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Seeds of the Kingdom

Be Prepared for Battle

by Margaret Silvester

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV

I week ago, I was in a room on the third floor of a city building, teaching about spiritual warfare to a group of believers who have a real hunger to grow in their faith. It was a completely new subject to almost every person in the room. As we got to response time at the end of the session, a fire alarm thundered through the building, and we had to walk down three flights of stairs and line up outside. It was a false alarm, which illustrated the scheming work of the devil to try to destroy the word of God.

Jesus gave a very clear description of the enemy whose schemes we are to stand against. “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan wants us to doubt God. If we do this, we find ourselves on sinking ground. Because Eve doubted God, sin came into the world. He also wants to discourage the children of God by filling their minds with negative thoughts and anxiety, which certainly block the deep experience of the love and joy the Holy Spirit alone can give. We live in dark days, when it is important to walk in the light, and leave nothing hidden under the surface of our lives. We have a high calling to be witnesses – those who reflect Jesus in a broken, mixed-up world.

If you’ve been in Ellel Ministries for any length of time, the mention of the whole armour of God may not be what you think you need at this time. However, I believe that, under the surface, there is probably more truth than we may yet have experienced.

It is so often the desires of the flesh which entice us and bring us out of our place in Christ. If we leave off one of the six parts of the armour, there’s no point in putting the rest on, because that’s exactly where the enemy will attack us, and we will immediately lose our joy. We are told twice in a few verses in Ephesians 6 that we need the full armour, and there are three reasons for this. Firstly, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes (verse 11). Secondly, because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (verse 12) and thirdly, so that we can stand our ground when the day of evil comes (verse 13).  We could say that the armour is a lifestyle which we are enabled to live by the Spirit, whatever may be taking placed in our lives.

Knowing the Lord Jesus as the truth means living in reality. If there is unreality in our lives, we are insecure, and, if something or someone else takes first place, we have missed the whole point of truth. Righteousness must be in our hearts. Jesus alone is our righteousness, but we must make right choices. Jesus promised peace of heart and mind to those who love Him. As we share the good news of the Gospel, and walk in the ways of God, we have a peace that passes all understanding. Our faith may be small at times, but victorious living is not about big faith. It’s about the person in whom our faith is placed. It’s about a life of daily surrender to the One who won the battle over our enemy at the place called Calvary.

Our enemy hates a Christian who, by faith, walks as an overcomer. We have a moveable shield which quenches his fiery darts. The mind is his favourite place of attack. In many ways our minds are the most vulnerable part of us. We have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This was the weapon Jesus used when He was tempted in the wilderness for forty days and nights, just before He began His ministry. So, let us hide it in our hearts that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Jesus is our forerunner. He is our example, and He is enough for every circumstance of life. However hard the battle may be at times, if He is our centre, we can be assured that we are on the victory side, because He triumphed over all the powers of darkness by the cross (Colossians 2:15).

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

 

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