I read the other day an article in which the writer was rubbishing the use of ‘old-time fighting armor’ as irrelevant to present-day illustration of the full armor of God described by Paul in Ephesians 6: 13-17.
Over the centuries, many illustrators and artists (myself included) have used these symbols, and I believe for very good reason. These depictions of ‘old-fashioned’ armor come closest to the truth of spiritual warfare.
Now let’s get real about this: because we are being deluded into losing touch with reality in so many areas of life. For example, here in NZ total online schooling of children has now been legislated into being – called COOL schools – WHAT??? Where will these children learn to work together and socialise with their peers and adults? And for most families – who is going to supervise them at home? This is typical beaurocratic nonesense.
Our worship of present-day technological advances, beneficial enough in themselves, is bringing about an appalling separation from reality!
For many people, war today is not what it used to be. Instead of getting kitted out and going forth to fight hand-to-hand with the enemy on the battlefield, many warriors are sitting in war-rooms or high-powered jet fighters, bombers and tanks, pressing buttons. Obviously, they do not need the body-protecting armor of days gone by – until the war-room gets overrun, the fighters and bombers crash, or the tank’s armor is penetrated, that is.
So – the enemy is trying to tell us that the old armor concepts are outdated, is he? He is probably also trying to tell us that spiritual armor isn’t necessary. Lies, lies, as always – didn’t Jesus say (speaking, note, to the religious leaders of His day):
“You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
On the contrary, in spiritual warfare ‘body armor’ – and by that I mean the armor metaphors used by Paul in Ephesians 6 – are as essential today as they ever were. No war-rooms, bunkers, jet fighters, bombers or tanks can protect us from spiritual attack – and of course most of the world’s population is without protection in war-time, or at any other time. Spiritual warfare penetrates any form of physical defence – and the outcome of battles on the spiritual plane is actually far more crucial for a person than the outcome of physical war.
It is as essential today as it ever was for people to understand the Battlefield of the Mind. For the individual, the mind is where the crucial battles take place – and one of the greatest problems people have in dealing with spiritual warfare is failure to recognize –
- that there IS an attack; and
- where it is coming from.
Because the enemy attacks by putting out ideas and thoughts that we take into our minds (often subconsciously), people have no idea where this stuff originates. They most often think the thoughts came spontaneously, or that maybe they themselves are reponsible. In other words, the enemy flies in under the radar. And who is the enemy?
In 1 Peter 5:8 we are plainly told:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
I will talk more about this later, but let me say right now, if you do not believe in a supernatural principal of evil, also called the enemy or the devil, if you think evil ‘just happens’ or some folk ‘just are bad’, then you know a lot less than people in third world countries who deal with this power and its principalities on a daily basis, in a far more open manner than we do. These people know it only too well.