Saturday, 14 August 2021

Towards Collective Spiritual Warfare – The Armour

When the Holy Spirit is in charge of our prayers and mobilizes the Word of God about a situation things start to happen
This blog is the “middle bit” of a reflection on spiritual warfare. In the first message on the MCF website (15th August 2021) we considered some thoughts about the nature of our warfare, our champion and adversary. Next week we will look at some of the weapons and tactics at our disposal - some of the ways that the Lord has given us to overcome and enforce His victory. This blog talks a little more about our armour and its use.

The well-known scripture about our armour is set out in Ephesians 6:13-18. This is what Paul says about it:

Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 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.

As has often been noted we are urged to take the whole armour of God not some of it. Also, people have said that we have only one offensive weapon – the sword. What a weapon this is – it is the sword of the Spirit – the word of God. As we will see later its not just any scripture; it is the Spirit – determined word for that specific occasion. As Paul suggests in Romans 8:26-27 the Holy Spirit plays a vital part in making our prayers relevant and focussed on what the Lord’s will is in any situation:

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Now here are the points that I want to make about this armour:

As many have said it’s all needed - all of the time and we need to put it on, take it with us or have it to hand.

It is apparent that the way in which this armour is put into use is through prayer. Armour is no good on the shelf and no better on the soldier if its never put into use. Armour is made for battle not parties or business meetings or negotiation. Negotiating with our enemy is no use. First the only deal that he wants to make is one that he can break because he is the father of lies. Second Jesus died on the cross, was buried (preached to souls in hell), rose again, ascended and sent us the Holy Spirit – He defeated the enemy on his own ground. We are here to enforce that victory but we can’t do it in our own strength and we had better not try without the armour that God has provided

It’s not the fact that we only have one offensive weapon that’s important – its what we do with it! A soldier with a weapon as powerful as the word of God can be in defence or attack. It’s the soldier that can’t hear the captain’s instructions that is in trouble. How many times do Christians huddle behind their shields quietly absorbing fiery darts from the enemy? All of us will probably have experienced a time when God has called a group to pray and they have been on the attack – when the Holy Spirit is in charge of our prayers and mobilizes the Word of God about a situation things start to happen and we are conscious of it. One time we were called to pray for someone who was on the point of dying. The Lord directed us to pray in particular ways and particular times for two weeks and our friend recovered miraculously. When this happened, we felt the Lord saying: “You have set yourself to pray for your friend and have earnestly prayed and fervently followed my directions during this time – will you seek me for my agenda and pray about that with the same obedience and fervour”? I guess a challenge could be “will we”?
Using the Shield of Faith puts us into the attack – its impossible to defy what we see with our natural eyes and press towards what we see with our spiritual eyes from our eagle’s vantage point and not be in attack. This is the shield of faith pushing back on the enemy’s lies and dark thoughts and deflecting his wild accusations and anger.

When we get to the site of the battle, we are then meant to attack the enemy and His purposes with the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. Wow – and guess who is directing the point of the sword? The Holy Spirit – because we do not know what to pray for but the Holy Spirit connects our prayers with God’s will and God’s word – the right word for the right time!

In the MCF message next week we will think about how the armour and weapons can come together in collective prayer – fighting as a unit and army, rather than individual soldiers. There is a question about whether we are willing to let go of some of our own individuality for a while to come into “one-accordness” and see the Holy Spirit lead us as a fighting unit? 

Author: Chris Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

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