Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more? We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor […]
Whether you realize it or not, you’re under spiritual attack everyday. If you’re ignorant of that fact, that doesn’t mean the attacks go away; it just means you aren’t protecting yourself. In Ephesians 6:14-17, the Apostle Paul gives the church (then and today) six practical ways to protect yourself from spiritual attacks.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17
The key to understanding this passage is not to focus on the pieces of armor but what they’re attached to. Instead of focusing on a shield, a helmet and a sword, focus on faith, salvation and the Word of God. From this passage, here are six practical ways to protect yourself from spiritual attacks:
1. Saturate yourself with truth (belt of truth). What are you putting in your head everyday? What kind of media are you consuming? What are you listening to? If you allow the world to fill your head with lies, don’t be surprised if you find yourself susceptible to spiritual attacks.
2. Live righteously (breastplate of righteousness). When we make poor decisions, fail to take care of our physical and mental health, when we put ourselves in situations where evil lurks and temptations abound, we open ourselves up to spiritual attack. If you want to protect yourself from spiritual attack, make better decisions.
3. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit (feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace). The emphasis in Paul’s phrasing here is the word “readiness.” Just as your feet have to be aware and take you in the right direction in battle, so our spirits should be sensitive to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. He’ll protect us from attacks, if we’ll listen.
4. Choose to believe (shield of faith). Faith doesn’t become faith until you have to use it. Wielding the shield of faith is choosing to actively in God’s goodness and his faithfulness when all evidence points to the contrary. When you’re bombarded with the lies of the enemy, picking up the shield of faith is choosing to believe in the promises of Scripture. This type of protection depends on your will being stronger than the emotions of the moment.
5. Surrender daily (helmet of salvation). Salvation is all about surrender, asking God to save you because you realize you can’t save yourself. That surrender, that humility, that cross that Jesus asks us to pick up daily, is a vital piece of our spiritual defense. Every day, willingly surrender to God. Give your day to him and you’ll come under his protection.
6. Wield the Word as a weapon (sword of the Spirit). The primary offensive weapon given to us is Scripture. So get in it daily. Read it, listen to it, think about it, meditate on it, memorize it. Pick up your sword and start fighting back against the enemy.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re under constant spiritual attack. But you’re not without protection. It’s just up to you to use it.