(Note this blog was originally published in August 2013)
Pastor Mark Bilitz of El Shaddai Ministries puts forth a compelling argument that the armor of God is not patterned after a Roman Soldier but after the robes of a Jewish Priest. That hypothesis resonates with me on a very deep level in my soul and has caused me to rethink this important part of Scripture. It is with fresh eyes and an open heart I would like to take a look at the weapons of warfare and those of our adversary, I think the church needs to employ some counter-terrorism strategies.
|Garments of a High Priest|
We put on the breastplate of righteousness, which is the righteousness of Christ - the enemy tries to hang the millstone of sin around your neck. Knowing we have no righteousness in ourselves we valiantly try to lift our heads but our past keeps our heads bent to the ground. We can only see the shadow of sin before us, our hearts break and it becomes impossible to breathe the breath of life.
Instead of walking in the shoes of peace, we roll out of bed and put on the slippers of fear. Our steps are dogged by every type of fear the enemy can throw at us. Our hung heads watch our fearful feet trudge along the dark paths of our past sins. Think of the powerful weapon that the shoes of peace are on the body of a skilled martial artist; when you are walking in fear throw a few roundhouse kicks at your enemy, you will feel the fear lift, and your path will once again be one of peace. In John 14:27 Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
The enemy would have us armed with a shield of doubt and disbelief that is but a holey piece of Swiss cheese. It is not an impenetrable force field of faith, it is not a dome of covering, it is a flimsy excuse of a weapon that does nothing to protect the wielder. The "Name It and Claim It" false Gospel has been brilliant in disarming Christians for decades of their shield of faith. By urging baby Christians to "believe God for things" they destroy the fragile and innocent faith new converts bring to bear. Many folks continue to believe God for the big things of salvation and eternity but fail to have faith that He cares for them. The twisted gospel takes admonitions of prayer and asking and perverts them into ways to control God. The wreckage they leave behind is an abomination to God.
The poor warrior who is now chained with lies, with a millstone of past sins hanging from their neck, walking on the path of fear flanked by doubt and disbelief is now crowned with the vise grip of suffering and defeat. The helmet of salvation and deliverance that would protect the brain and the ears is stripped away and messages of failure, hopelessness, and pain are heaped upon the believers head. It is indeed a dark and scary walk at this point.
Lastly, instead of the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, we are given the Wisdom of the World. Everything is backwards in the Bible, look at how you are suffering when those that follow the enlightened path of the World prosper in all they do. Worldly wisdom, common sense, and "the way things are done" bury the warrior; most submit.
In the depths of the battle, you may find yourself valiantly trying to follow Ephesians 6 and in the end having done all you can, to stand. Use the weapons that God has given you to fight the enemy. Recognize the tactics and respond with the correct piece of armor. In the end, ask God for what you need, even if it is to fall in battle and ask Him to rescue you and fight on your behalf. God who is faithful and just will hear your prayers and deliver you from the hands of the enemy. In our weakness, His Grace is made perfect.
|No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper|