Are you fully dressed for battle or is your only battle gear a helmet? Find out how you can take up the full armor of God and win every battle!
“I’m going to make soldiers out of you!” Those are the words Jerry Savelle heard as his drill sergeant screamed at a row of new recruits who had been drafted for the Vietnam War. They weren’t an impressive bunch. In fact, Jerry remembers looking down the line at a man in a three-piece suit, a farmer in overalls and a straw hat, and a hippie in floral bell bottom pants and thinking, We’re in big trouble.
But by the time they were done with boot camp, everything had changed. They had renewed their minds and were now recognizable soldiers ready for battle! What made the difference? Training. That’s what the Body of Christ is in need of today—the Army of God needs to train to fight the good fight of faith by learning to utilize every piece of the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:13-17 says, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (NKJV).
Our Commander and Chief has given us a battle plan to take on the enemy, stand our ground, and win the victory every time. It’s time to take an aggressive stand against the adversary. It’s time to take back everything he’s stolen from us and force him to release everything he has been blocking. While every part of the armor is important, we are going to focus on four tried-and-true battle strategies that will help you take up the armor of God and win!
1. Know Your Enemy and Win
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” –1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)
In any military operation, the first step is always to identify the enemy, become educated on that enemy’s weaknesses, and learn how they operate. This principle first appeared in The Art of War, which is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy, having influenced military decision for centuries. The author, Sun Tzu, says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Do you know your enemy? It isn’t God, it isn’t your life circumstances, it isn’t your upbringing, nor the people in this world. Ephesians 6:12 tells us we aren’t fighting 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” (NKJV). Your enemy is Satan. Plain and simple.
Do you know yourself? You are a child of the Most High God. You are an heir to the victory Jesus secured at Calvary. You have the power and authority of Jesus on the earth, and you are an heir to THE BLESSING of Abraham. Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will win every time.
Yet, many Christians are living as if they don’t know who the real enemy is. Jerry Savelle says, “You know, sometimes I feel sorry for God. He’s Commander in Chief of an army, and have you looked at this army lately? Half of His army doesn’t even know who the enemy is. How’d you like to be Commander in Chief when half your troops have their weapons pointed toward headquarters, saying ‘Why’d You do this to me? Oh God, You made me sick. Oh God, You wrecked my car. Why’d You do this to me?’”
If you want to win, you’ve got to know that the devil is your enemy. And his strategy is in full operation 24/7. That’s why the Bible says that we must be of sober spirit. We must be on guard at all times, and we must wear the full armor God has given us for battle. Don’t get tripped up focusing in the wrong direction. Know your enemy and win.
2. Take the Sword of the Spirit and Win
“Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” –Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)
If you know yourself, and you know your enemy, there’s one very important question to consider before you engage in battle—what are you wearing? Our Commander in Chief has outlined for us exactly what we are to wear into battle, yet there are so many Christians who won’t wear any battle gear except a helmet. They believe in salvation, but what kind of army runs around with a helmet as their only battle gear?
Ephesians 6:17 tells us that we are to “take…the sword of the Spirit.” In other words, we aren’t just supposed to look at it, we’re to fight with it! There are people who read the Bible and can quote scriptures, but when trouble comes, they draw back. Then, they wonder why they face so many defeats.
The Word of God is a weapon. This is critical to understand. When you read the Word of God, study it and meditate on it—you’re reading a battle plan. You’re studying your weapon. Just as with any weapon, it takes training and practice before the battle to know how to use it properly. Gloria Copeland encourages believers to practice taking a stand for healing, or anything else, by starting with something small. Don’t wait for a serious illness to try standing on the Word. Stand against a headache, stand against allergies, stand for finances in a small area, stand for your family in the small things. Practice using your weapon—then you’ll find you’re well-trained for the battle.
God tells us just where the battle begins in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, which says, “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” (NKJV). In other words, your battle is won or lost in your mind.
Watch as Kenneth Copeland teaches you how negative thoughts cost you something, and how you can draw the faith line in the sand!
Your thoughts are what will cause you to lower your shield of faith or lay down your sword of the Spirit. Your thoughts are where you decide to stand firm or give in. Your mind is where you decide if by His stripes you are healed, or if you are going to lay down and take what the devil is dishing out.
If you’re already facing a battle, how much longer are you going to put up with the devil stealing everything you’ve got? Don’t compromise when he throws darts your way. Retreating is not a biblical principle. There’s only one way to respond—pick up your sword and fight.
That’s what David did when the Amalekites had burned down his entire village and taken the wives and children of him and his men. The enemy had stolen everything. When David saw this, he sat down and wept. The Bible says he was greatly distressed (1 Samuel 30:6).
When you’re facing hardships, it’s OK to be greatly distressed. Most of us know what that feels like. But you are not entitled to stay greatly distressed. There’s a time to mourn, and then there’s a time to rise up and fight. What did David do to prepare for battle? He encouraged himself in the Lord.
When you find yourself in this position of being greatly distressed—when you’ve got darts all over your backside, sticking out of your helmet, in your kneecaps—everywhere there is a place for a dart, you’ve got a dart—encourage yourself in the Lord by meditating and speaking the Word of God.
That’s what David did. Instead of just accepting defeat, he encouraged himself, and then he rose up and asked God if he should pursue his enemy. And God said, “Not only pursue them but overtake them and recover all” (see verse 8).
That’s God’s plan for you today. It is not the will of God for you to lose any battle. It is not the will of God that Satan take everything you’ve got. If you’ve been discouraged, it’s time to encourage yourself in the Lord, and then take up the sword of the Spirit and win!
3. Take the Shield of Faith and Win
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” –Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV)
This verse says you will be able to quench all the fiery darts Satan throws your way—not a few, not the small ones—ALL. It also says that faith is “above all” in battle. Without it, you’re not going to see victory.
When it comes to winning, God has this to say in Deuteronomy 20:1 (AMP): “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.”
This is our Commander in Chief giving us our war strategy. He is telling us how to conduct ourselves in battle. The shield of faith doesn’t lose hope, it doesn’t give up and it doesn’t quit. The shield of faith believes God and takes Him at His Word—no matter what the situation looks like.
Watch Kenneth and Gloria Copeland as they teach you why everything in your life is subject to faith.
The shield of faith enables you to extinguish the fiery darts of the devil, but the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says, “flaming missiles.” Maybe you feel like the devil quit throwing fiery darts years ago and has moved on to missiles. Maybe you feel like you’ve been standing as long as you can, but you just can’t stand any longer.
Maybe you feel like your helmet is falling off. Maybe you feel like you have so many darts in your shield of faith that there isn’t any room for another dart. Maybe you feel like your breastplate is just barely hanging on. And now, you’re asking, “What do I do next?”
The answer is to rejoice. Faith takes the victory before it even sees the evidence. Rejoice because you’ve got the devil right where you want him. Jerry Savelle says, “It’s always an indication when you’re under the greatest pressure to quit, that the enemy has fired his best shot; and if this one doesn’t get you, he’s finished.”
Take the shield of faith and extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. If you refuse to quit, if you refuse to give up, if you stand firm, there’s not a thing he can do to defeat you. If you’re in a battle, don’t lose hope. Pick up your shield of faith and win!
4. Stand Firm and Win
“Therefore put on the full armor 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. Stand firm then….” –Ephesians 6:13-14 (NIV)
This is your end-of-battle strategy. You’ve done everything. You’re wearing the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation. You’re holding the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. You’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting until you feel like you can’t fight anymore. And you’re wondering, Now what? God knew we would face times like these—questions like these—so He gave us the answer: “Stand firm” (Ephesians 6:14).
Now, notice that “stand firm” leaves no room for compromise. Anything less than stand firm is compromise. Anything less than stand firm is to yield to the enemy. Anything less than stand firm is to doubt God’s ability to deliver you.
You might feel shaky, you might feel like your armor’s falling off, but as long as you’re standing you cannot lose. Don’t just sit back and hope it will just happen. You can die thinking like that. You can lose everything thinking like that.
The next time the devil brings up your failures in battle—how you quit and how you compromised and how you gave up—you answer back and say, “No, I’m not that same person anymore. I am prepared to stand. I am telling you upfront, there will be no quitting. There will be no relenting. There will be no compromising. There will be no backing up. God is on my side. The God who caused me to win before will cause me to win this time in Jesus’ Name.”
That’s standing firm. When you stand firm, you will win.
When you take up the armor of God, you will win! You have to know your enemy, take the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith, and stand firm. It’s a guaranteed and unbeatable strategy. Don’t give the devil the satisfaction of taking you on without a fight. Put on the whole armor of God—do it by faith—and go take your victory!