Choosing not to fight doesn’t mean we’re excused from the war. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we’re all in a spiritual battle. In The Message translation, Ephesians 6:12 states it this way: This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
We’re not called to fight with people in the natural realm, we’re called to contend with invisible forces of darkness in order to release God’s kingdom in and through our lives.
Would you like to know the secret to experiencing victory?
The Apostle Paul goes on in Ephesians 6 to breakdown the famous “armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13-18). In the NIV, the armor consists of the following pieces of spiritual equipment and weaponry:
- The Belt of truth
- The Breastplate of righteousness
- Your Feet fitted with the gospel of peace
- The Shield of faith
- The Helmet of salvation
- The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
Many times when we think of spiritual warfare, we automatically think of prayer. Prayer is an essential dynamic to winning the invisible war, but it’s an action step Paul tells us to take AFTER we’ve “put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11).” Why is this?
Consider what Paul says in Romans 13:12-14, “Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
Did you catch that? “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” When we combine Ephesians 6:13-18 with the context of Romans 13:12-14, we actually see that putting on the armor of God is putting on Jesus. Think about it:
- Belt of truth: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
- Breastplate of righteousness: We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21)
- Feet fitted with the gospel of peace: Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6, Eph. 2:14)
- Shield of faith – Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
- Helmet of salvation: Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)
- Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Jesus is the Word made flesh that dwelt among us (John 1:14)
- Prayer: this is where we act like Jesus who is at the right hand of God and always lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25)
Notice that the first 6 of the 7 principles for spiritual warfare are “knowing who Jesus is” and “knowing who you are as one of His children.”
Want to know the secret to winning the invisible battle?
85% of spiritual warfare is knowing Christ and knowing who you are in Him.
Don’t get me wrong; prayer and intercession are powerful aspects to successfully engaging in the battle, but you MUST know who you are in Him first. If you don’t have a healthy identity in Christ, you will be unstable and unable to “stand firm” in the midst of testing. How can you “stand against the wiles of the devil” when you’re still questioning God’s love for you?
In his book Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil Anderson writes, “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can’t change God and he can’t do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however, he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ isn’t true.”
Even when Jesus taught the disciples to pray, the first verse required the disciples to know their identity and who He is: “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name… (Matt. 6:8).” What does a loving father do for his children? He affirms their identity as beloved sons and daughters.
In a day and age where people stand in front of the mirror and take a picture of themselves to post on the internet, God is looking for His people to stop in front of the mirror of His Word (James 1:23-24) and take a spiritual “selfie” of who they are in Christ.
Are you in a spiritual haze? Feeling some spiritual resistance? Put on the full armor of God and re-connect with what Jesus has already accomplished for you at Calvary. Don’t just recite some words from memory; rather, declare to the demonic principalities and powers who they are dealing with! Get your soul renewed in the truth that Satan desperately wants you to forget.
No matter what you face in your life, ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS: 85% of spiritual warfare is knowing Christ and knowing who I am in Him!
CC Image • Courtesy of Cristian V. on Flickr