When we naturally think of armor, we think of a strong soldier who is ready for battle. Or, we may think of a weapon such as an army tank or cannon. As a child, we read storybooks about "knights in shining armor," and how they would save the day. Young princesses were safe in their castles if a knight was standing guard. Whatever our thoughts on armor may be to the natural, armor is something different in the kingdom of God.
Saul armed David with his armor to fight Goliath (1 Samuel 17). He put on him a helmet of brass and gave him his sword, but David was not feeling safe. In fact he was very uncomfortable. David had not proven the natural armor, and reverted to what God had trained him to use, when wild beast would attack his father's sheep.
David understood the importance, look and feel of God?s armor for his life. He knew that if he went up against the giant with natural armor, he would meet sudden death. Natural armor that is used in war, was not what was needed to fight the battle that was before him. No helmet nor shield or sword would do. David armed himself with weapons that he knew would give him victory. If we are faced with a Goliath in our life, we must do the same as David, and put on the armor that God has proven for us.
When Goliath saw David, he belittled and cursed him because he did not have the natural armor that was used for combat. David was not intimidated by this uncircumcised Philistine, and retaliated the curse with what was really going to happen. When David spoke the Lord"s plan for the combat, it came to pass. David was so confident in Gods armor that he started running towards the entire army of the Philistine, killed Goliath on the way. What was considered armor to Saul and the rest of the soldier"s was not what was considered armor to David.
Everyone thought David was weak and puny because they did not see his armor as the strength of God. No one expected David to have victory over Goliath. When we look at ourselves as weak, maybe we do not see the strength of God. Weakness can be a good trait when we allow the Lord to make His strength perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12: 9). This passage of scripture goes on to say that Paul took pleasure in his weakness for the "power of Christ" to rest upon him. Paul spoke these words because he was a man of visions and revelation of the Lord. He had been caught up to the third heaven and heard things that were unlawful for man to utter. Because of his experiences, a messenger of Satan was assigned to him to bruise him, least he be lifted up by his fellow piers. Paul sought the Lord three times to take away the messenger, but the Lord assured Paul that His grace would be sufficient for him.
I too, have been to the third heaven and have a "thorn in my flesh". Scholars, speculate that Paul?s ?thorn? was his eyesight. My thorn is Pride. Every time I go to heaven, and hear God speak, upon return, up pops pride's satanic head. I have to see and use pride as a weakness and allow the Lord?s grace to keep me in a place of strength.
(Exodus 15: 2, 3) states, the Lord is a "man of war," and the Lord is our strength. David's first Psalms declares to "seek the Lord and His strength" (1 Chronicles 16: 11). Job stated "He (Lord) will put strength in me" (Job 23: 6). Paul stated "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippines 4: 13).
When we understand that our strengths and weaknesses are not what keep us from doing great exploits for God as David did, we can walk in a whole new realm of power. We can use God?s armor to fight our battles. Remember, "the battle is not yours but God's." (2 Chronicles 20: 15)
On January 1, 2001, my life became a mess due to various circumstances. So much a mess, like David (Psalm 88), Jonah (Jonah 4: 3,8) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), I wanted to die. I sought the Lord. As we walked together, He handed me a bomb, I took the bomb, ate it and I exploded. For weeks, I called on the prophets and seers I knew to interpret the bomb. With no avail, I begin a fast. I thought the fast would last seven days, but after seven days I received no answer. I continued. During this time, scriptures became alive, whole books of the bible were revealed to me, but no explanation of the bomb. After twenty-one days, I thought surely I would hear. After all, it only took Daniel twenty-one days to get an answer. The Lord only smiled as said, "Daniel was on earth, the war in the heavens were great. You walk with me in heaven. You know my ways are not your ways. You said you wanted to please me, now you want me to please you. I'm still working on your request to please me. If blowing you up to put you in position to please me, disturbs you, then maybe you don't want to please me."
I continued my fast, but this time it was not a hunger strike to here God, it was for me to be me. On day forty, I was read the Sermon on the mountain.
(Matthew 5: 3-11) "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." That's it, "poor in spirit." The bomb blew up my spirit. I was bankrupt in spirit. The bomb had disintegrated me. Spirit and soul, I truly was becoming a new creature. I was being made ready to please God and be given the kingdom of heaven (on earth).
"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." To mourn is to be broken. In my brokeness, of which I was feeling that every fiber in me was not in working order, I begin to feel comfort. My spirit had to be broken for me to live.
"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." I had to surrender my spirit & soul to the lordship of Jesus in order for me to please him. There were parts of me that I had control over, but He wanted my keys to me.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." My spirit & soul had to learn the lesson of forgiveness. I had to crucify the flesh, for in crucifixion?s death, the lesson of forgiveness comes to life. All those who sought me harm, owe a debt, or those whom I had an attitude about, had to be forgiven. I needed a clean slate to fully experience God?s mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Any ulterior motives had to be blown away. Everything I do needs to be without an ulterior motive. A pure heart will see God as He really is.
"Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God." I needed to set a goal to help other make peace with God. Over the years, I have and know brothers in Christ, who have because of bad experiences in a church setting, walked away from God and His bride. I was to reacquaint my friendship with all I knew and nourish them back to God. Jesus stated that a good shepherd would leave the ninety-nine and look for the one that is lost.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." All of us have at some time or another, been unjustly accused. Our reaction will determine the outcome. If I am blown up, I am dead and whatever is said about me from now on is said too late. I died when the bomb went off.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." I believe this beatitude is yet to come. This is now the eight books I have written over the past twenty-six years of my Christian walk and I finally have a release to share my experiences with others. Some in the church will gnash their teeth when they read what I write for truly one could not have seen what I have seen & experience on various excursions with the Holy Spirit as my guide, or can they?
This entire sermon Jesus taught was to show me that what I consider strength, needed to become weak. My spirit, which I consider very strong and can rightly divide my soul & body to their functions, needed to become weak. By now, when I say weak, you should know I mean yielded to Jesus and not myself. If I am strong, Jesus becomes weak; therefore, I must decrease so Jesus can increase. The apostle Paul put it as ?dying daily?.
I decided to fast another seven days to make sure that flesh was under subjection. It was time to call certain things that were not in line with Jesus as though they were. Remember when I wrote what a mess my life was in? I needed to deal with those issues.
If you have read the book of Job, you realized that God picked the fight between Satan and Job (Job 1:8). Job was minding his own business when the Lord started the fight. I was in intensive warfare myself and what was ahead needed God's armor. The only way for me to obtain His armor was for Jesus to blow me up. "The Bomb." Boom?
"Put on the whole (FULL) armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (cunning devices) 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 of authority) places. Wherefore take unto you the whole (FULL) armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in evil days and having done all to stand, stand." (Ephesians 6: 11-14a)
The full armor will give you strength to stand when you do not think you can stand. But, you can not put on God?s armor if you are strong in your own might. Putting on His armor over our strengths would be like David putting on Saul's armor. We will get killed. I was strong in my own might. I acquired this strength because:
1) I studied the scriptures with ulterior motives. I wanted to know more about God then you. PRIDE?
2) I could go in and out of heaven. PRIDE?
3) I am a seer. PRIDE?
4) I am an expounder of God?s word. PRIDE?
Every time you esteem yourself higher then others, it's PRIDE. Once others notice your calling and gifts, PRIDE will be your Goliath. The first time I saw blind eyes opened, the deaf hear, and the sick made whole, I thought I was something special. Others looked at me as a "man of God." Thank you Jesus for having patience with me. The truth is that God could use an ass to do what I can do. Well, maybe He did. The full armor will keep you from making the mistakes I have made.
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth." (Ephasians 6:14b). Your loins are the strongest muscles in your body. I needed to realize areas where I was strong and put on truth. No deceits in prophecy, teaching, writings, or seeing. All my strengths had to be true. My strengths had to be Jesus and Jesus alone. My strengths were blown up, and I need to leave them dead so Jesus could be alive in me.
"..and having on the breastplate of righteousness." (Ephesians 6:14c). Putting on a breastplate means that you are willing to let God guard your heart. "Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks." When I respond to others, I need my heart guarded to make sure I say what God wants said. What we speak determines who we are spiritually. The person whom we are speaking to will judge our spirit to see if it be of God. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue," so if I want to live with God's words constantly flowing out of my mouth, I must have God?s breastplate guarding my heart. "When our heart is deceived we will turn aside from God and serve other gods and worship them."(Deuteronomy 11: 16)
For me, the breastplate is the most difficult to use. It should be the easiest, but letting God be the doorkeeper of my heart means that He and He alone has the rights to my thoughts, feelings, emotion, intellect, responses, speech and will. I sometime get mad and loose my temper, when I do, God looses control (I dethrone God) and ?I? take over. God considers the amount of time it takes for me to turn over my state of madness, the time that He was not Lord over my life. In that time that God is not Lord, Satan will fire his fiery darts. Only unseen faith of grace will protect my heart and the heart of the one I am mad at. But, every word that is spoken as a sword, will inflict everlasting damage to the one I am mad at. The horrifying part of this is, I only get mad at the ones I am close to and love.
"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." My feet represents the direction I am walking. God wants me to walk with Him. If my feet are shod with the gospel of peace, God will direct my steps. "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours." (Deuteronomy 11: 24) God wants us to gain ground every day every minute, and every second. God wants us to preach the gospel as an act of war. Wicked men that mean harm will fear you for God will instill in their heart your armor of peace. You will be prepared to make peace where there is chaos, and bring salvation to all circumstances.
"Above all, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Ephesians 6: 16) Faith is a walk in the spirit. In my spirit walk, there is warfare and spiritual conflict. Paul emphasizes the shield of faith as above all. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23) God honors faith, and you cannot live a victorious life over the world without having the shield of faith. (1 John 5:4) Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) You cannot pray without faith. (James 1:6) You cannot be saved without faith. (John 3: 36) You are justified by faith and not by works. (Galatians 3:2). You are to live by faith (Galatians 2: 16) Christ dwells in your heart by faith. (Ephesians 3: 17) The Holy Spirit is received by faith. (Galatians 3: 2)
The fiery darts of the wicked is anything that tampers with our faith. Doubt and unbelief are the most common. If they enter our spirit, they will contaminate our faith, and make us ineffective and unproductive in the kingdom of God.
"And take the helmet of salvation." (Ephesians 6:17a ) The helmet protects my mind (part of the soul) from not thinking the way God thinks. I needed to change my thinking to conform to God thoughts. The only way to think God's way was to put on His helmet. Our mind, for most of us has been programmed by the worlds teaching. We go to schools that do not believe in God. Our mind is constantly being imported world news, one-sided testimonies and other garbage that others say to receive gratification. God's helmet will protect our mind from being corrupted. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7) I need my mind protected or I might find myself in the enemies camp. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Romans 8: 6) Only a protected mine will find true peace with it?s self as well as life in this world. If I truly want God?s kingdom to come on earth, I will have to have a well-protected mind.
"and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6: 16b) Like the breastplate that guards my heart, I need the word of God constantly on my lips. Jesus was led into the wilderness for forty days to combat Satan. It was a sword fight. Satan used God?s word to tempt Jesus; Jesus used God's word to counteract Satan's attack. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness forty years, they were complaining about their situation and said, "Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness!" (Numbers 14: 2) The Lord did according to what they said. (Numbers 14: 28) The sword is a very dangerous weapon and the children of Israel found this truth out the hard way. We need to study God's word and use it wisely. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never heart me," is a false assumption. What is spoken in times that God is not in control will devastate whom we are speaking to. It is better to hit them with a stick then to use words.
God's word was not imparted to us to educate and train our flesh to act and respond godly. God's word was given to overcome our flesh so God could live His life in us. When I speak, death could be the outcome, but when I allow God to speak through me, life will always be the result. The word of God is a two-edge sword;
1) To divide my spirit, soul, and body, and bring life to others.
2) To destroy the works of the enemy.
How I use my sword is determined by my spiritual state. If my feet are shod in God then I will use it wisely. If I am walking on my own path, an innocent victim could fall.
David battled Goliath with a sling shot as most theologians have stated, but that wasn't where the real battle was. David did choose five stones out of a brook and put them in a shepherds bag (1 Samuel 17:40). We too must chose the five fold ministries from the river of life and put them into the shepherd that lives within us.
David rehearse what he could do to Goliath to the men of Saul. (1 Samuel 17: 26, 27) His own brothers said it was David's pride speaking (1 Samuel 17: 28b) but David kept on speaking what he knew to be true.
David won the battle with Goliath when he used God?s sword and said to the Philistine: "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beast of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S and he will give you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17: 45-47)
The full armor of God protected David's life but that's not all God has planed for His armor. The full armor protects Jesus. Yes, Jesus who lives inside us. If the enemy can strike you with his weapons, it could, depending on the area he strikes, kill you spiritually as well as physically.
To have part of the armor of God will not do as we have seen and experienced in some of the movements (revivals) in our generation. If all we have is a shield, we would only be protecting the faith message. If we only have is a sword, we would only be protecting the word message. Neither message or movement will stand-alone because the devil will strike you at your weakest point. Put on the Full armor of God and fight the way God intended.
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WoW! I never connected the sermon on the mount with the armor passage. Very good article. Thank you! -Carole