Mondays at Soul Survival

Depression

Yes, depression. The word nobody wants to talk about. ESPECIALLY if you’re a pastor’s wife.

But y’all… depression is real. It’s very dark.

And it’s not a choice.

I struggle with depression. Deep, menacing depression. The kind that makes me want to crawl back into bed and lay there all day. The kind that makes me not really care about attending my kids’ sporting events or show up at work. The kind that desperately tries to pull me down.

Some days are better. I feel joyful and the darkness isn’t there. Other days I feel it.

There doesn’t even have to be any rhyme or reason to it- though the darkness rears its ugly head more often during trials than other times.

This darkness…. it’s from the devil and he knows he can use it against me. I’ve been studying Prsicilla Shirer’s books FerVent and Armor of God a lot here lately. One thing is clear. The devil is out to get me. He wants nothing more than for me to fail- to lose my witness. To not impact other’s for Christ. He gets me with the darkness, but maybe he gets you with anger or adultery or other forms of temptation. He goes after each person with whatever their weakness is. He wants one thing and it’s for you to crumble. If you’re not saved, then he can keep you from God that way… but if you’re saved, then he can make sure you don’t live your life for God.

Yep, a pastor’s wife should be living her life for God. ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE LIVING THEIR LIFE FOR GOD! But y’all…. there is nobody perfect on this earth. We are ALL going to feel the devil’s darts. It’s what we CHOOSE to do with it that makes the difference.

I CHOOSE to not let the depression control me. I CHOOSE to fight it. Psalms 16:8 says “I know the Lord (Jehovah) is ALWAYS with me. I will not be shaken for he is right beside me.” *emphasis mine* This verse is taped to my desk at work. Even during my dark moments, the Lord is next to me. I have the KNOWLEDGE that this depression is from my ENEMY and NOTHING ELSE. I have equipped myself to fight (Ephesians 6).

If you struggle with depression, don’t let it win. See a doctor. Come up with a plan of attack. Medicine has its place, but so does Scripture and clinging to God. If you don’t struggle with depression, pray for those who do. You may not even realize someone struggles. Depression looks differently on each person. Just because they’re laughing and smiling doesn’t mean all is okay. And most of all, remember that your pastor, his wife, and their kids, are not exempt from things like depression. Pray for them by name- that they will be able to stand strong and withstand the fiery attacks from the devil (Eph. 6:13, 16). Oh! And one more thing…. don’t let the devil use you as one of his fiery arrows.

Linked to: What Joy Is Mine, The Modest Mom Blog, Tune in Thursday, Susan B Mead, Mondays at Soul Survival, Oh My Heartsie Girls Wonderdul Wednesday Linkup

Plunge Deep, Climb Steep

Obey

Obey.

That was the word I chose to be my 2017 word.

Only problem is, that’s a tough word to focus on.

Obey.

As in, obey God.

My heart’s earnest desire is to follow God- to obey Him. But my flesh sometimes has other plans.

Matthew 16:24 says “Then Jesus said to his disciples, if any of you wants to be my followers, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

Simply put- if you want to follow me (Jesus) then put aside anything that takes you from me.

If only it was that easy….

I did great the first week or two of January. But then life hit. Life ALWAYS hits. And it was a little harder to read my Bible like I should…. To pray like I should…. To trust like I should…. To live my life like I should…

Now that it’s almost April, I am definitely tempted to put aside that word. Who needs a focus word anyway? But there was a reason I chose it and to give up would mean I was disobedient. God laid that word on my heart. Who am I to quit?

No, it may almost be April, but I’m still called to obey.