What Just Happened?
Have you ever let words come out of your mouth or done something uncharacteristic of yourself and they weren’t pleasant? Maybe you had an outburst of anger or typed seething words to someone. You may wonder in highsight what in the world happened. You might want to say, “the devil made me do it,” but is that true?
The Real Skinny on the Devil
First and foremost, the devil is real. The Bible records Satan tempting Jesus, influencing Peter’s thoughts and words, and entering into Judas, who betrayed Jesus. We see Satan’s hand in murders, mutilations, horrendous abuse, self-destructive cutting, addictions, lying, gross immorality, degrading behaviors. We also see his hand in division among Christians. The good news is that Satan can’t enter into a believer. However, he can tempt and influence believers. That is why we must faithfully put on the armor God every day. Just as it’s our responsibility to put on our physical clothing and we wouldn’t dare walk about naked, it is our responsibility to put on God’s armor so we’re not naked targets who fall for Satan’s temptations.
Let’s Get Dressed (Ephesians 6:10-18)
First, we need to reach for the belt of truth because it is central to everything. How can we stand against Satan’s schemes if we don’t know God’s truth from Satan’s lie? We can find God’s truths to put on by reading our Bible every day.
Second, we need to cover our chest because our heart is vulnerable to sin. Mindfully contemplate the gift of Christ’s righteousness as you cover your heart with His breastplate.
If you’ve ever run out the door without shoes, you know the pain of sharp rocks and stickers. Hopping around on one foot is no fun plus it is debilitating. Take a moment every morning to strap on Christ’s gospel of peace so you are ready to share it with an unbeliever. Walk in peace, extending the grace God has shown you to others.
Something we don’t wear, but need to have in our hand, like a fireman needs a fire extinguisher, is the shield of faith so we can extinguish what the Bible describes as “flaming arrows of the evil one.” Yes, the evil one aims arrows lit from hell at us. Don’t believe it? Look at loved ones and friends burning in anger, lit with depression, fuming with bitterness. This is real, friends. The same Bible that says Jesus was born of a virgin to die for our sins is the same Bible that says we need to put on the full armor of God to resist the devil.
Two last items: the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit. Every morning it is important to mindfully remember that Jesus was born and “saved us not on the basis of deeds we have done, but according to His mercy, …, “ Titus 3:5. This can’t help but put a smile on our face. Lastly, take the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in your hand. A Bible wielding Spirit filled Christian is a tougher target than a Christian with no sword. Plus, you will be a blessing to others instead of a stressed out Christian.
Is the battle against Satan real? Yes, an ongoing spiritual battle ensues. Let’s cautiously, wisely armor up every day. It’s no laughing matter.