Early in my Christian life I had the privilege of listening to Oswald J. Smith. He told a story of a girl who was converted under his ministry. He asked the young girl what she was going to do when the devil came to knock at the door of her heart. The girl thought for a moment and with a smile replied, “I guess I’ll just have to send Jesus to the door.”
That girl knew the secret of the Christian battle. A good disciple needs to simply put on Jesus and stand firm in Him. The victory is the Lord’s! The enemy and all of the demons of hell have to flee in the face of Jesus. He is the conquering Captain.
There is one important factor that we must realize. Almost all of the armor that Jesus’ disciples clothe themselves with is defensive in nature. Although Jesus wants His people to be protected from the enemy, He also desires us to be on the offensive. He wants believers to tear down the strongholds of Satan and capture the hearts of those that have been enslaved by him.
Jesus has given believers one piece of equipment that is powerful for tearing down the strongholds of the enemy: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. This sword can pierce the most hardened heart and bring liberty and freedom from the bondage of sin.
There is one important fact, however, that we, as disciples, must never forget. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is not the sword of human flesh and effort. It can only be properly used in battle by the Holy Spirit. Many have been turned further away from the gospel by someone who tried to browbeat them into the kingdom with his Bible. Others have been gently led to receive eternal life by properly using the sword, the Word of God.
Only the Holy Spirit can properly utilize Scripture. He knows the deep needs of every captive. The only question to be resolved is this: How do disciples place their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit so that God can use them effectively in the offensive battle?
We are told what to do in Ephesians 6:18 once we are clothed with all of our armor and hold the sword in our hands: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Prayer places disciples at God’s disposal. The greatest power that we have in this battle is made available to us through prayer.
Loving Father, thank You for the protective armor You have designed so that I can protect myself from the attacks of the enemy! As I clothe myself with this amazing armor, I am also clothing myself with Jesus Christ, who is my salvation, my righteousness, the Truth, and the Good News! Thank You also for the Sword of the Spirit, Your powerful Word, with which I can go on the offensive against Satan, who desires to destroy my witness for the sake of Your kingdom.
Praise God for his command to serve him faithfully with all your heart, considering what great things he has done for you (1 Sam. 12:24). Thank God for the greatest of all gifts, salvation in Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16). Confess your lack of faith as you attempt to flee from God in the midst of trying circumstances (1 Kings 19). Commit yourself to growing in the knowledge and grace of God, giving him the glory (2 Pet. 3:18). Ask God to show you daily how your faith is a Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him.
Pray that joy and gladness may be found throughout God’s kingdom, with thanksgiving and songs of gladness for God’s faithfulness to all generations (Isa. 51:11).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.