It is amazing how God will use natural tools to make a spiritual difference in our lives. Before I was saved, I could not relate to the spiritual, so God used the military to put me on the right track. Enlisting in the service was part of my destiny. And the Lord has blessed me with the experience of an extensive military background. While in the United States Army, I moved through the ranks at an incredible pace.
However, initially, because of my background, my transition from the streets to basic training was quite drastic. When the recruiter picked me up to go to the processing center to be inducted into the Army, I was smoking cocaine. The recruiter waited in the car as I took my last hit.
Upon my arrival at basic training, the Army's first challenge in turning me into a soldier was making me look like one. New recruits were taken to a big warehouse that had an assembly line. We were given everything we needed to be clothed as a soldier: boots, hats, belts and uniforms.
Before we went to the assembly line, orders were given to us to authorize uniform pickup. In the same way, believers are given spiritual orders in Ephesians 6:11: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (NKJV).
Holokleros, the Greek word for whole, means "complete in every part, leaving nothing out, or to be perfectly sound." Our warfare cannot be perfectly sound unless we use every part of the armor of God.
Clearly stated, the armor of God gives us the power to stand against the wiles of the enemy in the midst of evil days. The Bible speaks of wiles in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Hebrew word for wiles is nekel. Among other things, it means treachery, conspiracy, beguilement, trickery and deception (Num. 25:18). To be subject to the wiles of the enemy means to be deceived.
Few people willingly worship the devil. But worship is what the warfare is all about. God desires our worship, but the devil wants to be worshipped as well.
When we accept the things of the world from the devil, it is the highest form of worship, and it opens demonic doors in the spirit realm. Worship is not just what we do but what we abstain from doing. Most believers are trying to serve God, so the enemy has to use deceiving methods to make them worship him instead.
In the New Testament, the word wiles is methodeia in the Greek. Though it is related to the English word method, it actually means "to operate under a traveling cover and to lie in wait." This is the foundational truth of the wiles of the devil—to lie behind the scenes and watch a person until a vulnerable moment arises. Then through various means, all designed by the satanic kingdom, the man is attacked and deceived.
The Whole Armor
Ephesians 6:10 says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." This verse indicates the armor of God is for the "brethren"—all those who are saved and blood-bought.
Ephesians 6:12 says, "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 place."
Ephesians 6:14-18 explains every part of the armor and its purpose. The passage begins by telling us to put on the armor in order to stand. This word stand is histemi in the Greek, and it means "to abide in established covenant."
When we stand, we abide in the covenant promises of God. Putting on the whole armor of God is a part of this covenant. God's covenant promise to us is that no matter how mad the devil gets and how evil times get, He will keep and protect us.
Personally, I find it easier to go from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet when I put on my armor. After I am spiritually dressed (head to toe), I take up the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith and go forth equipped for the evil day.
Each Part Has a Purpose
Every individual piece of the armor covers a vital part of the body, such as the head, heart, loins or feet. The armor also covers our offensive and defensive positions against the enemy in the spirit.
The helmet. The word helmet in our armor of salvation is perikephaiaia in the Greek, and it means "to encircle and protect the head." When we wear the helmet of salvation, it empowers us for continual renewal of the mind. The mind is a spiritual battlefield, and without the helmet of salvation it is impossible to have a victorious life in Christ Jesus (Eph. 6:17).
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