As we all know by personal experience, life is full of challenges. The Bible actually describes this quite vividly in the book of Isaiah: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood…” (Isaiah 59:19b KJV). I think we can all relate to this, for problems swamp us, negative circumstances engulf us, illnesses, both physical and mental, drown us, temptations overcome us…In fact, the Bible has yet another vivid metaphor for this: “Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NET).
Is it for naught that we are told to: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…” (James 4:7 NET)? That we are told to: “Resist him, strong in your faith…” (1 Peter 5:9 NET)?
But just how do you “resist the devil”?
As with any battle, it is important that we first be properly clothed and armed. Going into any battle without the proper gear would be like getting caught in a thunderstorm without a raincoat, boots or umbrella. It would be like trying to cross the busy street without a crossing guard or a crosswalk, or to cross the Atlantic without a boat or a submarine. It would be like trying to fly to India without an airplane!
But what kind of “gear” are we talking about here? I mean, since our worst struggles are: “…but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens….” (Eph. 6:12 NET), then it makes sense that any human guns, shields and protective clothing will not help us. This is why we are told very clearly to: “…Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11 NET)
Friends, putting on this armour of God is vital to overcoming; it is to resisting the devil and standing strong in the storm; and it is vital to going coming through trials, illness, addictions and circumstances victorious.
Just what is this “armour” that can make us strong and give us victory over the enemy? What protection will help us to stand strong through the trials that beat and bash at our door? What defense will cause us to triumph over temptation, physical and mental illnesses and addictions?
The Bible outlines this for us as well: “Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:14-17 NET)
With the Christmas season nearly upon us, it is fitting to mention that the protection we need is actually part of God’s precious Christmas present to us. When Jesus came to this earth as a tiny baby, not only did He come to pay the price of our sin and ensure that anyone who accepts His gift will have eternal life with Him, but it was also to give us direct access to wisdom, to healing, to joy and peace, to help in times of trouble, to friendship with God and to liberty from bondage (See Isaiah 9:6, 11:2). Perhaps, however, the most priceless part of this wonderful “Christmas Gift” through the birth of Jesus Christ is that God also gives us direct access to protection and strength for overcoming the traps of the enemy (See 1 John 5:4; 1 Cor. 15:57).
More than anything else, my wish for each of us is that we truly experience Jesus–throughout this Christmas season, throughout the upcoming New Year, and throughout the rest of our lives. I pray that we will fully focus on the many aspects of His wonderful gift for us and that we will know who we are in Him and what it means to give ourselves completely to Him. Let’s all resolve to go through our lives fully protected, so that after the trials and temptations, after the illnesses and the attacks on our lives and families, we will truly be standing even stronger than ever before.
But wait a minute. What does it actually mean to “lothe” ourselves with the “full armour of God”? The articles of clothing we are told to don are not exactly common…
Please join us for the next two weeks as we take a close look at each of these pieces and how we are to go about donning them.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “God’s Armour” mini-series, please click here.)