Arm Yourself for Battle

In 2009, The Barna Group conducted a nationwide survey among adult Christians in America. The results were consistent with many other recent studies which have shown that the vast majority of the Church in America today is completely apostate. Barna found that a majority of the Christians surveyed (59%), did not believe that Satan was real, rather they believed he was only a “symbol” of evil. Another 8% was not sure if Satan was real or not. So, from that we can only conclude that perhaps 67% of adult America Christians do not truly believe Jesus “really” spoke to Satan in the wilderness as the 1st century Biblical historical accounts claim:

“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’

“Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” - Matthew 4:8-11

The survey also found that 58% did not believe that the Holy Spirit was alive. Rather, they believed that the Holy Spirit was only a “symbol” of God’s power or presence. Another 9% was not sure if the Holy Spirit was alive or not. So, perhaps 67% of adult American Christians do not truly believe that God is Triune (One What, and three Who’s), and Jesus was either mistaken or lying when He said:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:18-19

They must also think that the Apostle Peter was also wrong or lying about Satan and the Holy Spirit when he scolded Ananias (right before he dropped dead) for lying to the Holy Spirit – which Peter said was the same thing as lying to God:

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.’

“Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last.” – Acts 5:3-5

Barna also found that of the adult American Christians surveyed, some 45% either did not believe Jesus actually lived a sinless life or they had no opinion on the matter. I guess the good news is that at least 46% strongly disagreed with the completely un-Biblical notion that Jesus sinned, and at least hold to one Biblically sound Christian doctrine:

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16

Satan has got any Christian exactly where he wants them if he can simply get them to not believe in him, or the Holy Spirit, or that Jesus truly lived a sinless life and died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice to pay the full penalty of our sins.

The rest of Christendom on the other hand knows full well that Satan is alive and well today. If he was not, then why does he gnaw on my leg 24/7 like a mad dog with rabies? That is why I encourage all true Christians to do what the Apostle Paul told us to do each and every day:

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Ephesians 6:11

We must do this because:

“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

But how do we do it? Through prayer. Below is the prayer I use. It comes from Pastor Charles Stanley‘s book “Winning the War Within – Facing Trials, Temptations, and Inner Struggles” (Pages 123-125):

 

Preparing for War

“Now here is the part you may be ”tempted” to skip. I have made it a habit of putting on the armor of God every morning before I get out of bed. Right over my pajamas! Remember, this is spiritual armor. Therefore, it must be put on by faith. Paul understood that spiritual warfare was somewhat of a difficult concept to grasp. So he gave us an illustration through his description of the Roman soldier. Using that mental image as a guide, we can properly prepare ourselves for the battle. But it is done by faith, not by sight.

“The best way to explain this is to simply walk you through the routine I follow every morning. You do not have to do it just like I do. Paul did not leave us directions as to how to put it on by faith. There is no right or wrong way. He simply said, “Put it on.”

“Each morning when I first awaken I say something like this,

“Good morning, Lord. Thank You for assuring me of victory today, if I will but follow Your battle plan. So by faith I claim victory over _______ (I normally list some things I know I will be faced with that day).

“To prepare myself for the battle ahead, by faith I put on the belt of truth. The truth about You, Lord—that You are a sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths and my weaknesses. Lord, You know my breaking point and have promised not to allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. The truth about me, Lord, is that I am a new creature in Christ and have been set free from the power of sin. I am indwelt with the Holy Spirit who will guide me and warn me when danger is near. I am Your child, and nothing can separate me from Your love. The truth is that You have a purpose for me this day—someone to encourage, someone to share with, someone to love.

“Next, Lord, I want to, by faith, put on the breastplate of righteousness. Through this I guard my heart and my emotions. I will not allow my heart to attach itself to anything that is impure. I will not allow my emotions to rule in my decisions. I will set them on what is right and good and just. I will live today by what is true, not by what I feel.

“Lord, this morning I put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me to those who need encouragement or physical help of some kind. Use me to solve conflicts wherever they may arise. Make me a calming presence in every circumstance in which You place me. I will not be hurried or rushed, for my schedule is in Your hands. I will not leave a trail of tension and apprehension. I will leave tracks of peace and stability everywhere I go.

“I now take up the shield of faith, Lord. My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You, I can do nothing. With you, I can do all things. No temptation that comes my way can penetrate Your protecting hand. I will not be afraid, for You are going with me throughout this day. When I am tempted, I will claim my victory out loud ahead of time, for You have promised victory to those who walk in obedience to Your Word. So by faith I claim victory even now because l know there are fiery darts headed my way even as I pray. Lord, You already know what they are and have already provided the way of escape.

“Lord, by faith I am putting on the helmet of salvation. You know how Satan bombards my mind day and night with evil thoughts, doubt, and fear. I put on this helmet that will protect my mind. I may feel the impact of his attacks, but nothing can penetrate this helmet. I choose to stop every impure and negative thought at the door of my mind. And with the helmet of salvation those thoughts will get no further. I elect to take every thought captive; I will dwell on nothing but what is good and right and pleasing to You.

“Last, I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Thank You for the precious gift of your Word. It is strong and powerful and able to defeat even the strongest of Satan’s onslaughts. Your Word says that I am not under obligation to the flesh to obey its lusts. Your Word says that I am free from the power of sin. Your word says that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. So by faith I take up the strong and powerful sword of the Spirit, which is able to defend me in time of attack, comfort me in time of sorrow, teach me in time of meditation, and prevail against the power of the enemy on behalf of others who need the truth to set them free.

“So, Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost and dying world. May others see Jesus in me, and may Satan and his hosts shudder as Your power is made manifest in me. In Jesus’ name I pray—AMEN.”

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Give that prayer a shot. It does work. Copy and paste it into a word processor, print it off, and put it beside your bed, so it is readily available each morning. Always remember to put your full armor on:

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13

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Have a blessed day!

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Sean Kirkpatrick

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Recommended Reading:

Winning the War Within – Facing Trials, Temptations, and Inner Struggles

by Charles Stanley.

Sean Kirkpatrick posted at 2012-3-8 Category: Christian Soldiers