Have you ever wondered why Christianity is hated by so many people? Why would a gospel full of peace and love be outlawed is so many countries? The answer to these questions lies in Ephesians 6:12 which says, “For we do not wrestle against the flash and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Satan knows that Christianity is the one and only true way, but he doesn’t want the world to know that. So he tries to feed them lies about Christianity so it will be hated and looked down upon. That is why prayer has been taken out of our schools. That is why the name of Jesus is forbidden in some countries. And it is also why we must learn how to fight against evil.
I once read, “Jesus never led a military campaign, never incited a rebellion, and never spoke words of war, yet his followers have been and continue to be violently opposed. Jesus’ message speaks of love, peace, and reconciliation, yet in some countries government officials have banned the gospel as if it were a declaration of war. In reality, we are engaged in a war- with our Savior and satan locked in a spiritual battle.” We are in a war unlike any other. But, like any other war, it is crucial to know what weapons to use to defeat the enemy. That is why Paul goes on in Ephesians 6:14-18 to say, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” These “weapons,” Paul explains to us, are the one and only way to have victory over our ultimate enemy- Satan. But notice that each weapon can only be used with the help of the Holy Spirit. This war is much too big to fight on our own. That is why God has given us the help of the Holy Spirit and the armor of God.
If you had never used a sword before and someone handed you one, you would have no idea how to use it. But with much practice and determination, it would become second nature to you. It is the same way with the armor of God. If you never practice with it, then when the time comes to fight, you won’t know how to use it. But how do we practice using the armor God has given us? Well, for example, Paul tells us that the Bible is our sword. Therefore, we can practice using our “sword” by studying and reading the word of God. He also tells us to put on the “breastplate of righteousness.” The word righteousness means the quality of being morally right. So we can put on our breastplate of righteousness by doing what is right even when it is going against the flow of what everyone else does.
My friend and I were talking about this the other day and she shared something with me that she had read in Priscilla Shirer’s study “The Armor of God.” It explained how when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we are immediately given the armor of God. All we have to do is activate it. Don’t let your armor become rusty and old. God has given it to us for a reason, so let’s use it.