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We've Already Won!

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Ephesians 6:13-17 NKJV

In addressing the spiritual battle that often comes along with our anxiety, God has given us both a line of defense as well as an effective offense, all of which is spelled out for us in these verses from Ephesians. The bulk of these verses focus on the “armor” we are to wear when facing spiritual warfare, while they end with a brief word about the weapon we are to use. If we are going to fight the good fight, we will need to have an understanding of each piece of the armor and its function, as well as getting to know our weapon and how to use it. Let’s start with our defense, our armor.

God, in His infinite wisdom, realized how weak and frail we are and gives us much in the way of protecting ourselves from the enemy. The first piece of our armor is one that is all too familiar in our battle against anxiety—the belt of truth. Back in the day before spandex and spanx, we ladies wore something called a “girdle.” IF you could manage to get it on, it “girded” or secured all things in place. That’s what the belt of truth does for us, not only in our battle against anxiety, but especially in the spiritual warfare aspects of it. If you recall, truth is foundational to our belief system and also in renewing our minds. Truth is also the thing that will gird or secure our armor in place as we engage in the battle against satan’s forces.

Next, we have the breastplate of righteousness. In battle, a breastplate covers the vital organs, protecting our very life. The breastplate of righteousness does the same thing. It covers and protects our spiritual life, but not with our righteousness. The breastplate we put on is the righteousness of Christ. It is His right-doing that we are covered and protected by. His death that covers our sin. It is His breastplate that protects us and our lives on the spiritual battlefield.

Then, we put on the shoes of the gospel of peace. Ancient warfare required hand-to-hand combat where your footing was of utmost importance. Soldiers’ feet were “shod” with shoes that had spikes (like cleats) that would dig into the ground and keep them stable on their feet and even help them to advance. The shoes of the gospel of peace do the same for us. The gospel (good news) gives us a peace and a sure footing and enables us to advance our ground and tell others about our faith in Christ.

These verses then have us take up the shield of faith. An interesting tidbit to note, many of the shields used in battle were of the type and size you could physically hide behind for protection, not a shield you would try and maneuver on your own. You drop it in place and hunker down while the shield does the work. Also interesting to note, this piece of our protection is the only one that comes with an explanation “with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” I know ALL the pieces of the armor are important but, to me, the added clarification speaks of its necessity. God gives us the cold, hard facts on the attack of the enemy—fiery darts! Now, I encourage you to do your own homework on each of the pieces of the armor, studying truth, righteousness, the good news, faith and salvation (we see this in the next piece of our armor). However, I just have to share one thing I’ve learned about our “faith” as it relates to these “fiery darts.” The Bible says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed (a VERY small seed) nothing is impossible! (Matthew 17:20) Not even fiery darts!!! And it doesn’t just protect us from being hit by them. The Bible uses the word “quench” meaning to extinguish. Our shields put out the fiery darts of the enemy!

Finally, we put on the helmet of salvation. Quite simply, this protects our mind so we are able to know and guard truth, especially the truth of Whose we are and who we are. But I also think putting something on or over our head is also somewhat symbolic of authority. In battle, especially spiritual warfare, we better know Who our authority is and Who is in control!

With our defense covered, we now look at our offense. Once we have our armor in place, we then take up our one and only weapon—the sword of the Spirit. Just like with our shield, the sword comes with added explanation. Our sword is the Word of God. As we have seen, God has gone to great lengths to protect us in our battle against the enemy. He has also gone to great lengths to provide us with the most effective weapon with which to win the war. His Word. We already learned the importance of knowing and repeating truth to ourselves when battling the lies of anxiety. This practice of learning scripture so we can know Who God is, know who and what we are and know the enemy and his tactics against us is crucial if we are going to take hold of the victory that is already ours in Christ. We need to know truths like “God loves me so much, He sent His Son” (John 3:16) “Jesus died for me while I was still a sinner” (Romans 5:8) “I am a child of God” (1 John 3:1) “I have been saved by grace, not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee” (James 4:7) “God in me is greater than the devil in the world” (1 John 4:4) and on and on and on it goes! The more you know, the sharper your sword and the sharper your sword…well, you get the picture!

So, here’s the bottom line. Where spiritual warfare is concerned (including but not limited to anxiety), God has provided everything you will ever need. He gave you a very complex and thorough protection in the way of armor, He gave you all the weapon you will ever need in His Word and, if that’s not enough, GOD HAS EVEN GIVEN YOU THE WIN!!! God already bought and paid for you to have a full and complete victory over every aspect of spiritual warfare, including anxiety, with His Son’s death on the cross. Done. It’s yours. All you have to do is pick up the armor, put it on, grab your sword, making sure it’s sharp and FIGHT!!! Not to try and win for yourself, but to take what Jesus already won for you!!! Amen and AMEN!!!

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