Spiritual warfare is a part of the Christian experience. It is a fact that external and internal opposition will come from the adversary. Knowing this is not enough except the Christian knows how to respond when opposition arises. Therefore, the Christian has to learn the Art of Warfare.
The Armor of God. The Word of God gives us the necessary instructions for warfare as well as informs us with the weapons and tools that are useful. Paul gives us the primary list of weapons available to us in Ephesians 6. If we learn to adorn ourselves with the spiritual armor provided, success will be ours. The spiritual armor is necessary if one is to learn the Art of Warfare. However, possessing weapons and armor without understanding them is useless. We shall now examine the armor given to Christians for victory in spiritual warfare.
The Sword of the Spirit. All of the pieces of armor listed, except the “sword of the Spirit,” are forms of defense. Although they can protect, they do not make effective weapons. Moreover, the only offensive weapon given to us is the sword, or the Word of God. When Jesus was tested by the devil, He used the Word to combat him. We must also use the Word. We must not only quote the scriptures, but also believe in them. We must believe the scriptures and be dedicated to the study and application of the Word to everyday life. If we will not do this, we will be defeated. We must employ the Word of God in spiritual warfare.
The Belt of Truth. We need every part of the armor if we are going to stand against the enemy. The girdle or belt of truth is needed. It helps to hold everything that He has given us together. Because Jesus is truth, we can trust in everything that He has said or promised. In addition, we need to be people of truth.
The Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate of righteousness is most crucial. It helps us to identify with the righteousness of Christ. Though we are sinners and He was righteous, He became as a sinner and we took on His righteousness. The breastplate protects our hearts and keeps us from being defiled by sin and the flesh.
Feet Sandaled with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Our feet must be sandaled with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This means we ought to stand in readiness to take the gospel with us everywhere, and be led by peace.
The Shield of Faith. The shield of faith is needed for your protection. Without faith, the rest of the armor will not hold up long. Our faith in God is what keeps us fighting through tests, trials, and other attacks of the enemy. Many believe that faith is the most powerful weapon against the enemy. However, faith cannot even be gained except through the Word (Romans 10:17).
Faith is most important in our walk with God, but the faith in the Word is crucial in fighting. It alone is the ultimate weapon against the enemy. When Jesus was confronted by the devil, He did not say, “I have faith,” but he declared, “It is written!” Through the Word, we know what power and authority we have, and how to exercise it. If we know, understand, and apply the Word, we will defeat the spiritual attacks.
The Helmet of Salvation. The helmet of salvation is needed so that the believer will be certain of his salvation. The helmet is used as a shield against the lies and tactics that the enemy brings to mind. Finally, we need the sword or the Word. It is used when we want to take the offensive against the enemy.
Prayer in the Spirit. Alongside the Word, prayer is essential. Prayer increases the power of the Word in our lives. Jesus prayed and fasted for forty days and nights and then He rose up and used the Word to defeat the enemy.
Along with possessing the armor, Paul exhorts the Ephesians to pray and intercede. Paul understood that prayer is what gives the armor its effectiveness and strength. Without prayer, the armor is less effective. Paul states that we must not only pray, but also pray in the Spirit. Only then will our warfare against the enemy be most effective.
Praise. We have another weapon that can be used at any time. You need neither a complete understanding of the Bible, nor knowledge of how to say lofty prayers. It is the weapon of praise. Both Old and New Testaments attest to the fact that God seeks our praise. In addition, we learn that it is our responsibility to give Him praise.
When facing overwhelming situations, we must remember that praise touches the heart of God. As we praise, God’s presence and power manifests. When this occurs, the forces of darkness must flee. If we learn to praise, we will allow God to fight for us. We must remember that our praise can be an instrument of destruction against all the works and tactics of the enemy.
Our spiritual battle is real and sometimes it will get hard. Nevertheless, if we endure the hard times, we will overcome. We must not faint, for at an appointed time, we will reap the benefits of our labor in Christ.