The battle to keep Jesus at the centre has been the fight of every Christian for generations, and it is still the case today. It is a spiritual fight which takes place in the battleground of our hearts and requires much from us. Some seem to navigate the battle well, while others don’t.
The journey of following Jesus is not a journey where He removes us from the battle or even removes obstacles from our lives, rather it is a journey where He raises the bar of our lives (through battle), allowing us to rise above the obstacles. It would seem that the rewards for winning battles, are greater battles.
This means we may never be void of battle, so we ought learn how to handle battles.
We asked Carlos Panganiban, a student leader at ‘Elevate’, a nationwide Christian student movement in the Philippines, to write into this.
This is what he said…
How Do I Become Battle Ready? — Suit Up!
Paul made it clear in his letter to the people of Ephesus that our battles are beyond what our eyes see and our bodies feel (Ephesians 6:12). We do not go against the physical but rather the spiritual. It’s not just the instrument itself but the spiritual attacker who is the root-cause of all wickedness. No tangible weapon or object can ever protect us from the schemes of Satan and his lynch mob. But the Bible instructs us to take up the ‘Full Armour of God’:
Belt of Truth
One of the schemes of the enemy is filling our minds with lies and deceit, distorting our faith. In fact, deceiving or lying is the primary weapon of Satan, who is known as the father of lies (John 8:44). He convinces believers of lies that attack our viewpoint of who God is, our identity in Christ, and the truth of the Bible. Only the Lord’s truth can ever set us free from the lies of the one who deceives. Securing ourselves with the Belt of Truth can keep us from these wrong beliefs that leads to a wrong way of living.
Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate is what protects our vital organs, including the heart. Christ’s righteousness is what protects and guards our hearts from all the accusations and worldly labels thrown by the enemy. Yes, it is the righteousness of Jesus and not the deeds of men or even ourselves that we consider righteous. Jesus came as a perfect sacrifice for our sin so that we could be made righteous in the eyes of the Lord. The righteousness imputed to us is for the sake of being viewed as sinless, for we represent the One who is blameless, Jesus.
Shoes of Readiness Given by the Gospel of Peace
Ancient soldiers made sure that their feet were well covered to protect them from adversities and the environment, allowing them to travel far. As we keep our feet shod by the readiness provided by the Gospel of peace we will be able to prepare ourselves from the trials and obstacles Satan will place in our paths. And having protected by it, peace will be the one to keep us from the discouragements attached with the devil’s tests. Remember, the gospel is for everyone, not just for the unbelievers. Preach the gospel to yourself often. These shoes will bring us further as we proclaim the Gospel to the world.
Shield of Faith
Our faith is the foundation of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The day we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior was the day we placed our faith in Him. Paul emphasized in verse 16 that in all circumstances we should take up the shield of faith. In all circumstances where Satan will try to throw us darts of doubts and lies, our faith will shield us from its consuming fire. The shield of faith will be our protection that will save us from death.
Helmet of Salvation
Having a total assurance of the salvation and forgiveness we received from the Lord protects us from the confusions and discouragements of Satan. It will fight the confusions of the validity of our salvation and solidify us against any discouragement that we will never get to be with our Heavenly Father. That’s why wearing the helmet of salvation will protect us from these confusions and discouragements and will give us the certainty that we are saved and forgiven.
Sword of the Spirit
Armor won’t be complete and a soldier won’t be ready to go to the battle without a weapon. The Lord has provided us the weapon we need to fight the schemes of the enemy through the sword of the Spirit — Word of God. In Hebrews 4:12, the author described the word of the Lord as living and powerful; and sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword. Even during the time when Satan was tempting Jesus, He, the Messiah, has used the Word of the Lord to strike each of the devil’s attacks. We should always have to equip ourselves of the Word of the Lord through meditating on it day and night. This will protect us and keep us from the strikes and blows of the enemy.
Remember, as we take up the Full Armor of God, we should not neglect the power of prayer as well. Paul said in verse 18, that we are to pray to the Spirit at all times, with all prayer and supplication. It’s through prayer that we ask strength and guidance from the Lord. It’s a way for us to also be in communion with the Lord as we face our battles.
Satan and his army may be good at throwing their attacks, but having been clothed by the Full Armour of God, no fatal blows can ever destroy us. We have to be watchful and alert of the schemes of the enemy. And always remember that our battles are not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of the wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
Spiritual warfare is real, and not fantasy. Every day is always a battle. So take up the Full Armour of God!