Putting It on by Prayer

Part 10 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series 

Read Ephesians 6:10-20

 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

To be battle-ready, a believer must put on the Armor of God by prayer.

If Paul’s Armor of God is a metaphor drawn from a Roman soldier, then how are we to prepare for battle? The answer is prayer.  I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true. The battle we are fighting is not a physical war but rather a spiritual fight. Through Christ, we are victorious, but we must hold this ground. We face the enemy on our knees!

We should take courage because of our Commander in Chief. He has never lost a campaign. He gives us every resource needed. Are you ready to suit up? It must be done daily. You must be a battle-ready believer through prayer.

Suggestion for Prayer:

Thank God for giving you the ability to be battle-ready. Pray your way through the various pieces of the Armor of God.

Further Study:

Reread the Book of Ephesians and take note of the resources given.

The Sword of the Spirit

Part 9 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series.

 

Read Ephesians 6:10-20

Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (NLT) 

To be battle-ready, believers must skillfully use the Sword of the Spirit. 

The word of God is the believer’s sole source of offense. This weapon is not a fabled blade wedged in stone but the all-powerful  Sword of the Spirit! Excaliber’s power pales in comparison. The author of Hebrews declares, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) You have a mighty weapon in the Bible!

However, a sword in the hands of a novice is not as useful as in the hands of a master swordsman. Mastering the sword in combat takes years of practice. Becoming skillful with the word of God takes study. Paul writes, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)  Remember our battle is a spiritual war.  Even Jesus used the word of God to overcome Satan during temptation by declaring, “It is written…”  You need to do the same! Grab the Sword of the Spirit, study it, and fight the good fight!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank the Lord for giving you his written revelation. Ask him to give you the discipline to train (study) it.

Further Study:

Read Psalms 119

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Helmet of Salvation

Part 8 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series 

 

Read Ephesian 6:10-20

Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

To be a battle-ready believer, you must protect your thought life with the Helmet of Salvation. 

A warrior must protect their head in battle. The mind is the central command of the body. There is not a single action that does not originate – either consciously or unconsciously – from the brain. Of course, this makes sense when dealing with physical combat, but how does this apply to the Christian struggle?

The Helmet of Salvation protects the believers thought life. Our thinking controls our actions. Therefore, we must know what God says about us in his Word. We must understand what Christ has given us in salvation. The helmet metaphor Paul employs is interpreted as knowing what we have in Christ. We must renew our mind with Word of God (see Romans 12). Martin Luther, once said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” Get in the Word of God and let it get in you. Take control of your thought life! The battle depends on it!

Suggestion for Prayer: 

Thank God for the salvation found in Christ. Ask God to help you identify wrong-thinking and to aid in correcting it.

Further Study: 

Read Romans 12 & 2 Corinthians 10.

 

The Shield of Faith

Part 7 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series 

Read Ephesian 6:10-20

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. (Ephesians 6:15 NLT)

To be a battle-ready believer, you must stand behind the shield of faith. 

Fiery arrow of accusations will come at the follower of Jesus! Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). He will call you ugly. He will call you worthless. He will say you are not good enough. He will even make you question your salvation! He is a master at hurling arrows of accusation. The battle-ready believer must shield themselves with faith.

How can you defend from these attacks? By standing behind the safety provided by the shield of faith. Faith is built by hearing the word of God. Paul writes, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” (Rom 10:17 NLT)  This shield of faith is utilized when we stand behind (or on if you like) what God says about us, instead of Satan’s lies. For example, I struggled with low self-esteem issues about my physical appearance because of mean things that were spoken by others in my formative years.  However, I had to find shelter and refuge in what God’s word says about me. The Psalmist writes, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” (Psa 139:14 NLT – Emphasis added) God says I am wonderfully and marvelously created in His image! To use the shield of faith, you must rest in what only God says about you.

Suggestion for Prayer:

Thank God for giving us the shield of faith. Ask Him to reveal any areas your have listened to accusations of the enemy.

Further Study: 

Read Romans 10.

Shoes of Peace

Part 6 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series. 

Read Ephesians 6:10-20

“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” (Ephesians 6:15 NLT)

To be a battle-ready believer, one must walk in and share the peace given by the Good News.

Why would a soldier wear shoes? In Paul’s day, the Roman army was predominately an army of foot soldiers. To move infantry was to have them march. A soldier that could not march was a hindrance, if not useless. Even in today’s military, protecting your feet is essential. A fighter without healthy feet will falter.  Shoes protect your feet and make a person mobile.

How does this apply to believers? The shoes Paul mentions in this passage is “the peace that comes from the Good News.” We can walk in comfort knowing we are no longer enemies of God. He has reconciled us to Himself through Christ. Also, this verse mentions being fully prepared. Like soldiers in an army, we must be ready to mobilize when given the marching orders. In reality, the Church has been received marching orders in the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). Lace up your shoes and go share the Good News!

Suggestion for Prayer: 

Thank God for the peace given through Christ. Ask to be led to share this peace with today.

Further Study: 

Read Romans 5; Matthew 28:18-19; Acts 1:8

Body Armor of God’s Righteousness

Part 5 of 10 in the Be Battle Ready Series.

 Stand your ground, putting on … the body armor of God’s righteousness. (Ephesians 6:14 NLT)

To be a battle-ready believer, you must realize your heart is protected with Christ’s righteousness. 

Why would a soldier wear body armor? For clarity, many translations render this phrase “the breastplate of righteousness.” A warrior’s breastplate protects their vital organs in heated combat. Chest or center-mass strikes are common in battle because it is the largest target. This piece of armor was crucial to survival.

But what is Paul meaning by “the body armor of God’s righteousness?”  Paul used this metaphor of a breastplate to exhort the believers to guard their hearts. In the book of Proverbs, the writer states, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT) Much like on the battlefield, the believer must defend against attacks to the heart. 

How a believer is to guard against such an attack is found in the type of armor. Righteousness means “right standing with God.” Satan will employ accusations that we are not the children of God. However, if you have trusted Christ, you have been given right standing with God! You have Christ’s righteousness. Therefore, you can know God is fighting for you. You are on His Side!

 

Suggestions for Prayer: 

Thank God for the righteousness given by Christ’s sacrifice. Thank him for this protection. Ask if there is any impurity in your heart from which you need to repent. 

Further Study: 

Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21