With the world we live in now, it is critical that you know that nothing can separate you from God’s love. Nothing and nobody at all, ever (Romans 8:38).
Once you believe in Jesus, you no longer belong to the dark side – the battle changes. Before you believed in Jesus, the battle was to keep you in the dark, so to speak.
Now, you stand in a place of victory. It is the victory that Jesus won for you. So, the dark side changes their approach because they no longer have you on their team. They want to keep you from enjoying all that is already yours through Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and hell. But fear not, God did not leave you without instructions on what to do when the dark side tries to distract you or hurt you or invade your thoughts.
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 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. 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.”
Ephesians 6:11-17 NLT
These verses are saying that people and situations are not your enemy; your enemy is real and is not flesh and blood. The enemy is the opposite of Jesus, who is full of life and love. Just like anyone in battle, there is armor or equipment we need to use.
The first is the belt of Truth. The belt was critical, for it held weapons and enabled warriors to defend themselves when under attack. We fight with Truth, and it is one of the ways we defend ourselves.
The second is the body armor of righteousness. You keep this as a “covering” to protect yourself against attacks. It is not how good you are. It is God’s righteousness, so you protect yourself standing on the victory Jesus already won.
The shoes of peace mean wherever you go, you carry the peace of God with you. No matter what is going on, you have the peace of God. Not only do we need to anchor to His peace, but we are also to carry that peace with us and share with the lost why we have peace. You will go through many storms in your life and when you remember that you have His peace, you will look “different” to others as you navigate storms.
The shield of faith is what protects you. You must never let go of your faith. No matter what bad thoughts or bad things come your way, you use your faith to protect you like a shield. Believe in God and His love for you.
The helmet of salvation is to protect your mind with the knowledge that you are saved by Jesus. Nobody can take that from you. Once you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are His. Period.
The last piece of armor is different. This weapon we are to wield. When we are attacked, we have all of the defensive weapons to use. This last one is an offensive weapon. It is the Word of God, and it is a sword. This means many things, but we will focus on just one. When Jesus was dealing with the devil in the desert, Jesus kept saying, “It is written.” Every time the devil would say something, Jesus would say Scripture back and speak the truth (Luke 4:1-13, Matthew 4:1-11). He was teaching us how to use the Word of God like a weapon. When you hear lies, listen to the truth and speak the truth, which is the Word of God. What a different world we would have if Eve had just stuck with what God said when the devil showed up to tempt her.
You may be thinking, how do I get these weapons and know what to use when? Reading the Bible daily equips you. It teaches you all these things, and then you have what you need when you need it. You will be amazed how Scriptures will just pop into your head when you need them. This is the Holy Spirit at work within you. He will even bring Scriptures to your mind that you have not yet read or did not quite grasp when you did read them. He speaks only truth.
You have everything you need to push the bad away from your heart and mind. You just need to remember that you have everything you need – that is the hard part. It is something I struggle with a lot. I allow the bad stuff to creep into my head when I know it is not true, and I know what is true. That is the battle that people who believe in Jesus face. Our souls are safe, but it is our hearts and minds that can still be distracted from the amazing blessings we have been given. So, we need to stay aware of what we are allowing into our hearts and minds. The enemy will constantly send fiery darts at us and attack our hearts and minds. It is not a sin to have a “bad” thought, but it can become a sin depending on what you do with it. Do you take it captive, as we are commanded in 2 Corinthians 10:5, or do you entertain it?
Thank God that He has armed us with these weapons, outlined for us what they are, and demonstrated Jesus using them. He also has given us the Holy Spirit, the Author of truth and our Helper. As we endure many trials in this life, we must focus on what God has given us to defend ourselves and stand at the ready for when the attacks come, not if they come.