The year 2020 will be lodged in our memories for years to come. However, many of the memories will not be happy ones. So far, a virus sent us into quarantine. The ensuing shutdowns caused near-record unemployment as businesses failed, and people lost their jobs. Several racial based murders occurred across the country that leads to peaceful protests.
Satan turned peace to hatred as some of the marches became violent and destructive. All this and it is only June. Evil seeks to trap us in fear and to destroy the good in each of us. So, let’s look at arming ourselves spiritually to fight this battle.
Arming Ourselves Spiritually
Throughout Bible history, we see times of great distress. Famines, plagues, disease, hatred, and wars. As followers of Christ, we are not immune to these situations.
Jesus addressed this in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Even armed with the assurance of Christ, we can still be left feeling helpless in trying times. What is our role as Christians during these tribulations?Even armed with the assurance of Christ, we can still be left feeling helpless in trying times. What is our role as Christians during these tribulations?
First, let’s examine who the enemy is behind the chaos? Satan, the father of lies, remains active in our world. He fills the hearts of men with hatred for one another.
So, as Ephesians 6:12 explains, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Satan roams the earth looking to destroy. In light of this, we must understand that we cannot win the battle of hatred. As Biblical history demonstrates many times, we need to take the fight to the Lord. We need to battle this scourge on our knees.Satan roams the earth looking to destroy. In light of this, we must understand that we cannot win the against the battle of hatred alone. We need to take the fight to the Lord. We need to battle this scourge on our knees.
We like action. So, sitting around, waiting for God to act on our behalf makes us feel frustrated.
These feelings arise because we do not fully understand the power of prayer. When we pray, the words stir God’s heart to action.
We see this in the following three verses.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jer. 33:3)”.
“And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. (Ps. 50:15).”
“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (Isa. 58:9).”
But, the opposite is true in that nothing happens in a situation when we don’t pray over it. Prayer changes the spiritual, angelic, and human realms. It is our most potent weapon for change.
Prayer time can also be active. As we take action, we must also remember to incorporate a diverse group. God seeks to provide for the good of all involved. Here are some ways to help us feel active in a situation:
- Gather a group together to pray about a problem
- Prayer walks to ask God to cleanse an area of darkness
- Neighborhoods – so they are safe and welcoming for all people.
- Cities – so voices of all people are heard and appreciated.
- Police departments – for wisdom for the officers to act fairly and justly for every citizen.
- Organize a prayer service at your church.
- Add the issue and people involved in your own prayer time.
God’s promises to move when we pray as evidence by numerous Bible verses. One example is found in John 15:7. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Arming ourselves spiritually prepares us for the battle.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” EPHESIANS 6:18
The Bible shows us other ways of arming ourselves spiritually too. Also, in Ephesians 6, we find the reference to the armor of God. Here is the full text:
“13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Belt of Truth
Put on the belt of truth. This belt is based on God’s truth, not our own. We must seek to understand the issue from God’s perspective because Satan will inject his lies into our hearts or the hearts of others. God loves all of us the same, so His truth will lead us to the right viewpoint. The truth can help us direct our prayers. All other pieces of the armor hinge on knowing the truth.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Breastplate of Righteousness comes next. Once we know God’s truth, the breastplate of righteousness guards our heart so the enemy can not steal it away. The breastplate strengthens us to continue the battle for truth even when we are weary. We can pray for God to guard our righteousness.
We fit our feet with readiness to spread the peace of God. The gospel is a message of peace. God calls us to share His good news to the world so others can know this peace.
Peace also comes from understanding the truth of God. And as the saying goes, “Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.” We can pray for our message to be filled with the peace of God.
Shield of Faith
Hold the shield of faith. Satan will try to rob you of your faith daily. He wants to fill your hearts with lies instead of the truth of God. The shield of faith helps us stop the fiery arrows of these lies from entering our hearts. We can pray against the attacks of the enemy.
Helmet of Salvation
Put on the helmet of salvation. This helmet helps us focus our thoughts on the saving work of God. It helps us to keep those thoughts pure and focused on the truth of God. Pray for salvation to come to everyone.
Sword of the Spirit
Carry the sword of the Spirit. When we commit Bible verses to memory, we can recall them and use them to fight off the enemy’s lies. The Bible provides us with the truth of God. Pray for the word of God to be hidden in your heart and mind.
In summary, Satan pollutes our world with his sins and lies. Chaos and hatred remain his weapon of choice. To fight his evil schemes, we must seek the Lord on our knees as we are arming ourselves spiritually to fight this battle.
Protest and rallies offer us the freedom to express our concerns, but only God can change the hearts of men. The most significant action I can take is time spent on my knees, pleading for God to stop the hatred.
God, my heart is filled with chaos and confusion. I feel as if I am drowning in my circumstances and my heart is filled with fear. I really need the strength and peace that only You can give. Right now, I choose to rest in you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen