The Armor of God
I am pleased as I see my people looking to me for strength and victory and overcoming the assaults and temptations of the evil one. You are becoming strong warriors in my army, and all the power of the devil cannot overcome you as long as you look to me for help and guidance and strength and wisdom for each battle with the powers of darkness. Temptations will come, but victory is sure as long as you lean upon me and follow the banner of truth and have on the whole armor so that the fiery darts of the enemy cannot penetrate and wound you. Therefore the subject for today is "the armor of God." I will take each part of the armor and discuss its importance.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 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...." Gal. 6:10-18.
Notice first that you must have on the FULL armor of God to withstand the devil's assaults against you. He has studied you from childhood and knows your weaknesses and has used them over and over against you. The neuron pathways of your brain are well-traveled from the habit patterns of a lifetime. But my righteous life is your security, for every victory that I gained against the enemy is for you. It is not just a covering to allow you to continue to sin with impunity. Every victory that I have won for you is a tangible assurance that my power within you will give you the same victory over sin and the devil.
So take first the protecting bulwark of truth. This means that even one lie is an opening for the devil to assault you, for he is a liar from the beginning and captured the minds of a third of the angels by his lies and distortions of truth. When you fall under the tempter's power, you know that there is a lie of some kind that you believe that was a trap set for you. The Scriptures say that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. [John 8:32.] Free from what? It is freedom from the snare of the lies of the enemy! [Ps. 119:45.]
The next part of the armor is the breastplate of righteousness. The loins and the chest are the seat of the emotions and of life itself. When Satan wants to attack you, he will try to get to you through your emotions and feelings. Hardness of heart is a sign that Satan has battered down the door of your emotions and you have put up walls against further pain. But I am knocking at your heart's door, and if you will let me come in, I will bring you love and healing from all the abuse and damage that the devil has done to you, and I will set you free to trust in my love and righteousness, which is your protection.
When you are thus healed, you will long to share with others what you have learned from me, and will desire to take the gospel to them. Be careful in the way you do this, for some in their ignorance make the gospel distasteful because of their abrupt approach. The gospel should bring healing and peace to troubled hearts. Meet their felt needs first. You notice how I combined preaching with healing and feeding the hungry to help them become more aware of their spiritual needs. This is why it is called the gospel of peace. Correctly shared, the gospel brings peace and healing to troubled, hungry, hurting, souls.
Next is the importance of the shield of faith. When I was on earth I asked the vital question, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8. I spoke this because as I looked forward in time to my coming, I saw the very symptoms that I see in my church and on earth today. Faith in the original Advent message of the pioneers in 1844 is now a rare commodity. But nevertheless, I do have my faithful ones who are holding true and going forward to be the remnant that I prophesied I would have. [Rev. 14:12.] And you must hold onto this shield of faith as you hear and see the signs of apostasy around you. Do not get into unnecessary controversy with those who are downplaying the Spirit of Prophecy, the Sanctuary doctrines, the necessity of my work of perfecting a people who will stand blamelessly before me during the time of trouble, or any other false doctrines of devils. Do not focus upon these or other errors until you become discouraged or disheartened, but keep your eyes upon me and keep the faith that I had which enabled me to go through the experience of the Cross and come through victoriously. I did not yield to doubt about my Father's love for me and the ultimate success of our mission, regardless of what it appeared to be as I faced death apparently alone and forsaken by my Father and my disciples. You, too, will be tested during the darkest hours before I come. But if you will look to the triumph of my sacrifice for you, you will be strengthened to endure until you see me face to face.
Lastly, you must have on the helmet of the assurance of your salvation, which protects your mind from yielding to the pressures of discouragement and doubt, and keeps you strong against the suggestions of the enemy. Then take the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God - and you will win every battle against the wily foe.
Now go to the activities of your day but keep your armor on every moment, and never let your guard down to the enemy's assaults against you. Be strong in prayer and swift to use the sword of the Spirit - the word of God - to gain every victory against the temptations and lies of the enemy of your souls. Always remember that I have already won the victory, and my victory is yours if you steadfastly claim it. With faith in me, you cannot fail of obtaining the reward of eternal life in the glorious kingdom that I have waiting for you. And always remember that you are never alone, for I am always, and will ever be, just a prayer away! Lovingly, Jesus.