Putting On The Armor Of God So We Can Succeed Through Our Battles

Recently I spoke to the students at our Crescent City Christian School about the subject of “putting on the Armor of God.” I did that because their theme for the School year is based on Ephesians 6:13 which says, “Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” That theme was chosen by our School for the 2022-2023 school year because they realize that every day we Christians are fighting spiritual battles, and we must be equipped to overcome the attacks of the Devil and his forces so that we can win the daily battles of life.

It’s not only the students and faculty at CCCS who are fighting daily battles with the Devil and his evil forces. All of us are doing that. So how do we “put on the armor of God” so that we can resist our enemy and win our battles? Listen to what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:13-18.

“Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Paul is writing about spiritual warfare in our text – which is a reality of life many Christians are not knowledgeable about nor are they prepared for. Oftentimes people come to Christ with the belief that their problems will be over, which is not the case at all. We will still have problems, and those problems will oftentimes be initiated and compounded by the Devil who hates God and hates all who pledge their allegiance to Him. The good news, however, is that after coming to Christ we have a Savior who will walk with us through our problems and even enable and empower us to overcome them.

So I have question for you “How do you know that the Devil is fighting against you on a regular basis?” The Devil is a very terrible and tenacious foe. He has strategies and tricks that he is utilizing against us. In the Bible we are told that the Devil tempts us, lies to us, seeks to manipulate us, and even seeks to gain strongholds in our lives. He is ever working to bring about the downfall of Christians and non-Christians. And we discover in Ephesians 6:10-12 that he is supported in this work by an entire army of ungodly spirits or demonic angels. Often we think that we are struggling with human beings, but in reality we are battling with the demonic forces of evil that are motivating and manipulating those human beings. To overcome this constant attack from the forces of evil we must stay close to the Lord, stay connected with other believers, and daily “put on” the armor of God (Ephesians 6:14-17).

So, “What is the ‘Armor of God’ and how does it apply to our lives?” The “Armor of God” Paul mentions in Ephesians 6:14-17 consists of spiritual components that come from the presence and power of the Lord Jesus that we need to appropriate for our lives on a daily basis. The “Belt of Truth’ is a part of the armor of God. Lies are oftentimes utilized by the Devil to “trip us up.” Every day we must determine by God’s power that we are going to believe the truth, speak the truth and live by the truth in every aspect of our lives. The “Breastplate of Righteousness” is another part of the armor of God. Breastplates were worn by 1st century soldiers in order to protect the vital organs of a man’s body. In the same way, living a righteous life by God’s power keeps us strong against the Devil’s attack. The “Armor of God” also includes the “Shoes of Peace.” One of the favorite tactics of the Devil is to cause us to lose peace in our lives – peace with God, peace with others, and the “peace of God” in our hearts and lives. Whenever we are out of fellowship with God, in conflict with others, or struggling with worry and doubt, we can know that the Devil is after us and we need to put on the “Shoes of Peace.” A fourth component of the “Armor of God” is the “Helmet of salvation.” The real battlefield of our life is in our mind, and so every day we must saturate our mind with the great truths and principles that accompany our salvation.  Another piece of the “Armor of God” is the “Shield of faith.” Every day the Devil shoots “fiery darts” at us seeking to discourage us and defeat us, but when we put our faith and confidence in the Lord we can overcome every attack of the enemy.  The final piece of “God’s Armor” is the “Sword of the Spirit,” which is that portion of God’s Word that the Holy Spirit illumines for your life for the battles you are currently fighting.

My third question is this. “How do we ‘put on’ the Armor of God?” We put on the “Armor of God” through prayer.  Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18: “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.”

As you pray today first thank God for the fact that He has not left you defenseless against the attacks of the Devil and his forces. The, pray on the “Armor of God,” asking the Lord to clothe you with the “Belt of Truth,” “Breastplate of Righteousness,” “Shoes of Peace,” “Helmet of Salvation,” the “Shield of Faith” and the “Sword of the Spirit”. Third, commit to the Lord that you will “pray on” His “Armor” daily.  And if you fulfill that commitment, you will find yourself living a vibrant and victorious Christian life.

Speaking of spiritual warfare, our Pastors and Staff have to deal with that on a daily basis as they seek to lead, serve and care for God’s people at Celebration and for people in the communities around us. Since this is Pastor Appreciation Month, I encourage you to express your appreciation to your Campus Pastors and Staff in some sort of way – through encouraging notes, gifts or words of affirmation. They serve the Lord, you and others simply because they are called by the Lord to do so and because they love people. But the Bible says that we are to honor those who lead us, and Pastor Appreciation Month is a time we can fulfill that admonition from the Lord.

We had an encouraging, equipping and empowering DIFFERENCE-MAKERS CONFERENCE this past Saturday at Celebration on Airline. We are grateful for the leadership of Pastor John Frady and his Team that put together the DIFFERENCE-MAKERS CONFERENCE, for those who led Breakout Sessions, for all who volunteered and served, and for all who participated in the Conference. We are also grateful; for our guest leaders for the Conference, Pastor Mike Haman (Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge) and Jake Smith (Destiny Church in Destin).  If you would like to obtain links to the Difference-makers Conference general sessions, they will be available this week on our Churchwide YouTube channel.

This coming Sunday at Celebration we will continue our TOUGH STUFF sermon series and honor long time Staff members, Chris and Cindy Meilleur, who are retiring to be missionaries in Central America. Cindy (26 years on staff) and Chris (25 years on staff) are two of our longest tenured Staff members. Chris has served for many years as our Central Support Facilites Manager for all our Celebration Campuses. And Cindy has served in various capacities on our staff, most recently in our Accounting Office. They are well known and well loved by many in our congregation.

Chris and Cindy have formed a ministry organization called Praising Jesus Feeding Ministry, which focuses on feeding and building homes for poverty stricken people in Central America, and then sharing the good news of Jesus with them. While they will carry out their ministry in several countries in Central America, they will be moving to Guatemala which will be their base. This Sunday we will honor them in our services and take up a love offering at the end of the services that will go directly to support Praising Jesus Feeding Ministry. You can also support their ministry endeavors financially by going to www.praisingjesusfm.org

We love you at Celebration Church, and look forward to seeing you this Sunday. In the meantime, put on God’s Armor daily through prayer, so that you can win those battles that you’re fighting with the Devil and devilish people.