If you’ve never had the opportunity to sit under the teaching of Priscilla Shirer you are flat out missing out. This woman is empowered, y’all. Like Yoda said about about Luke, “The force is strong in this one.” And by force I mean Holy Spirit. She’s got an anointing, that’s for sure.
She was in my hometown a few months ago presenting a simulcast that was broadcast live around the world, and I and several thousand others were so fortunate to have attended this day of worship and teaching in person and in my city!
She taught from Ephesians on the armor of God, giving us a battle plan for victory and teaching us how to push the enemy back and take back what he’s stolen.
Stop right there. Take back what he’s stolen. Hmm. He’s a thief. But just what has he stolen from me? I wrote down a few things: my marriage, my faithfulness, my integrity, my loyalty, my reputation, the future I envisioned, my ability to trust myself. That’s a lot, and I want it back. Think about it: Just what has he stolen from you?
Before getting deep into the armor, our teacher spent the morning setting up our battle scene
Ephesian 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The struggle is unavoidable.
There is a struggle, but it’s not against what we think it is. It’s not against the people in our life or the circumstances we are in. In my case, it’s not against my messy habits or my being too busy, it’s against the enemy in heavenly realms. That’s what the verse says. The enemy, Shirer said, wants us to think that life is a playground not a battle ground. But which is it, really? No matter where you go or what you do, you will have a struggle. The enemy can not destroy you, but sure is going to try to distract you.
We may not want the struggle or the war, but quoting the movie Lord of the Rings, she said, “Open war is upon you whether you (want) it or not.”
The enemy has lost and he knows it. He wants us, though, to forget. Let us not forget.
Your enemy is invisible.
Satan is not the opposite of God. God has no opposite. Satan is nothing more than an illusionist and a copycat. If he’s paying attention he’s probably pretty mad I just typed that.
The location to battle is accessible.
The battle is in heavenly realms and we’re stuck here on Earth so what are we supposed to do about it? Well, good news. Ephesians 1:3 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places …” and Eph 2:5-6 tells us “even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
We have access to where the battle in heavenly places is happening, and that way is Jesus! We have access to to the places where the battle is really happening through Jesus, and there are spiritual blessings waiting on us there. Amen!
Our weapons are not physical.
The armor of God is not an actual armor of strong metal. It’s salvation, it’s truth, it’s peace. It’s intangible but nevertheless real. Also — and this is good — it’s not our armor. It’s God’s. We get it from him, it’s provided to us and we are commanded to put it on.
Victory is irrevocable.
You won! Don’t act out of fear or insecurity. Stand victorious and with confidence that you won!
So there’s 7 weapons: 6 that correlate to physical pieces of armor and No. 7 is prayer.
Weapon No. 1: Truth
What is truth? Truth is God’s standard, not ours. Satan’s greatest tactic is deception, especially distorting God’s truth. He is the master illusionist. One of his greatest illusions is to keep you in the dark about your own deception. When you’re in the midst of deception you don’t even know it, you can’t see it. Everyone else can, but not you.
But there is hope in truth. Ephesians 5:13 says “everything exposed by the light becomes visible.” The light is God’s Word. God’s word will reveal truth. Test it.
Weapon No. 2: Righteousness
What is righteousness? Upright living that lines up with God. Unrighteous living opens us up to a full frontal attack, leaving us unprotected. Righteousness takes on the role of a breastplate, guarding our heart. Living unrighteously exposes our heart, leaving it vulnerable for attack. And once he gets to you heart, he’ll mess with your thoughts and what you hear. Guard your heart with the breastplate of righteous living.
Weapon No. 3: Peace
I don’t have more notes about peace, sorry. I got up during this part to go get a coffee. :-)
Weapon No. 4: Faith
Your faith is a shield!
Here’s something cool I bet you never thought of: the first three pieces of your armor are your uniform. You wear it. Never leave home without your truth, righteousness and peace. They are your belt, breastplate and shoes.
The other three pieces though, beginning with the shield of faith, are not things you wear. They are things you carry, things you take into battle with you. Cool, huh?
So about faith: James says put your faith to work. Faith without works is dead, he says. In Shirer’s words: give your faith a job!
If/when God calls you do something and you say no and/or resist, you are saying that you’re God is not faithful, that you’re God can’t be trusted.
Your/our enemy is sending flaming javelins at you/us to distract us. These distractions can take on the form of fear and insecurity. But our God is faithful! Walk in faith anyway! Doing what God has called you to anyway — aka faith — is the only thing that will make the fiery darts stop! Activate your faith!
Weapon No. 5: Salvation
Salvation is to be worn as a helmet protecting our mind. This isn’t just salvation from hell and to heaven but that are saved from the strongholds of sin and the world. We are saved from bondage and given to freedom.
We are to practice who we are in Christ and what are salvation truly means. Ephesians 1:4- says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will …”
Those few verses alone call us chosen, holy, blameless, loved, predestined and adopted, and the rest of the Word tells us more of the same.
Here’s a video I took of Priscilla Shirer showing us how to practice who we are in Christ. It’s incredible!
Finally, Weapon No.6: The Spirit
This is the Holy Spirit in personal form, a personal Rhema word from the Holy Spirit in us to us. The Spirit is a sword. All the other pieces are defensive. The sword is offensive. We’re to use it fight, not just to protect. How do use the Spirit as a sword offensively? Speak God’s Word outloud. Speak God’s word over your life and chop the enemy to pieces!