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Protection Lost is the expository preaching on Ephesians 6:11 which exhorts us to defend ourselves with spiritual armor that the Lord has given to us to defend ourselves against the enemy.
Wrong means of handling problems.
￼“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
The sign of this mistake is doubting rather than trusting in the Lord.
Perhaps you say that this is not your problem. You try to be close to the Lord. You try to be a good Christian but it’s hard. You want to maintain your spiritual life, but you have some deep unresolved issues.
This analysis is good but the conclusion, “I guess I need to buy some of those self-help books, try out yoga or see my psychiatrist next week” is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because you are ignoring Paul’s warning. You are attempting to use the wrong means of solving the problem.
When we sigh and state in our hearts, “I guess the Lord cannot help me with this problem.” What are you stating? You are saying, “Lord you claim to be great but You cannot help me.” You are in fact questioning the Lord’s character and word. This doubt will drive you away from the Lord’s presence.
However, we should, as Paul recommends, understand that we are fighting with the wrong weapon.
Do you know the game, “Rock, scissors, and paper?” Each item can overpower only one other object but not all. A rock can smash scissors but a paper can be wrapped around a rock. It all has to do with fighting with the right weapon.
￼Satan has special schemes and traps to ensnare us. When we use the right defense that the Lord offers, we stand protected. But when we do not, then Satan finds inroads into our lives and we increasingly grow spiritually weak.
In our smug confidence that the Lord has not been faithful, you walk out into the battle without any armor. That is crazy! But many believers are doing just this. They are walking around on the battlefield wondering what all those little sounds are. They are oblivious to the real war.
This is what happens when Satan attacks. Please examine your life and thoughts. It starts by doubting the Lord. Then you begin to question Him more. Then you start believing what others allegedly say about the unreliability of the scriptures. Then you start living like your peers. Then it seems that there is no difference between you and them (the world).
Are you in this process? Doubt has come upon you and now about to destroy you. How? Why? When? It is all because you have not fought off the evil one. You allowed doubts to rule rather than faith. It is through faith that we stand.
Can you see that you have been questioning the Lord rather than trusting Him? How far away are you? What are you now questioning? This is the time to take control of your faith. I am not suggesting that now you simply say, “I believe.” That does not work.
We need to put the armor on. You cannot be neutral. You say, well I will come to church, but I don’t want to go deeper. If this is your attitude, then it is like telling the Lord that you do not need to pray, study God’s Word and live a life of integrity. You are going directly against His Word’s instruction, Jesus’ example and have set yourself up to be destroyed.
The enemy is too clever for us. Even Jesus when tempted used God’s Word like a sword. But we rely on what we studied in the Bible a ways back and now just casually pick it up. Our sword is rusty. Our breastplate is home on the bed. We are about to take off our helmet of salvation. Do you see what is happening? You are losing your faith. And with each hit from Satan’s fiery dart, you become more and more vulnerable.
I suggest that we take each piece of the armor that he mentions in the following verses. No matter how bad off you have been hit, now is the time to put it on. Once you do, then Satan’s fiery darts will from that point on bounce off. We need to protect our faith.
But you say, “How do we put the armor on when we have so many doubts?” Praise God that He has given us the key to renewal. Your goal is to build up your faith but before you do this, you need to put aside the problem where your doubts lay. Those doubts pile up and become like a mountain, but when faith comes, we begin to pick up the sword of truth and begin using it. I find it helpful to pray something like this.
“Lord of heaven, my Heavenly Father, I have been questioning you these past months. I have given up the truth and laid down my sword. I feel weak. Troubled. I have done wrong. Please forgive me. In the Name of Jesus, forgive me for my sin. (This is where you start picking up your sword. As you do, you will see faith enter in. Light arises in a very dark place.)
Lord, You are my Lord. You are my God. I will follow you. You have loved me and sent your Son Jesus Christ to die for me (putting on helmet of salvation). All my sins are forgiven. I am free to serve you. I no longer need to serve my flesh. I now renew my commitment to live faithfully for you (putting on the breastplate). Jesus take me into your presence. My life is yours. You are mine. Praise you for helping me to build up my faith. All along you loved me, but I doubted. All along you were there, even though I was thinking you rejected me. Thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.”
What is happening in this prayer? You are taking up the armor.
You cannot do it alone. It is a spiritual maneuver so you need to cleanse out all sin and doubt. When you start doing this, God begins to bring faith into your life. You are changed. How amazing. You can do it right now. You might have already done it as you read the above prayer.
Remember. You cannot be neutral. A case of neutrality leads to infiltration by the enemy. You must take action and stand behind your commitment. As Paul says, “Put on the full armor of God...”
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).