Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 030 Are You Wearing His Armor
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #030 – Are You Wearing His Armor?
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
The past week has been full of distractions.
It has not been an easy time of focusing on what I planned for. Preparing for our upcoming school year, trying to clean my house before school begins, reading God’s word and praying for discernment on what to reflect on and read for the podcast this week were what I wanted to do, but instead, life has interfered.
So, I have been working on medical necessities for my youngest, going to important medical visits, advocating, writing a letter, and speaking to departments at the local children’s hospital to ensure that her unique needs are not forgotten during this Covid season. It has been draining, but I will gladly do as much as I need to if it ensures her needs are met.
When our visit to cardiology last week alerted her physician to look at our girl a little more closely, several tests were scheduled and more blood work was ordered to be drawn. God has truly carried our girl through a time of extra tests during a season where both parents cannot go to visits unless exceptions are made, and it is a time that would have thrown her into a two-hour crying spree a few years ago. The difference in her is truly astounding and brings me once again to my knees to watch God work. Her joy, trust, and hopeful attitude has been an inspiration to me as we await these test results and I know that her future is certainly in God’s hands.
As I walked through thoughts of what her future holds this week, I was forced to consider realities I don’t usually ponder. I know her medical conditions and I trust that God is in control and will carry and provide for her. When things took a slight turn last week, I was forced to ponder the fact that her future may change faster than I expected. While I do not want that scenario, I can say that all is well with my soul. God has carried me through hard before and He will never stop. He has carried our precious daughter through hard before. He is still with her – and she knows Him now.
The hardest season in my life was the death of our oldest daughter. During that heart-shattering time, I buried myself in God’s word and strapped His armor on tight. In fact, it was super-glued to my body. I like to think I still wear it daily, but last week I was reminded to keep it polished and shining for others to see.
If you have listened to this podcast for long, you know my thoughts on eternal perspective. I firmly believe that everything I do affects those round me for eternity. I want others to see the way God carries and encourages me. The way He loves me, because He will love you the same, too. But last week was so emotional for me. I had to let myself process emotions and feel the possibilities, but then look firmly back to the Lord and know that none of what we discovered at the cardiology office was a surprise to Him and that He still holds each of us in His firm grasp. I know it is our time to curl up in His lap together and wait for Him to shower blessings. For it is always in the toughest seasons that we grow in Him if we only allow Him to cradle and carry us.
That back story must give you a hint of why I chose to read from Ephesians 6:10-19 this week. This is where I drew my deepest strength during my greatest time of heartbreak and where I continue to go to remind myself that I do not need to be strong in myself. When we are weak, make no mistake, the devil finds ways unique to what he has observed works in our life and tries to wiggle in and distract us from seeking God or tries to discourage us. These are the times we must stand strong and know where to turn. We need to remember Who my God is and allow His mighty and powerful armor to cover me as I rest in His arms.
Ephesians 6:10-19 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Let's take a look at some of the verses in this passage. Now we know that when we are in a battle, a spiritual battle, we definitely need to have spiritual weapons. God has given us absolutely everything that we need to remain strong in Him. I'd like to look at some notes written by Dr. David Jeremiah and I think they are beautifully written. I could not say things any better. Bear with me as I turn to this in my Bible.
People think of war as something glamorous until they, or someone they know, becomes a casuality. The same is true in the spiritual arena. Spiritual warfare seems to be a popular subject for movies, lectures, books, and preaching. But many believers are casualties of Satan's schemes. Make no mistake. Whether they are aware of it or not, all Christians are engaged in a very real spiritual battle between two opposing kingdoms. Those least in the know are often the first casualties.
Thankfully, Paul provides believers with a self-defense course in Ephesians 6, and Jesus equips us with all six dimensions of our spiritual armor. He is our truth, our righteousness, our peace, the object of our faith, the source of our salvation, and the living word of God. When we put on Jesus Christ, we are protected by the only person Satan has never defeated. Using the armor of a Roman soldier as a model, the apostle Paul described how a Christian can stand strong in the midst of this ever-present, but unseen spiritual battle:
1. The belt of truth - verse 6:14. The soldiers belt served as the foundation of his armor, holding his sword and his breastplate. Because Satan is the father of lies, he cannot stand against the truth. Jesus said, "I am the truth.Victory in spiritual warfare starts with truth.
2. The breastplate of righteousness - verse 6:14. The breastplate guarded the heart, the source of the soldier's life. In a similar way, righteousness protects the spiritual life of the Christian. Our righteousness comes not from ourselves, but from Christ.
3. Feet protected by the gospel of peace - verse 6:15. The soldier's heavy, armored sandals gave him traction and security in the heat of the battle. So our peace with God through Jesus Christ gives us security. in the face of Satan's accusations.
4. The shield of faith - verse 6:16. The soldier's leather-covered shield could be soaked in water to extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy. Faith in God's promises deflects and extinguishes the lies of Satan.
5. The helmet of salvation - verse 6:17. The aromored helmet protected the soldier's brain. Since the primary battlefield in spiritual warfare is the Christian's mind, assurance of salvation defeats the doubts Satan uses to attack us.
6. The sword of the Spirit, the word of God - verse 6:17. Paul noted ony one offensive weapon, the soldier's sword. For the Christian, the sword is the Word of God.
Thankfully, our spiritual armor is to be used in a war that has already been won. It is said of Napoleon Bonaparte that as he attempted to conquer all the kingdoms of the known world, he spread out a map on a table, pointed to a specific place, and said to his lieutenants, " Sirs, if it weren't for that red spot, I could conquer the world." The spot to which he pointed was the British Isles, the very nation that met Napoleon at Waterloo in Belgium and defeated him in league with a group of nations.
There is no doubt that when Satan talks with his minions about conquering the world, he says the same thing about the red hilltop of Calvary where Christ's blood was spilled. "If it were not for that red spot, I could rule the world."
But that red spot is what makes all the differnece in our spiritual battle. We do not have to live in fear of the devil. We need enter only the spiritual battle to which we have been called, aware of its reality and its subtlety, and armed with the truth that the ultimate vistory against Satan has already been achieved, Therefore, right now at this moment we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Personal experience in my life has seen how true that what Dr. David Jeremiah just wrote about in these verses has proven Ephesians to be so true. How about you? Have you put on the armor of God and seen the difference that it makes in your life? Have you read those words and been so inspired by what God has done, how he has carried you and protected you? I'd like to read some more notes that Dr. David Jeremiah has written.
I simply cannot write these any better and they are so powerful and so promising and so true. I want you to be inspired. Verses 6:10-12
Christians live in a spiritual war zone where the enemy - Satan - uses many tactics in his attempts to defeat them. Those tactics are evidenced by some of the descriptions of Satan in scripture: he is called the deceiver, a murderer, the tempter, a liar, the accuser of the brethren, and the wicked one.
Satan's war against God's people follows an organized strategy. Principalities refers to his head officers; wiles refers to clever plans, crafty deceptions, and cunning methods. Like a military general, Satan plans his attacks and directs his demonic forces. Paul mentions six pieces of armor, of which five are defensive. Paul's list mentions nothing for a Christian's back because God expects no deserters in His army. When Christians put on the armor of God they are putting on Christ Himslef. He is the one who fights Satan on their behalf.
How glorious it is for us. when we realize that fact. We don't have to fight Satan. God does the battles.
More notes here from 6:11-12 say: Every time Paul mentions another class of spiritual beings, he reaffirms that we wrestle against them. The word against appears six times in these two verses. Think of a Christian rowing a boat against the current, trying to make spiritual progress in one direction while Satan turns the current of the world in the opposite direction. You guys know what that's talking about. People, flesh and blood, may persecute, betray, or hurt God's children, but Christians must never forget that the real battle is against Satan, he is the one who brings evil into their lives and tempts them to sin. Believers who view other people as the enemy will not be able to vanquish the true foe.
Let's see some more notes here. How about 6:13. Christians need all the armor God has provided to defend against Satan's attacks. They must not choose one piece of armor over another to suit their preferences; they must be proficient in using every piece. Amen to that.
6:14-17, the notes read: Spiritual battles must be fought with spiritual weapons. God's people do not fight with arguments or violence but with truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. God promises that such weapons will defeat the enemy.
The only weapon for offense in the Christian's armor is the word of God. Two Greek words are commonly translated word in English: "logos," which describes the Bible as a whole, and "rhema," the term here, which refers to a particular "saying of God" that has special application for a given situation. The Bible as a whole is an armory from which to select swords for specific battles. Jesus illustrated the use of the "rhema of God" in His victory over Satan in the wilderness.
Verse 6:18 reads: A study of Old Testament wars reveals that when the armies of Israel fought in their own strength, they always lost. But when they cast themselves upon God's mercy, victory always followed. Supplication means to ask God for whatever one needs. Asking is the rule of the kingdom and the rule of the church.
How true are these notes? As you listen, I pray that you can use these notes in so many of the areas of our culture, of our personal lives, of things that we are going through right now as a nation, and as individuals. Also, at the very end, we will end with this passage that I read in verse 6:19. The notes here say: Paul did not pray for a release from jail, or for an improvement in his situation, or for his own health. He asked his friends to pray for boldness to unveil the mystery of the gospel of Christ.
Paul wanted to be an ambassador that he could speak boldly, as he ought to speak. Just as each of us need to do through the way we live each day. Living with an eternal perspective that draws us nearer to God, and draws others nearer to Him at the same time. We don't want the armor that we wear to reflect us. We want it to reflect Christ. We want the words we speak, the actions we do, the thoughts we make, all of those things to have one commonality, and that is, living with an eternal perspective. That we recognize that all we do matters, for us, for others, and for Christ.
Lord, help us to live with an eternal perspective that draws others to You and makes You boldly known. Help us to keep our armor on at all times, diligently waiting for You to fight our battles. God, we just thank you so much for all You are and do in our lives. Help us to be bold and to show You clearly in all ways.
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