1 Peter 5:8 tells us to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The fact is the physical world we live in is part of a much greater spiritual world where the enemy roams freely doing battle to win the souls of men. For those of us who are believers in Jesus, the devil cannot win us over since we belong to God, but he is always on the lookout for that chink in our armor – for our moment of weakness. We lose our job, a relationship falls apart, we get a bad grade on an important exam, we get cut from the team, or we just mess up, and then suddenly, we feel we are just not good enough. We are too heavy or too thin, not smart enough or too smart for our own good. We are too loud, too soft, not pretty enough or tall enough or skilled enough. Let’s face it, some days nothing has to go wrong in order for us to still wake up feeling ‘less than.’ This is precisely when the enemy senses our vulnerability and steps in to whip us up into a frenzy and send us hurtling into a downward spiral of guilt, anxiety, anger, fear, insecurity, and the list goes on. In her book, The Armor of God, Priscilla Shirer says, “The enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional. He is very real, and very persistent, waging war against us constantly.”
So how do we deal with this invisible enemy? How do we stand a chance in spiritual warfare? Believing in God doesn’t mean that the enemy walks peacefully past us, although Satan would like us to think this so he is free to tempt us and cause us to sin while we are focused on earthly issues and unaware of his presence. As long as he is not on our radar, he can delight in wreaking havoc in our lives. Believing in and following Jesus does not mean we are out of harm’s way, but it means that we have received the ‘armor of God’ in our war chest to defend ourselves. We know that in His Death and Resurrection, Christ defeated Satan, and that in the end God will destroy him. But until that time comes, we must be alert and use the armor to counter the attacks. Although the enemy cannot force us into submission, he can still gain the advantage when we allow him to penetrate our thoughts and actions. But, when we are “…strong in the Lord and the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10) we are able to stand our ground. In fact, Jesus says, “…the gates of Hell shall not prevail against (my church).” (Matt 16:18)
The cornerstone to spiritual victory is prayer. Satan is the great deceiver and will have us believe that we are already defeated. So, pray fervently, “Lord, I believe in you and I love you. I know you love me and that you will not abandon me. I know you will provide for me, strengthen me, and bless me.” Pray powerfully by adding Scripture to your prayers: “Get behind me Satan” (from Mark 8:33), in Jesus I am the righteousness of God (from 2 Cor. 5:21), and I will have nothing to do with your deeds of darkness. (Eph. 5:11) We are children of a loving Father, and we can be confident in the words of the Ninety-First Psalm, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place… no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” (verses 9-11)
Prayer is what secures the armor and keeps us close to God. He loves us so much and wants us to live victorious lives by using His power to squelch all of the attacks of the enemy. Through Him, it is possible!
(Please refer to Ephesians 6:10-19 in your Bible for the very best explanation of the “full armor of God” – blessings, Donna)