IT IS TIME TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE BATTLES AHEAD
So how are you to prepare for the great battle that lies ahead? Listen how the Bible teaches us to prepare ourselves, “Therefore put on God‘s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].” Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God. In addition, having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. (Ephesians 6:13-16 MSG)
Why are we to put on God’s complete armor? The reason we are to do so is because, this is what the word commands us to do, and we must always be obedient to the word. In addition, we are living in tough economic times and believers are losing their faith as well as their homes, life savings, freedom, liberty and much of their possessions. Satan is on the attack and he is attacking believers as well as non-believers from all four corners of the world. Our country is in a financial straight jacket, moral free fall, as well as being on the verge of financial collapse. Crime in our communities is at an all time high. Where will it all ends?
Let us understand the truth of Satan’s evil ways and his true motives. However, in order for believers to realize God’s truth and position themselves to fight the good fight, believers must be united and maintain unity in the body of Christ. There will be inevitable clashes with evil, and the church must be ready to stand and fight for its entire population.
However, let us remember that as Christians, we battle against rulers and authorities, the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter. Peter tells us that we can be victorious if we would, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). Know that to withstand Satan’s attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor.
Brothers and Sisters, try to understand this one truth, this is no ordinary fight. We are fighting against a very powerful and evil fighting machine. This one was designed to crush God’s people. We can describe it as hand-to-hand combat. However, we are not in an earthly military campaign, our battle is not against people made of flesh and blood. Instead, we are battling the demons over which Satan has control. Demons work to temp people to sin. Satan did not create them because God is the Creator of all. Rather, the demons are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion and thus became perverted and evil.
These spiritual beings have limited power. They are invisible to us, operating in the unseen world. The mighty powers refers to those spiritual powers who aspire to world control. They are evil (of the darkness) and they currently rule this world. The wicked spirits in the heavenly realms refers to the demons dwellings, planet and stars, from which the demons control the lives of people. Here is a host of spiritual forces arrayed against us, requiring us to use God’s full armor. These are real and powerful beings, not mere fantasies. Believers must not underestimate them.
We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Ghrist, the satanic beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin. Although believers are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns because Satan constantly battles against all who are on God’s side.
Believers response to the reality of this warfare should be to use every piece of God’s armor. The armor is available, but the believer-soldier must use it. We would be neglectful to do other wise, for the battle is real, and we are Satan’s targets. Only with the armor will believers be able to be standing firm, a word describing standing against great opposition; indeed, it would be impossible to stand on our strength alone. Christian soldiers must be able to hold their ground and not flee or surrender under Satan’s attacks.
Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally. Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, may the grace of God abide in you now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen.