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How to Fight the Spiritual Battle: Spiritual Armor

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2022 3:00 am

How to Fight the Spiritual Battle: Spiritual Armor

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 28, 2022 3:00 am

Some professions have specialty clothing . . . and it saves lives. Firefighters have “turnout pants and jackets” to protect against heat. Police officers wear kevlar vests. Soldiers have vests and helmets and boots. As we’ll learn today, Christian soldiers have specialty clothing, as well. But too many of us don’t know much about it. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us get to know our six pieces of spiritual armor, and how we can use them in spiritual battle.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Now it's time to pull out the sword.

It is written, 1 John 1.9, if I confess my sin, He's faithful and just to forgive me my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. That's how it works. Some professions have specialty clothing, and it saves lives. Firefighters have turnout pants and jackets to protect against heat. Police officers wear Kevlar vests. Soldiers have vests and helmets and boots. And as we'll learn today, Christian soldiers have specialty clothing as well.

But too many of us don't know much about it. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us get to know our six pieces of spiritual armor and how we can use them in spiritual battle. Alright. Well let's grab our Bibles and turn to Ephesians chapter 6. Ephesians chapter 6.

And the title of my message is, How to Fight the Spiritual Battle. Look at verse 14. So six pieces of armor are mentioned. Six pieces. The first three, the belt, the breastplate, and the shoes were attached to the body, never to be removed. The second three, the shield, the helmet, and the sword were for specific purposes and methods of attack. So it starts by saying, Gird your waist with truth.

Let me just use a more modern translation. Put on the utility belt of truth. The Roman soldier had a belt. And on his belt he had a sheath which was for the sword obviously. And also the breastplate was attached to the belt. And the belt also pulled his, well it pulled his little skirt up ok. Because he wore a toga.

A toga is basically just like a skirt. And so it would be down over his knees. So when he is going into battle he pulls it up above his knees and he cinches in the belt so it stays above the knees giving him freedom of movement. Now he pulls his sword out. You have got to have the belt on because if someone pulls your belt off, off comes your breastplate. There goes your sword and your dress just fell to the ground.

You are looking stupid right. So what does this even mean? Put on the belt of truth. Basically it is just saying bottom line if you are not walking truthfully before God none of the rest of this really matters. You know if you are living a hypocritical life.

If you are saying one thing and doing another then this is not going to work for you. So you start with a truthful right relationship with God. Then you have the breastplate of righteousness.

What does that mean? The breastplate of righteousness. What it is is a representation of your stand before God.

We talked about how we are justified. Which means when you become a Christian God forgives you of all of your sin and then He puts the righteousness of Christ into your spiritual bank account so to speak. And you stand positionally right before God. I am a righteous man. You are a righteous man. You are a righteous woman. So I stand in this special relationship with the Lord. And I bring this up because one of the devil's primary tactics is accusation. You know he comes up to you.

He tempts you to think it in pure thought and then you sort of take it for a test drive and he attacks you. What a hypocrite you are. You are not even a Christian. You don't believe in Jesus. Boom.

You know blows against the breastplate. But this is righteousness where I am not standing in my good works or what I have done for God. I am standing in what God has done for me. Very important.

Number three. We are to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This is the footwear of the soldier.

It gave him firm-footedness and mobility on the field of battle. It speaks of standing firm and gaining ground. And how do I gain ground?

Very simple answer. By proclaiming the gospel. That is how we advance in the spiritual battle. Romans 10 14 says, How can they call on Him unless they believe in Him? How can they believe in Him unless they have heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?

And how will anyone go and tell them unless they are sent? And that is why the Scripture said, How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news. So the way we gain ground in the spiritual battle is by sharing our faith.

Now look at this. Verse 16. Above all.

Underline those two words. Above all. So Paul is now distinguishing this piece of armor from the rest. Above all, he says, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. So the Romans, you know, the Roman army was amazing. And that is why they defeated so many of their enemies because they worked together. And they would march into battle with these shields for the first part of combat. And when the initial barrage of flaming arrows came they would all get them up and lock their shields. From the front. From the side.

And on top too. And all those arrows would land on top of the shield. So they knew the arrows were coming and they were ready for them when they came. So the way it works in real life is the devil will fire his arrows at us. You never know when it is going to happen.

Satan's flaming arrows are swift and silent. There is no advance warning of their arrival. You can wake up in the morning and the enemy can hit you with a flaming arrow or a fiery dart before your feet even hit the floor. It can happen in the middle of the night. Maybe a thought of complete despair. You might be gripped with a thought of intense fear and terror. What if this happens to me? What if that happens to my family?

What if this other thing happens? It can be a thought of hatred towards somebody. It can even be a blasphemous thought.

It is so crazy. And from left field you are thinking how could that thought even come to me? Remember it is not a sin to be tempted. And just because the devil fires a flaming arrow at you that doesn't mean you have done anything wrong. You are not the twisted one.

He is the twisted one. You put up your shield and identify the source of it. That is from Satan. I reject it. I am not going to even entertain it for a moment.

I didn't think of it and I am not going to play around with it. And that is how you resist it. Know where these things are coming from because the devil is clever as I already said.

He will tempt you and then he will attack you for being tempted. How could you be so twisted to think that? I didn't even think it.

I was like worshiping. And this stinking thought. Where did that come from? It came from hell. It came from Satan.

It is a flaming arrow. It says hey I reject that. That is not from God. Just let it go. Resist the devil and what will happen?

He will flee from you. So understand the source of these things. So the helmet of salvation. This is so very important because obviously the helmet protects your head. And you know that most temptations come in the form of your thoughts right? They always start with a thought.

Take any temptation you have ever given into and I bet you in every instance it started right here. And you know you entertained it so you have to wear a helmet. I ride a motorcycle and I have to wear a helmet. And I hate helmets by the way.

But I know that they are good and they protect your brain which is a nice thing to keep intact if possible. So in the same way in the spiritual battle you are going to get hit in the realm of your thinking. So you want to protect your mind. So there is one last weapon in our spiritual arsenal and that is the sword of the Spirit. This is the only weapon that is offensive. In other words if I am going against my enemy I am not going to throw my helmet at him.

Ok here I come. Throw a helmet. That is not going to work very effectively. I am not going to beat him to death with my breastplate. That is not practical.

I am not going to attack him with my shield or you know throw my gospel shoe at him or something right? These are not effective weapons. These are not weapons. These are defensive tools that the soldier uses. But this sword.

This is how I attack. And of course it says the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. See many believers have all their armor in place but they never use their sword. They leave it in the sheath. They talk about it.

They study it. But they never actually utilize the sword in spiritual battle. Listen to this. The devil knows the authority of the Word of God. And that is why as I mentioned earlier he will try to keep you from it at all costs. He will do everything he can to see that we either keep our sword sheathed or that we don't even put them on in the first place. That is why he attacks God's Word in your life because he knows the power of Scripture. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Hey everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us this weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It is worship. It is a message from the Word of God. You can watch it with your family in your front room.

Or you can watch it on the go on your tablet, on your phone, or your computer. Take it with you. Take the Word of God with you and join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is presenting the final message in a series of most requested studies of the year. Today's message is good insight on emerging victorious in spiritual battle.

Let's continue. One of the greatest things you can apply your mind to is the memorization of the Bible. The memorization of the Bible. Well I can't do it.

I can't remember Bible verses. Yeah you can. Well I can.

Ok let's start with one. Jesus wept. Say that. Jesus wept. Now you know a Bible verse. That is one.

Now we have got to move on. I still remember Bible verses that I learned when I was 17 years old. And verses that I just committed to memory. And you know you can do it because you have all kinds of stupid song lyrics in your head. You have lines from movies that you can quote at will in your head. You have stats and scores of games that have been you know played over the years in your head.

You have other information that you put in there. You can make time for the Bible. It is a commitment. It is a discipline. But memorize Scripture.

You say, well why do I need to do that? Because memorized Scripture is a weapon against sin. Psalm 119 and 11 says, Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You. Then Psalm 37 and 31 says, The word of God is in His heart.

His steps do not slip. See here is how it works. So Satan comes to you and he says, You have just sinned. And let's say you have sinned. And he says, God will not forgive you. You have no relationship with God. Now it is time to pull out the sword and use it.

Ah that is not true. Because it is written, 1 John 1 9, If I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Just like that.

That is how you use a sword. Remember Jesus when He was tested in the wilderness. He was hit with three primary attacks from the devil. One of them was when after He had not eaten for 40 days and 40 nights. Can you imagine how hungry He would have been.

So what does the devil do? He comes up and says, Hey why don't you turn a rock into a piece of bread. And what does Jesus say? It is written, You shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Now Jesus could have just said, Look I am Jesus.

You are not. Get out of here. Jesus could have banished the devil. Driven him away with just a word. But Christ gave us an example of how to deal with temptation by quoting Scripture.

So we do the same thing. The devil whispers in your ear, God will not hear your prayers. God will not hear what you are saying. God is not listening to you. I come back with the Word of God. 1 John 5 14.

This is the confidence we have in Him. If we ask anything according to His will He hears us. So I quote the Scripture. Sometimes I quote it out loud.

I quote it out loud. The devil can hear it and I can hear it. So I am reminded of what the Word of God says. Maybe the devil says, You should be afraid.

You know I am going to destroy you. And we quote Scripture. Psalm 27 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom then shall I be afraid?

And then 2 Timothy 1 7. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. The devil says, Well you need to worry.

Worry right now. No actually I don't because I am told over in Philippians 4 6. Don't worry about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication. With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

That is how it works. You know the Word of God. You memorize the Word of God. You quote the Word of God. And it will help you when you are being tempted. But if you don't know God's Word clever little things you read on Instagram are not going to help.

Ok. There are all kinds of clever little things you can read and nice little sayings. But you need the Word of God. That is what the devil is afraid of. And that is what he responds to. And that is why it is called the sword of the Spirit.

Ok. One last thing and then I am going to close. The final ingredient to winning this spiritual battle in addition to putting on the armor of God and you know the breastplate of righteousness the helmet of salvation the shield of faith the sword of the Spirit and having your feet shot at the preparation of the gospel of peace this is really important. Prayer. Prayer.

Look at verse 17. 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. Supplication is when you are praying for someone else. Worship is when you are bringing glory to God. Intercession.

You are standing in the gap. Supplication. You are praying for someone.

Petition. You are asking the Lord to help you. But the Word of God and prayer are inseparable. Listen to this. The Word of God enlightens us and prayer enables us.

Let me say that again. The Word of God enlightens us but prayer enables us. The Word of God reveals the will of God.

Prayer enables me to do that will. There is an excellent illustration of this in Exodus chapter 17 showing how God's Word and prayer work together. So the nation Israel is facing off with the Amalekites on the battlefield.

And Moses told Joshua to send men to fight the Amalekites. And he would stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand interceding for them. So when he held that staff up they knew Moses is praying. So he is praying.

And when the staff is up they are winning. And then Moses is old and his arms are getting tired. So again he pulls his arms down and they start losing.

No. And he puts them back up and they start winning again. So two guys say we have got to help poor old Mo right? One is named Aaron.

The other is named her. They grab each end of his staff and they hold it up. Moses is kind of hanging on with his arms. And so the soldiers saw Moses with his staff up praying and they prevailed in the battle. So it shows how prayer and the Word of God go together. And that is why we need to proclaim the Word of God and then we need to be praying. The power in the spiritual battle does not come from what we know.

It comes from who we know. It is all about Jesus. And it is all about a relationship with Jesus. And so let me just close by asking do you know Jesus?

Let me say something that you need to understand. If you are not a Christian you are no match for Satan. He can pretty much wreck a lot of havoc in your life. But if you are a follower of Christ you are under his protection.

His ID tag is attached to you. And so you have that guarantee of protection. But a non-Christian they have nothing. And you think you are going to keep the devil away with a crucifix? I have a crucifix. He hates crucifixes. He can care less about crucifixes. Well I have holy water. There is no holy water. Oh well yeah you need Jesus. That is the only thing Satan fears.

Let me restate that. That is the only one Satan fears. Because of the power of Christ. And when Jesus comes and lives in a life you are under his protection. You know sometimes people say that Christians can be demon possessed.

How absurd. Do you think God is going to do a timeshare program? I have Jesus here and sometimes demons live over here. No no this is like if Christ is in this house he is the sole occupant of the house.

And he drives everything out. So when he comes in all that demon power that was maybe in me in some way, shape, or form is gone. And I am protected.

Someone new is in the house. And when the devil comes knocking I just say, Lord would you mind getting that? And when Jesus answers the door trust me the devil is not coming in. But if Christ is not living in your house, in your life, you are vulnerable.

You need Jesus. Jesus Christ the Son of God who came to this earth and lived a perfect life. And then he went and died on the cross for your sin. And paid the price for every wrong you have ever done.

And then he rose again from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and says if you will hear his voice and open the door he will come in. Have you asked Jesus to come into your life yet? There might be some of you here that man you are just worried and you are full of anguish.

And you have a lot of problems you are facing and you are just thinking this is so hard. Well there is someone who said that we should cast all of our care upon him because he cares for us. God is saying let me take your troubles. Let me take your cares. Let me take your anxieties. Let me carry it for you.

Come here. Let me put my arms around you. You are safe with me.

You need to come to Jesus. You don't want to be out there for one day without him. You don't want to be out there for one hour without him. He will forgive you and you will enter into a relationship with him. And if you don't have that relationship with Jesus let me extend an invitation to you now to believe in him.

Because he is ready to come into your life. But you have to say, Lord save me. Lord forgive me. And I don't know what mess you are in right now or what troubles you are facing or whatever they are. God is greater than whatever you are facing.

And he will come into your life tonight. To not say yes to Jesus is to say no to Jesus. Jesus said you are for me or against me. So this is an either or proposition. If you don't say yes I want Jesus you are effectively saying I don't want Jesus in my life. And you have that ability to make that choice. Though it is the wrong one. Don't make it. Say yes to him.

You will not regret it. Let's pray. Father I pray now that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince every person that is listening or watching wherever they may be.

Show them their need for you. And help them to come to you and believe in you. Right here.

Right now. So we ask for your Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those that need to take this next step. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you know you need to make that kind of change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you with that before today's edition of A New Beginning wraps up. Well Pastor Greg and I have a couple of special guests in the studio today. Pastor Levi Lusko author of the new children's devotional book called Roar Like a Lion which we're making available to our listeners right now.

And Pastor Greg's son Pastor Jonathan Laurie is here. Jonathan you're reading this new book with your own kids these days. How's that going?

Oh it's been going great. My kids really love it. They're the perfect ages. This book is 8 to 10 I believe it is right Levi? Well 6 to 10 is the reader level. Oh 6 to 10.

Yeah it's perfect. Well I've got a 9 year old and an 11 year old and Allie even though she's just outside of that age man she's absolutely loving it. And I've got to be honest I'm loving it too. It's ministering to my heart going through different devotions hearing just wonderful reminders of who God is.

His character. How it plays out in our everyday lives. And one thing I like to do is I have my kids read it to me. It's a good way for them to just kind of practice their reading and read out loud and hearing their little voices is so sweet.

Sometimes I sneak a little video of it and save it for later you know something to look at on a rainy day. But it's so sweet hearing them read these devotions read these scriptures and then have them pray too. There's a wonderful little prayer at the end of each devotion that kind of sums it up. And it's such a blessing to get to go through it with my kids. They're 9 and 11 and I know that any age is really going to be blessed by this. I started reading devotions to my kids man really from the time they were born. You know they say it's so important for children to hear the sound of their parents voice and reading to them.

So whether you have a newborn child and you just need some content to read to them. Man this is a great book or whether you've got kids that are older. I'm telling you no matter what age you're going to be blessed by this. I've been blessed by it. I've been encouraged. I've been challenged. And so really love this book.

Roar like a lion. Yeah we did the same thing Dave as I raised Jonathan and his brother Christopher. You know with little devotions with them reading from the scripture encouraging them. And it's so gratifying to see that passed on to another generation. And that's what God wants us to do. He wants us to pass these truths on to the next generation. You know the Christian life is like a race and if it's a race it's a lot like a relay race. We hold the baton for a time then we hand it on to the next generation.

They carry it and then they hand it on too. That's our job as parents to teach these things to our children. But I know that's not always the easiest thing to do. You don't know where to start. You don't feel like your Bible knowledge is deep enough.

You're not a theologian. Listen we have a tool to put in your hands to help you do a better job of sharing the truth of God's word with your kids or your grandkids. And it's a book written by Levi Lusko titled Roar Like a Lion. 90 devotions to a courageous faith. And we'll send you this brand new book to help you lead your family spiritually for your gift of any size. And whatever you send will be used to continue this ministry called A New Beginning as we teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel all around the world.

Yeah that's right. Your investment helps us reach literally all over the planet. If you've been a partner with us, thank you so much. And if you can partner with us right now, we hope you'll ask for a copy of Pastor Levi's new children's devotional book Roar Like a Lion. And we won't be mentioning this much longer, so contact us soon. You can donate securely online at harvest.org. Or call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Well Pastor Greg, you mentioned our need to come to Christ for forgiveness of sin in today's study. Maybe there's somebody listening who would like to do that. They'd like to take that step.

Maybe you could help them with that right now. I'd be delighted to. Listen, if you would like to accept Jesus Christ into your life right now, and by that I mean if you would like your sin forgiven and have the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die, would you pray this prayer with me? Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and rising again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now and I put my faith in you to be my Savior, my Lord, my God, and my friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Listen, if you just prayed that prayer in a minute, I want you to know on the authority of God's word that Jesus Christ has just come to take residence in your heart. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. Listen, we want to send you some resources that will help you grow spiritually. So here's Dave with some details, and let me say God bless you and welcome to the family of God. Yeah, and those resources Pastor Greg mentioned are all included in something we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll help you get started in living your life for the Lord. So can we send it to you? Just ask for the New Believers Growth Packet. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, next time Pastor Greg launches a series on the Christian family. It's practical advice on keeping our families healthy and happy called Home Sweet Home. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher, Greg Laurie.

Here are some behind-the-scenes comments just for our podcast listeners. Pastor Levi commented about Pastor Greg's connection with children. I'll tell you what, my kids perk up when they hear you preaching. You always do funny voices, you tell funny stories. And I think, you know, Jesus, the greatest compliment we can make about Jesus' ministry is that kids always wanted to be around him when he was teaching and doing ministry. And I think that as pastors, as communicators, if kids aren't tuned in to what we're saying, we're not doing it right.

Because they should be like magnets to the way that we communicate. Yes, that's right, too. I remember, you know, Jonathan, we would go out and have, like, dinner with Chuck Smith, and Jonathan was just a little kid, and Chuck did all these, like, really entertaining things. Jonathan, remember what he did with the napkin? Yeah, he could turn it into, he would wrap it in a certain way.

It looked just like a rat. And he would hold it in the nook of his arm, and he did it some way I could never replicate it. And he would hold it in the nook of his arm, and he could get it to jump and to run up his arm to where I swore the thing was alive. And it was so real and so entertaining, and he would do it over and over and over for me.

It was a great trick, and I can't do it myself, and I tried to figure it out. And I'm an adult going, like, Chuck, how do you do that exactly? But, you know, I think that people respond to that kind of thing. But I will say this, you've taken that mantle and run with it, you know, because my kids just come alive around you. And obviously, you're a very seasoned grandfather. And I think that's an, we should, you know, always recognize the grandparent.

Because Timothy didn't just have a mother, Lois, he also had his grandmother, Eunice. You know, to the grandparents listening, maybe your kids aren't walking with Jesus, but you have a really important ministry to, when they come around your house, you know, that they're getting a double dose of scripture and Jesus and prayer and devotions. And, you know, that's just, that to me is, and even if you're not a parent or grandparent at all, if you're in any way in kids' lives, like Paul wasn't Timothy's dad, but he was his father in the faith. So, you know, I think that we all have to do what we can do, and our God's a father to the fatherless. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-16 15:36:54 / 2023-06-16 15:49:25 / 13

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