Living the Christian Life – Chapter 11: Overcoming the Enemy

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries5 Minutes

As you set out on this spiritual adventure with Jesus, it’s important to understand that we are God’s children, and He loves and protects us. It’s also important to know that we have a spiritual enemy, the one the Bible calls the devil or Satan. The apostle Peter gives us this warning:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8 NLT).

Jesus calls Satan a “liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 NLT). He warned, “the thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). But then He immediately gave this wonderful promise: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b NASB).

Earlier we spoke of the Bible being the Sword of the Spirit. Paul mentions this in his teaching about spiritual warfare. He writes:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV).

We are in a spiritual battle with God’s enemy, the devil. To defend ourselves and to fight the enemy, he instructs us to take up the full armor of God “to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13 ESV). So what is this armor and how do we “take it up”?

The Belt of Truth

Paul begins by saying, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth” (v. 14a). Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 ESV). The way to fasten on the belt of truth is to learn the principles of God’s Word and grow in your daily relationship with Jesus through prayer, Bible reading, Scripture meditation, and worship.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Next Paul instructs us to “put on the breastplate of righteousness” (v. 14b). To be righteous is to be without sin. As we have already shown, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His blood washes away our sin. So to put on the breastplate of righteousness you are declaring, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation—the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). Being righteous is also to quickly repent when we do something that we know is displeasing to God. When we do this, “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NASB).

The Shoes of the Gospel

Next we put on “shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (v. 15). When we put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace, then we can walk in God’s peace as we walk in His ways. We can also run to share the Gospel with those who haven’t heard the Good News of this wonderful life in Christ.

The Shield of Faith

An important defensive weapon in the armor is the shield of faith. “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (v. 16 ESV). The world, the devil, and even our own fears and discouragement may cause us to stumble from time to time, and that is part of being human. But God has given us the shield of faith to help protect us against the enemy’s attacks. The Bible says of faith: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 ESV). We grow strong in our faith by reading and studying the Word of God. So when the enemy tries to deceive you with His lies, you can raise your shield to block his attacks.