As saints, we never leave the front line of spiritual
battle. The fight against the powers of darkness can seem
more intense during the holiday season. There is usually so
much to do. The pressures of time with certain unsaved
family members can be very difficult. We sense a heightened
need to bring light to our lost neighbors and friends. It is
just during this important Christmas season, as we seek to
focus on our beloved Savior, that we are tempted to take off
our armor. Dear Church family, let us not do that!
1 Peter 5:8-11
Am I Receiving Godís Strength at This Very Moment?  Paul
commands us to be strong in the strength of the Lordís
might. It is my
responsibility to have Godís power put into me moment by
moment. I canít strengthen myself but must make sure God
Am I Aware of How Godís Strength Is Received?  By
myself with the full armor, Godís power is put into my soul.
If one piece is missing, I will be exposed and vulnerable in
Am I Aware of the Advantage Godís Strength Gives Me? [11-13]
When I am armed, I have the strength of the Lord to stand
firm Ė to hold a critical position under fire and advance
forward. Godís armor allows me to stand firm against Satanís
schemes, to wrestle against the forces of darkness, and to
stand firm in the evil day [those critical occasions in our
lives when we are most vulnerable and when Satan and his
attack us most fiercely].
THE BELT: Do I Really Want to Fight?  The belt of truth
is not the content of truth. Rather it is the attitude of
truth and sincerity. Standing firm begins with a readiness.
It is the genuine commitment which leads toward total
preparation and maximum effort.
THE BREASTPLATE: Have I Repented of All Known Sin So I Can
Stand in the Battle? : The believerís breastplate covers
and protects his heart/conscience. It is the practical,
imparted righteousness which is the result of a heart
renovated by the Spirit of God. When we are living in daily,
moment by moment obedience, Godís power and strength are
continually infused into us. When we hold onto sin, we are
cut off from the supply of Divine power and rendered highly
vulnerable to attacks from the powers of darkness who are
alert to our weakened condition.
THE BOOTS: Do I Know Who Is On My Side?  When the gospel
of peace penetrates through at salvation, the saint suddenly
realizes he has been at war with God. But he now knows that
that war is over. He has peace with God. God loves him. The
Lordís favor is with him. The God who is stronger than Satan
and the forces of darkness is on his side. He can walk onto
the battlefield and face his adversaries despite their
supernatural abilities and his personal frailty. He knows
God is fighting on his behalf.
THE SHIELD OF FAITH: Am I Shielded Against Satanís Flaming
Missiles?  The Christianís shield extinguishes all the
flaming missiles. Because these
missiles come from the ďevil oneĒ, they will be timely,
relentless, traumatic, painful, cruel, and brutal. They
often will come from unexpected sources. We are to identify
Satanís darts quickly and take up our shield immediately.
When we see the missile coming, we are to: 1. Acknowledge
our weakness. 2. Consciously rely on Godís power. 3.
Anticipate that the shield will block the flaming arrow. 4.
Rejoice when we hear the ďshooshĒ of the arrow as it is
THE HELMET OF SALVATION: Am I Certain That the Fight Is
Worth the Pain and Effort? [17a] The helmet protects the
believer from Satanís broad sword of doubt, weariness and
discouragement. The helmet of salvation is the hope of the
future consummation of our salvation. This hope inspires the
believer to resist evil and endure hardship. He knows that
the general rewards of salvation given to all believers are
far superior to the pain and effort of the battle. And he
knows that standing firm in the battle increases the
individual rewards of salvation Ė those rewards are
specifically given to the soldier who stands firm in the
battle with courage and faithfulness. He knows that he will
not regret having taken an active role in the struggle. When
all is said and done, he will be overwhelmed with gratitude
THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT: Am I Able to Use the Sword of
Scripture With Skill and Precision? [17b] Godís Spirit
energizes His Word and makes it razor sharp. When used
skillfully, Scripture is a powerful defensive and offensive
weapon. Paul is not speaking of the Word of God in general.
He is referring to a
precise, skillful handling of specific texts of Scripture.
We are to use the Word with razor sharp accuracy. We are to
advance forward with the Spiritís Sword in our hand,
matching every counter attack of our adversaries with
reliance upon particular
passages from Godís Word that are specifically suited for
the particular attack.
PERSEVERING PRAYER: Am I Alertly Praying for All the Saints
Especially for Those Believers Who Are On the Front Line
Teaching and Preaching the Word? [18-20] Paulís call to pray
is integral to all that he has said in this text regarding
warfare and our need for strength in battle. Understanding
maliciousness and the power of our enemies, we must be alert
to pray in the Spirit with tenacity for the needs of all the
saints. We are to be especially involved in persevering
prayer for those saints who are teaching and preaching the
Word Ė that they might speak forth the Word with clarity and