Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lesson 6 - Are You Ready for Battle?

We are in a battle daily against Satan and we need to be prepared to fight. I don’t think most of us see ourselves as warriors, but we are. We need to put our armor on daily. God gives us the tools to fight the battle, but we have to access those tools and willingly put on the armor.

Please read Ephesians 6:10-20.

When Paul was writing this he was imprisoned and being guarded by a Roman solider. So, as he writes these verses he has a visual object lesson standing in front of him.

Let’s look at v. 11, we are told to put on the armor of God so we can take a stand. Look at how many times stand is mentioned in this group of verses.

When you think of the word stand, what do you think?

Looking at v. 12, do you often think your struggles are against humans or earthly situations? Does is change your perspective at all to see your struggle is against Satan? If it does change your perspective, how does it?

Verse 15 begins describing the armor. The first mentioned is the belt of truth buckled around your waist. I don’t know if you know this, but Roman soldiers wore something that looked like a dress. I know that is weird, just remember any old movies you have seen. When they had the buckle around their waist they were keeping “the dress” out of their way to fight. It had to be strong. What does that mean for us? We are to have absolute truth surrounding our waist. In this world, truth is not absolute and depends on how you define truth. We have to stand (there is that word again) for truth when the world says otherwise. Also, we have to know the truth in order to stand for it. This means studying God’s word to know the truth.

What area in your life right now do you need to stand for truth?

The second piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate would protect vital organ in the upper body. This righteousness is not about Christ righteousness that is imputed to us it is about moral righteousness and the transformation that accompanies saving faith in Christ. We are looking at our witness to others. Do we do what we say, do we practice what we preach. A commitment to always do the right thing in every situation provides powerful armor against the temptation to gain personal advantage by cutting moral corners.

Are you showing others in your life Christ righteousness? Do they see you are different on Monday not just Sunday?

The third piece of armor or equipment is footwear and that we are reading to spread the peace of the gospel. Roman soldiers wore heavy sandals with thick leather soles. Also, they would wrap around their calf. They were to protect their feet on long marches. Often they were fitted with nails to provide secure footing in the midst of hand to hand combat.

What does that mean to us? This verse has been interpreted two ways. One is to be ready to go and share the gospel. That would fit with the Great Commission in Matthew. The second one is that the gospel readies believers for a Christian walk in the world. We have that inner peace when we are involved in conflict and opposition. The most important point is readiness. Are we ready at a moments notice to obey God’s commands? Are we ready to share the gospel?
Also, the nail image of the soldier’s reminds me of standing firm in what we believe and not backing down? Are there times when you have backed down or decided not to say something that needed to be said?

The fourth piece of armor is the shield. The shield was for heavy infantry. The shield was oblong in shape, four by 2 ½ feet. The soldier would crouch behind it or hold it over his head to protect for flaming arrows. How does the devil aim flaming arrows at us? He takes advantage of every negative life situation to hurl flaming arrows of doubt at us. He wants us to question God’s goodness, God’s power, and God’s love. The devil attacks us most when we are fatigued. He throws arrows of discouragement when we think we are being ineffective as Christians, when Christian brothers or sisters disappoint us. We need to use our shield to trust the God who saved us and that his love for us is never failing.

What flaming arrows is the devil sending your way right now?

The fifth piece of armor is the helmet to protect our head. The helmet of salvation is affirming our salvation, living with the assurance and confidence that we are saved. No matter how severe the battle becomes we have no fear, because we know we are in God’s family. We know how the story ends. We know we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

The last piece of armor is the sword of the Spirit. This is the Bible, God’s word. The sword Paul is describing is a short sword and it is used as an offensive and defensive weapon. We need to know and love God’s word. Paul would probably be appalled at the lack of sincerity modern day Christians take God’s word. We say God’s word so much that is loses its meaning. All scripture is God breathed. God wrote it and gave it to men inspired by him and the Holy Spirit. I often like to think of it as God’s love letter to us. Do you remember how powerful Christ was when he quoted Scripture against Satan? God’s word is extremely powerful and we need to use it as a weapon against Satan.

Why do you think there is no armor for our backs? We need to fight Satan head on. I like to think God has our back and our front for that matter. In some ways Satan is not a coward. He is waiting to pounce on us like a lion. So, it is a full frontal attack.

One thing I cannot stress enough is visually, mentally, and emotionally putting on the armor of God every day. On your way to work, see yourself putting on the various pieces of armor. Satan loves it when we neglect putting on the armor of God, because it makes us so vulnerable. God gives us the armor it is our responsibility to put it on.

Share your thoughts about this lesson and some of the ways you answered the questions.


Sparkie said...

Hi there Kimberly! Thanks for the lesson! I enjoyed it much! Here are some of my thoughts....

First, the lesson caught my eye because you started talking about if our battle is against humans or satan. One thing I have really struggled with lately is that everyone else is "taking" my husband from our home for various reasons.... all of them are good... he is a good man, loves to help others - but sometimes that is hard for me because there is ALWAYS someone to help! The church, friends, those who call when they only need help, neighbors.... I find myself getting bitter from different people always wanting a piece of him when he works long hours and our time as a family is short anyway.... I had 2 thoughts on this:
1. I need to put God's armor on daily - one piece I seem to lack is my helmet. My mind gets "attacked" with bitter thoughts and anger and even post partum depression. I need to put on the helmet to protect my mind.

2. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to destroy marriages. To some degree getting us too busy for one another is a way he tries to do this, so we need to battle against it. Being a working mom, I need help at home at night, dealing with the 10-week-old baby, doing household chores... and even just talking with adults, as my job is pretty lonely.

I think for us, we need to find a balance. By the grace of God. Can't wait to talk with my hubby about thsi study!

Thanks for posting it!

Coach Kimberly said...


You made some excellent points. I couldn't agree more about how our thoughts can get us into trouble. Also, how we get to busy to focus on our marriages. Our children demand our attention, but our marriages do not. I don't know if you are interested in a book about setting limits with people or just saying No. A book that I absolutely love and recommend all the time is Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. (There is a description on the Resources Page of Anyway, they are two Christian Psychologists and they show how Jesus said No and set limits with people. They talk about how it is not unbiblical to say No. Just my two cents worth. Thanks for posting and I'm glad it was helpful.

Shelley said...

Great devotion Kimberly! This is the first devotion I've read (not been a 'member' long). Ditto with Shanda about whether our battle is with humans or Satan. I have been battling myself (or rather my negative attitude) instead of Satan. I have worked part-time for the past two years. This summer I have had to put in many more hours just to make ends meet. Besides my negative thoughts about working so much, guilt trips are a regular occurrence in my life right now. This devotion is very timely and I can see where I need to daily (sometimes hourly) put on God's armor to protect myself against these attacks.

Coach Kimberly said...


I couldn't agree with you more about the negative attitudes and how we have to put on our armour hourly. Satan loves to use negative attitudes to discourage us. I think discouragement is his favorite weapon.