“Today, I put on me and on my family the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the shoes of the gospel of peace. We are holding the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Now, Jesus, keep the devil away from me and the people I love. Amen!”
I wish it were that easy.
Being armored means that 24-7-365 we live in light of the fact that we are saved – that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and that, therefore, we can live righteously. Being armored means that we know the truth and that every day we disbelieve the devil’s lies and live according to the truth. Being armored means that because of the gospel, we claim our peace with God and we live in peace with others who have been forgiven by Him. Being armored means that when the devil’s darts of doubt and fear fly against us, that we who are saved by faith live by faith all day and every day – that no matter how many difficulties come at us, we trust in God, that God is for us, not against us. Being armored means that we use the word of God wisely.
Wearing all the armor of God is not about finding some quick fix or immediate solution to struggles in life. No one piece is insignificant, and no peace can be ignored. If any piece of the armor is missing, a gaping hole remains – and we are vulnerable to the enemy.
God has provided the “whole armor” for us, and we dare not omit any part. Satan looks for that unguarded area where he can get a beachhead (Eph. 4:27).
The enemy will try and scheme against us...What are the schemes of the enemy against us?
Let’s take a look at three of these schemes.
Jesus faced the devil as tempter…
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil… And the tempter came and said…
Matthew 4:1, 3a (ESV)
Sin will cost you more than you want to pay and will keep you longer than you want to stay.
Why do we fall to temptation? We have forgotten to wear all the armor all the time.
Schemes of the enemy against us? Tempted.
There is a cycle of temptation and then accusation. Once you commit the sin, the enemy will then tells you that you are the worst. We fall to his temptation and then he beats us to death with accusation.
The accuser of our brothers… accuses them day and night before our God.
Revelation 12:10 (ESV)
Have you ever been in prayer, pouring out your heart to God when all of a sudden out of nowhere come these blasphemous thoughts? Or maybe you’re at work or in the neighborhood and the idea of having a sinful relationship enters your mind. Horrible thoughts. Wicked thoughts. Depraved ideas. And doubts and confusion follow. And then you think, “How can I even be a Christian? How could I ever say that I love Jesus after thinking that?” And this frightens you. You wonder, “Where did this come from?” You reject it. But it was there.
Schemes of the enemy against us? Tempted. Accused.
As Josh Harris writes, “[Maybe] you are eaten up by guilt. You can’t stop looking at the flickering images on your computer screen. You feel like a monster walking around mentally undressing the girls you see. You feel powerless to change. None of the tips and tricks for being good – trying to control your thoughts, only looking at girls’ faces, having a QT every morning – seem to be working for you. So, you’ve stopped trying.”
What’s happening? Tempted, accused, then neutralized.
Schemes of the enemy against us? Tempted. Accused. Neutralized.
In the next post, we’ll discover some truths about how we can defend ourselves from the devil’s schemes.