In the book of Ephesians, it is no coincidence that we are ordered to put on armor. "Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." ~ 1 Peter 5:8
Tip: Click each label to drill down into the specifics of each item that provides a fighting chance for this battle.
Protecting the heart. Just as the breastplate protects core vital organs, we must protect our hearts from greed, lust, coveting, envy... becoming hardened. When are hearts become hard, we are less sensitive the conviction/voice of the Holy Spirit. There is a danger of completely falling away from our Faith when we no longer care to care.
"But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies." Matthew 15:18-19.
Be sensitive to hearing the Holy Spirit and quick to repent... "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
"If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love." John 15:10
Protecting our minds and thoughts! Remembering who we are in Christ. Rejecting doubts, fears and every high thing exalting itself against the knowledge of God. Refocus our minds by meditating on God's word day and night. (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-2)
"But let us, since we belong to the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and, for a helmet, the hope of salvation." 1 Thessalonians 5:8
"...throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Corinthians 2:5
Remembering who we are in Christ Jesus: I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (Philippians 4:13). I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23). I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Faith: "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. For by this, the elders obtained testimony. By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:1-3).
What might be the firery arrows be in your life? Temptations, adversity in all forms (just/unjust/self-inflicted), illness, false accusations, betrayal... Arrows bring to mind past hurts in order to strengthen bitterness and invoke us to sin. Arrows are thoughts that come to mind that cause us to not respect and fear God as we should, doubt God's love for us, question his Word or faithfulness. The arrows can be triggers to self medicate or provoke. Arrows come in all topics inclined toward our weaknesses.
How To Strengthen Faith: "So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105 [Full Chapter]
To fasten on the belt of truth is to give Christ the final say in our lives. Truth supersedes us all. Let us weigh everything in life by God's word.
Jesus said..."I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." John 14:6
Seek truth beware of false teachings: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? ..." Matthew 7:15-20
Seek truth in ourselves: "Or don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves." James 1:22 "For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables. But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:3-5
Sharper than any two-edged sword...
"For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." 2 Timothy 3:16
Peace of heart and mind... " and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;" Ephesians 6:15
"In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:6-7
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful." John 14:27
"You will keep whoever's mind is steadfast in perfect peace, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." James 3:17
"Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, " Hebrews 12:14 "For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby." Ephesians 2:14-16 "Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;" Romans 5:1 "In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on 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 the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints:
From addiction, to abortion, broken marriages to broken families... across society, in our own lives, where God has been/was rejected there is much destruction. Everything we need to successfully do battle has been provided to us through God's word and on the Cross through Jesus. Effort is required in a war, follow through, tenacity, "doing" not just hearing/reading...
The enemy schemes, throws flaming missiles (doubts, fears, negative memories, triggers, condemnation) at us. Evil seeks to devour us, and wages direct spiritual warfare upon us ( 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 ; Ephesians 6:10-18 ; 1 Peter 5:8 ) As a result, we are to arm ourselves, stand against, refute, resist and overcome ( James 4:7 ; Revelation 12:11 ).
"For though we walk in the flesh, we don't wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
The enemy prefers indifference, procrastination, and the offering of little if any resistance. SO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!
"Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12