by Pastor Tim Alsbaugh
Christians need to understand that the “armor of God” as spoken about by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians is different than it has been depicted by artists over the centuries.
So often we see the armor illustrated to resemble that of a Roman soldier, but this is an entirely inaccurate portrayal. Paul reminds of this fact in 2 Corinthians.
“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.”—2 Corinthians 10:4-5
In fact, the battle has actually already been won. When Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross, He literally reversed the curse of Adam and brought redemption for all of mankind. It is our job to walk out this revelation with authority and dominion, and yet, each one of us face challenges daily, and so often it may appear as though we fight a losing battle.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”—2 Corinthians 10:3
As Believers, one of the key struggles we face has to do with flesh verses spirit. When we were saved, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit, we actually became a new creature in Christ. However, our flesh still has character flaws that aren’t always immediately dealt with. Interestingly enough, Believers are commonly referred to as disciples of Christ. This word, disciple means to be a follower or a student. In other words, we don’t arrive, but instead are in a process of learning. We are becoming like Christ over the course of our lives.
Most often I find that people wage a war daily in their very own minds. After years of experience as a Pastor, I have ministered to many people, who for one reason or another, struggle to maintain their thoughts.
We have to understand that the enemy is not concerned with us, but instead with Christ’s spirit, which lives within us. As we begin to trust God at greater levels, He is able to operate in a higher capacity through fellowship with us. When we begin to step backwards, focusing on old doubts or other stressors, we begin to lose the territory gained.
Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus, as he was preparing to go to the cross, faced the greatest level of spiritual warfare ever faced by mankind—yet, He still maintained His peace. Even when Peter sliced off the ear of the High Priest's servant with his sword, Jesus did not flinch. He still had authority in the situation. In fact, the only way that the soldiers were able to capture Him at all, was due to the fact that He allowed Himself to be apprehended. What an awesome testimony and example He set for each one of us.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”—Ephesians 6:10
Recently, several in the congregation have mentioned they have seen snakes outside of their homes. This is literally a physical manifestation of what is happening in the spirit. Between Pentecost and Rosh Hashanah the enemy will do everything he can to steal our victory. We must take authority and shut the door—don’t even answer it. Don’t give him the time of day.
So often, we will find ourselves beat up, only to realize later that the attack had been going on long before, when we opened a door. Remember our mouths have power. When you hear foreign thoughts in your mind that don’t align with who you are as a son or daughter of the Most High, take them under authority. Repent if you’ve already come in agreement with them, and ask the Holy Spirit to point you to scriptures that combat the current attack.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”—Ephesians 6:11
Just as God has a hierarchy of angels in His Heavenly Kingdom, so too, does the enemy. So, with promotion often comes a different level of attack. Take this as a compliment—you’ve grown; God is calling you higher. As you experience increase, understand what you are called to do, and prepare to be tested as you come into greater maturity in Him. God is always greater, and you are victorious!
“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; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”—Ephesians 6:13-18
Finally, to get a better picture of the armor of God, it is important that we look at the High Priest’s apparel. Our greatest weapon of warfare is through praise and worship. Just like the priest went through process to walk into the Holy of Holies, we also do the same as we prepare to wage war the spirit.
Roman soldiers were highly trained fighters. Their military tactics have impacted the way in which nations waged war for centuries. Their methods were extremely brutal.
The High Priest on the other hand wore garments, specifically during Yom Kippur, to atone for the sins of the Israelites. Check out a list of the priestly garments listed below:[i]
“Mitre ( the Turban): Atoned for the pride of the priest’s personal countenance. Inscribed in a gold plate across the forehead “Holiness unto YHVH (this is considered the most Holy form of the name of God, so Holy to this day that many people will not mention the name out loud). This also atoned for arrogance in personal attitude.
Two Onyx Stones: One located on each shoulder and inscribed each with six names of the tribes of Israel.
Choshen (the Breastplate of Judgment): Was lighted with 21 precious stones, which also represented the twelve tribes. Twelve is also the number of government, and is listed throughout the Bible repeatedly. Within the breastplate itself were hidden the Urim and the Thummim. These symbolized that the High Priest, or Kohen Gadol, would seek to determine YHVH’s will.
Girdle or Sash: Represented a Believer who is always prepared, in humility, to serve God first, and the people second. It also was meant to atone for a sinful heart.
Incense: The High Priest carried in incense as a sweet-smelling, tangible reminder that the glory of the Lord brings great joy and life abundantly.
Ephod: And apron worn over the shoulders and under the breastplate, it was embroidered with blue, purple, scarlet and gold thread, and represented Heavenly glory. It represented atonement from idolatry.
Blue Robe of the Ephod: Worn underneath the apron, it symbolized atonement for evil speech.
Golden Bell and Pomegranates of Blue, Purple, and Scarlet: Lined the hem of the blue robe. These bells would sound as the priest walked before the Lord.
A Fine Linen Tunic in Pure White: Worn beneath the other garments, and represented atonement for killing, while the undergarments symbolized atonement of sins of sexual transgression.”
Much like the priests in ancient times, we are called, as Believer’s, to live a lifestyle of Holiness. As we put on our priestly garments, we come before the Father asking for forgiveness in areas that we have failed. Then we chose to walk in forgiveness with others who have failed us, and we apply the blood to those areas of weakness and disappointment. Once the blood has been applied to those areas and we are walking in correct alignment mind, body, spirit, will, and emotions, we begin to enter in to the Holy of Holies. Now instead of an application of the blood of a spotless lamb, the blood of Jesus stands to breach gaps where we are unqualified.
Next, we minister before the Lord, worshiping Him with songs of thanksgiving for all that He has done, and all that He is preparing to do on our behalf.
Just like the priests of old, it takes an initial step of faith to enter before the Lord in boldness. Still, as we continue to walk out this routine on a daily basis, we will begin to see major changes in our own lives, and in those around us. Thus we wage war in supernatural ways, and not in the flesh!
We, at Curt Landry Ministries, are believing in great things for you and your future… and are praying that we all continue to grow into higher and greater levels of maturity in the Lord.
Having done all to stand, we will stand, and we will finish well!