Armour-Plated Protection

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armour 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. 18 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 6:10-18)
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
It may have come as a surprise to you to learn that not every thought that comes into your mind is your own. Satan and his demons are so defeated that all they can really do is try to lead you off course by dropping thoughts into your mind. Our success as Christians depends on how well we can spot those thoughts and choose to ignore them.

But this isn’t easy. The devil has been deceiving people for thousands of years and he is very good at sneaking thoughts into our minds that sound very much like our own. We are particularly susceptible to this when those thoughts are not completely false. The devil is the consummate peddler in half-truths as well as outright lies.

At our online services this week, we learned that the devil’s main strategies are temptation, accusation, and deception. As the tempter, he will use anything he can to tempt us into sin, and when we fall for it he follows up immediately with his sucker punch of accusation: “Look at you – you useless excuse for a Christian! You’ve fallen for it again. You’re hopeless. You might as well give up”. If he manages to lead us into sin, he gets a “foothold” in our lives – a point of influence from which he can confuse our thinking. That’s why the Apostle Paul tells us four times in Ephesians 6 “stand your ground.” We are not to give the devil any foothold. If we have already, we can take it back.

The devil’s success at temptation and accusation depends on our not noticing that the voice we are listening to is actually his. That’s why his primary strategy is deception – because by definition, you don’t know if you are being deceived! The Apostle Paul tells us that the way to avoid deception is to protect ourselves with the armour-plating of God’s Word. The helmet of salvation talks about a mind that has been renewed in its thinking. The breastplate of righteousness talks about a heart that has been renewed in its attitudes. The belt of truth talks about a person who knows too much about what God says to get caught with their trousers down by the devil’s lies.

The Apostle Paul returns to this theme in 2 Corinthian 10, where he tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” In order to spot forged bank notes, bank clerks spend little time studying forgeries. They simply study the genuine article, becoming so intimately acquainted with all the details of the real bank notes that, when a fake note comes along, they can spot it a mile off. In the same way, the best way to defend ourselves against the devil’s lies is to know the truth of God’s Word. We don’t need to focus on the enemy or go looking for him. We need to focus on Jesus. We don’t have to believe every thought that comes into our minds – instead, we can shine the light of the Word of God on each one and choose to accept it or reject it. That is how we win the daily battle for our minds. We are not called to chase away the darkness. We are called to turn on the light!

To help yourself with this, why not speak the following truths out loud to yourself again?

I renounce the lie that I am rejected, unloved, or shameful. In Christ I am accepted.
I am God's child (see John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (see John 15:15)
I have been justified (see Romans 5:1)
I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17)
I have been bought with a price: I belong to God. (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I am a member of Christ's Body (see 1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am a saint, a holy one (see Ephesians 1:1)
I have been adopted as God's child (see Ephesians 1:5)
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 2:18)
I have been forgiven of all my sins (see Colossians 1:14)
I am complete in Christ (see Colossians 2:10)
I renounce the lie that I am guilty, unprotected, alone, or abandoned. In Christ I am secure.
I am free from condemnation (see Romans 8:1-2)
I am assured that all things work together for good (see Romans 8:28)
I am free from all condemning charges against me (see Romans 8:31-34)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (see Romans 8:35-39)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (see 2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (see Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (see Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control (see 2 Timothy 1:7)
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need (see Hebrews 4:16)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (see 1 John 5:18) 
I renounce the lie that I am worthless, inadequate, helpless, or hopeless. In Christ I am significant.
I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world (see Matthew 5:13-14)
I am a branch of the true vine, Jesus, a channel of His life (see John 15:1-5)
I have been chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit (see John 15:16)
I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ (see Acts 1:8)
I am a temple of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
I am a fellow worker with God (see 2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (see Ephesians 2:6)
I am God's workmanship, created for good works (see Ephesians 2:10)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (see Ephesians 3:12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (see Philippians 4:13)
I am not the great "I Am", but by the grace of God I am what I am (see 1 Corinthians 15:10)
  1. Take a moment to think about some of the things that you tell yourself. How many of those things may be the devil’s lies?
  2. What would it mean for you to “take captive” those thoughts and to make them “obedient to Christ”?
  3. What would it mean for you to put on the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness each day?
Father God, I thank you that you have invited me inside your spiritual armoury and that you offer to clothe me the armour-plated protection of your Word. Please help me to hold everything in my life together with your belt of truth. Please protect my thoughts and emotions by your helmet of salvation and your breastplate of righteousness. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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