By Maiwa’azi Hosea Fwangmun
Between Carnal Weapons and the Whole Armor of God
Now I want to make something clear here. As a Christian, your real enemy is not the person you see. It’s not that old woman in your village, nor is it that brother or sister of yours. Your enemies are not the Muslims or fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Your real enemies are not the traditionalists around you, nor are they the members of an opposite political party. I will make bold to say that your real enemies are not the political leaders in your country, state or Local Government. Your real enemies are not even those who oppose you on any social media be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, etc… Your real enemy is totally different from what you are expecting or thought to be your enemy.
Let’s go to the scripture to see our real enemy as believers:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
You can see clearly in this passage that our enemy in spiritual warfare transcends the ordinary human being (flesh and blood) to spiritual forces, principalities and powers that are in the heavenly realm. And if that is the case, carnal (fleshly) weapons cannot defeat this enemy as buttressed by Apostle Paul who instructed the Christians in Corinth thus:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
II Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
Apostle Paul made it clear that these spiritual forces can NEVER be defeated by Ak 47, bombs, sword or any other fleshy weapons. That’s why David understood this reality and sang in one of his psalms that:
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”
Psalms 20:7 NKJV
It’s quiet appalling that many Christians are failing in their daily walk with God because they trust in chariots and horses (strength of man) instead of the name of the Lord.
When David confronted the giant Goliath, he said to him “I come to you in the name of the Lord God of Israel”. This clearly means that there is a name that these spiritual forces respects and submits to – the name of Jesus Christ! And that is why at the mention of the name Jesus, the scripture says every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10).
Jesus our Master understood this truth more than anyone else, that if at all he will overcome the world, he must be ready to deploy only spiritual weapons by putting on the whole armor of God. And because of this, he went the way of the cross. In fact at a point, he made it clear that “my kingdom is not of this world”. There was nothing he did that was out of his own emotion or natural thoughts. He was devoted and committed to doing the will of the Father who sent him. Even when the Pharisees came to arrest him in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter resorted to carnal weapon by cutting off the ear of one of the person in the entourage, but Jesus took the ear and mended it back and rebuked Peter in this words:
“But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
(Matthew 26:52-54 NKJV)
At the end of the day, Jesus conquered death through the cross. The devil thought it was weakness on the part of Jesus, not knowing that Heaven has already set a bubby trap for the accuser of the brethren and lo and behold, Jesus conquered death and gave us eternal life to all who will believe.
Isaiah also prophesy of Jesus’ experience that led him to the cross thus:
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”
(Isaiah 53:7 NKJV)
In view of the aforementioned, I strongly believe that Jesus has left a worthy example for us believers to follow. But unfortunately, many believers still thinks they can defeat the spiritual forces by their strength and human wisdom. Not knowing that there is always weakness in the strength of man. In the contrary, the secret to victory is by us relying on Jesus through the help of the Holy Spirit to supply us with wisdom from above and strength for the battle. No wonder David recognized this fact which made him realized that, it is the Lord that teaches our fingers to war and our hands to fight.
Dear brothers and sisters, why not rely on him rather than resort to self help that seldom leads to defeat and more defeat? Let’s always remember that God’s ways are not our ways!
The moment we start relying on the arm of flesh, it will always fail us, because that’s not how God designed it to be in his kingdom as the way up in God’s kingdom, is always down.
Now the challenge here is for us to be fully connected to the Lord Jesus Christ and put on the whole armor of God that we may stand the wiles of the enemy as it was written in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in Ephesians 6:10:
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
What are these armors of God that Paul through the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 6:11-18 says we can use as individuals and as a church to defeat and neutralize the missiles of the enemy from the family unit up to global level?
The first element of our armor is TRUTH (verse 14). This is easy to understand, since Satan is said to be the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Deception is high on the list of things God considers to be an abomination. A “lying tongue” is one of the things He describes as “detestable to Him” (Proverbs 6:16-17). We are therefore exhorted to put on truth for our own sanctification and deliverance, as well as for the benefit of those to whom we witness.
Also in verse 14, we are told to put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. A breastplate shielded a warrior’s vital organs from blows that would otherwise be fatal. This righteousness is not works of righteousness done by men. Rather, this is the righteousness of Christ, imputed by God and received by faith, which guards our hearts against the accusations and charges of Satan and secures our innermost being from his attacks.
Verse 15 speaks of the preparation of the feet for spiritual conflict. In warfare, sometimes an enemy places dangerous obstacles in the path of advancing soldiers. The idea of the preparation of the gospel of peace as footwear suggests what we need to advance into Satan’s territory, aware that there will be traps, with the message of grace so essential to winning souls to Christ. Satan has many obstacles placed in the path to halt the propagation of the gospel.
The SHIELD OF FAITH spoken of in verse 16 makes Satan’s sowing of doubt about the faithfulness of God and His Word ineffective. Our faith—of which Christ is “the author and perfecter” (Hebrews 12:2)— is like a golden shield, precious, solid, and substantial.
The HELMET OF SALVATION in verse 17 is protection for the head, keeping viable a critical part of the body. We could say that our way of thinking needs preservation. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure gospel hope of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine or give way to Satan’s temptations. The unsaved person has no hope of warding off the blows of false doctrine because he is without the helmet of salvation and his mind is incapable of discerning between spiritual truth and spiritual deception.
Verse 17 interprets itself as to the meaning of the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT—it is the Word of God. While all the other pieces of spiritual armor are defensive in nature, the sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. It speaks of the holiness and power of the Word of God. A greater spiritual weapon is not conceivable. In Jesus’ temptations in the desert, the Word of God was always His overpowering response to Satan. What a blessing that the same Word is available to us!
In verse 18, we are told to PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (that is, with the mind of Christ, with His heart and His priorities) in addition to wearing the full armor of God. We cannot neglect prayer, as it is the means by which we draw spiritual strength from God. Without prayer, without reliance upon God, our efforts at spiritual warfare are empty and futile. The full armor of God—truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer—are the tools God has given us, through which we can be spiritually victorious, overcoming Satan’s attacks and temptations.
May God help us to walk in the truth of the Gospel! Amen.