SEVEN STEPS TO OVERCOMING SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Step #5: Put on the whole armor of God.
Eph. 6:14-18 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, . . . 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
REMEMBER: DEAD MEN DON’T FIGHT
Before we can fight spiritual battles successfully, we have to make sure that our defenses are in place. If we don’t protect ourselves, we won’t even be able to show up for the battle. We will be a casualty before the real fight even starts. This scripture makes clear both what needs to be defended and how to do it effectively.
Watch Out for the Gut Punch
One place hell loves to attack us is in our guts, the deepest part of who we are. It is not the simple lie–”God won’t provide for you” but an undermining of our identity–”You are not worth being cared for by God” that is so dangerous. This undermining of our value, worth and significance is deeply destructive and happens so often as we are working to build a business. Every setback can feel like a personal reminder of our lack and failure as people. That is just what the Evil One wants.
What is the defense? Ephesians 6 tells us to put the belt of truth around our waist signifying the commitment we must each make to hold on to the truth of who we are, what God says about our value and what gives us significance. As a business leader, our identity will often be under attack. The question is, will we remember and hold on to the truth of God’s Word, about us, when that attack comes?
Be Prepared for the Heart Attack
Proverbs admonishes us to, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” That is what the breastplate is for and when it is in place we are protected. The enemy of our soul works so hard to get us to love things that we should not love. He knows that he can crash a Christian business very effectively and destroy the witness of its leader simply by diverting their affection. It may be money, pleasure, stuff, or the wrong kind of people that our hearts get attached to, but if we begin to give our heart to anything more than God, we are in danger.
How do we protect our hearts? We have to watch what our deepest affections are, what we think about and dream about, and of those continually ask, “Do I love this more than God?” The breastplate of righteousness is rightly loving the things that God loves, hating the things that God hates and not allowing ourselves to love anything or anyone more than Him. The Word tells us that the Spirit inside of us, God’s spirit, is jealous of our affections. That is why Satan loves to get us attached to the wrong thing and separate us from loving intimacy with God. The Evil One knows that when our hearts are in the wrong place we can’t fight right.
Defend Against the Head Shot
Our third great place of vulnerability is our minds. As Ghandi suggests, we become what we think about. When we think about lies, when we give them the right to live rent free in our minds, it begins to change us, to distort us. If the “truth shall set you free” then lies will bind you up and keep you down. When we have a lie offered up to our minds, ask of it, “Is this what God says?” Look to see how it lines up with the trut.
Why is the defense of our minds, the Helmet of Salvation, called that? How does salvation fit into protecting our minds? Salvation, in its Greek root, is the word sozo which carries the idea of wholeness. The reason we are vulnerable to lies is because we are not whole. So, when we find ourselves tormented by dis-information, the lies that we believe, ask where our brokenness is. Where are we “un-saved”, not yet whole and there, ask God to apply His sozo, His complete wholeness.
One time when I was feeling so completely worthless and believing the lie that I just was not enough for anything in life, God pressed this verse into my soul: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him.” Because I was complete and whole, I did not have to believe the lies and neither do you.
To be prepared to fight, start with defending your guts, your heart and your head, what you believe most deeply about yourself, what you love most dearly and by letting God heal what is broken in your mind. Then you are ready to take the fight to the enemy. Don’t let him sideline you!
– posted by Randall Sanford