God is calling his church in this hour to be BATTLE READY.
That means that we are prepared for any attacks, strategies, or onslaughts that the devil or demons, or any other evil thing in the spiritual realm throws at us.
Whatever the enemy comes up with, we are to be READY.
The very reason that satan is trying to get our minds wrapped up in everything else is so that when his time to attack comes, we won’t be ready.
He wants us to be caught unaware in our surroundings.
He wants us to be unprepared, unequipped, and untrained for war in the Spirit.
But God has provided for us everything we need, IF ONLY we will use the resources at our disposal.
Over the past several months, the message very often from my heart has been that, it is time for the church to STAND, but we cannot effectively stand unless we are READY.
How do we prepare?
How do we get ready?
There are several ways…but for the purposes of this post, we are going to talk about our armor.
God has provided, and given us the armor that we need for whatever spiritual battle we encounter, but the people of God have to be ready to pick it up and USE IT.
Before we read about the armor, I want to take a quick detour and remember something that David said before he killed the giant.
1 Samuel 17:37-40 NKJV
 Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”  So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.  David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.  Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
The simple truth from this passage is clear, we must TEST the armor BEFORE THE BATTLE in order to use it IN the battle.
David, although lacking protection from a suit of armor, was still “clothed” with the armor that he needed and had proven in battle.
The message is clear…
If the people of God are going to fight and WIN in the Spirit, we have to begin the preparation NOW.
Don’t wait until the attack is on, but start practicing with your armor NOW!
Here’s what the Bible says…
Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV
 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
This speaks to not only a mental preparation, but a relational preparation.
We must BE STRONG IN THE LORD.
That means our relationship with Jesus has to be solid, on a good foundation, stable, and strong.
The reasons are obvious, but there may be a not-so-obvious reason as well.
Just as David could not wear Saul’s armor, neither can we wear the armor of God unless we are in strong, unseparated relationship with the Lord.
Unless we BELONG to the Lord FULLY and COMPLETELY, the armor won’t fit.
We won’t be able to walk in it.
It won’t work for us.
But when we put everything about our life, on the altar, and commit everything we are to Jesus, he supernaturally “fits” the armor on us.
Not only this, but we are commissioned of God to use the power of his Spirit!
 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
We cannot afford to leave off ANY PIECE of this armor.
To be battle ready means that we are COVERED.
Everything that God wants to give us, must be ON US.
It cannot be something we just talk about, but rather something we have put on.
This verse very plainly implies that we WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STAND without every piece of armor that Jesus provides.
Why would the writer mention this?
Wouldn’t most people use everything at their disposal anyway?
Often, we only use the things that seem Convienient to us at the moment, and the items that seem to weigh us down, we often lay aside.
- For instance, you cannot forsake the truth of God’s word and hope to stand.
- You cannot forsake prayer and hope to stand.
- You cannot wear the righteousness of God without the approval of Jesus, and without his approval, you will not stand.
We are not fighting little demons.
We are not fighting entities that are unskilled.
We are fighting BIG OPPONENTS and HELLISH OPPOSITION.
Often, believers will make light of the devil, but make no mistake…he will KILL YOU if you give him the chance.
When you start to think that nothing can take you out, it’s in the same moment that you become tempted to be sloppy in your spiritual walk and preparation.
Often, our worst scenarios will play out at the exact moment we feel the weakest in our spirit…is this a coincidence? NO.
Satan seeks to gain the advantage of us, and he will use any scheme or trick to get it.
 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
People ARE NOT our enemy, but make no mistake, there is a spirit behind every person.
If the spirit behind a person is NOT the Holy Spirit, then it is an enemy spirit.
Principalities and powers work to unseat authority and gain the upper hand.
They move in the heavenlies, but affect the natural.
They seek to influence leaders on any level, and people in charge. They seek to true, Godly authority.
They seek to USE PEOPLE to gain foothold against the Lord and seek to unseat the territory of the Spirit in our life.
They are the rulers of the darkness of THIS AGE…
The ungodly decisions and actions.
The people they use and influence, whether they realize it or not, are “hosts” of this wickedness, giving protection and housing to those ungodly spirits that seek to control, conquer, and confound the church.
So, what is the solution?
Be BATTLE READY and BATTLE PREPARED, and BATTLE TESTED.
Take up the armor!
 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.
This IS THE HOUR for the church to STAND.
Several years ago, the Lord brought A THOUGHT to my heart, and it went like this…
“The crucible of fire, and the dark night of the soul.”
I knew the Spirit was speaking this to me…
I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but I believed it was something that God wanted me to prepare for.
However, I soon forgot the word he had placed in my heart…because it didn’t make sense to me at the time.
Little did I know that in only a few months after this, I would face my “crucible of fire and dark night of the soul.”
From multiple sources attacks came with crushing blows to my spirit, not the least of which was the emergency surgery on my back.
I’ve never been so humbled, or in such pain…I never want to be there again.
I learned a valuable lesson over the next couple of years…When God speaks, pay close attention to what he says, EVEN IF IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO YOU AT THE TIME HE SPEAKS IT.
I was brought back to this word from the Lord multiple times…I haven’t forgotten it again.
So I ask…
What is the way to counter the attack?
It’s With The armor of God.
 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
When we are GIRDED with the belt of truth, it means that we are SECURED with and have an INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF the WORD OF GOD.
- His word becomes our anchor and buckler.
- His word becomes the tower we climb into for protection.
- His word becomes the truth in our heart that counters the lies we hear with our ears.
Your waist is your CORE.
We know from science that a STRONG CORE is key to physical strength.
If your core is not solid, chances are the rest of you will not be solid either.
The truth of the WORD OF GOD must be the guiding light and strength of your core.
But just as important is the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Because it protects my heart.
Scripture says to GUARD MY HEART.
I cannot do that with help.
The righteousness of Jesus protects my heart and keeps it from being damaged in battle.
Once again, it is HIS ARMOR…HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS…FITTED ONTO MY LIFE.
We must cling to The righteousness of Jesus which gives us right standing before the Father.
 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
God’s peace is not something that you just put on and takeoff like a garment… Instead, the word “shod” in this passage literally means to bind something around your feet.
The peace of God should not be something that is easily removed from your life.
Wherever your feet walk, they should carry peace.
The Gospel brings peace with God to people who are at odds with God.
We are carrying peace that passes understanding right into the vast confusion of the battlefield, thereby giving ourselves and those we fight for, a moment of clarity in the midst of the storm.
 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Listen to this…he says…ABOVE ALL.
Scripture declares to us that WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please God.
He that comes to God must believe that HE “IS”…and that he REWARDS those who diligently seek him.
Why is faith so important?
Because Our faith can literally move mountains!
It’s a fact that satan WILL hurl darts at us.
They are darts on fire from hell…but FAITH STOPS THE FIERY DARTS!
 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
One of the meanings of salvation in this passage is the “hope of future salvation.”
In other words, this helmet is not only speaking of something that saves my soul, but something that gives me hope for the future RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WAR.
There is a spiritual WAR taking place in our nation right now…but in the middle of it, I still have hope for the future…this hope we speak of is an operation of salvation.
Sometimes along our pathway of life, there is great battle…but right in the middle of it we can have hope for the future…that is an operation of salvation!
The passage also speaks of our spiritual sword.
As it relates to the Sword of the Spirit in this passage…it is not simply KNOWING the WORD, but it’s when you GO FROM KNOWING TO USING!
- Declaring the truth over your situation.
- Declaring the promises of God over the problem.
- Declaring the absolute power of scripture in the face of the enemy.
This is USING the sword!
Lastly, Paul the Apostle gives us the warriors ultimate resource…PRAYER.
 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-
When you face a battle where it seems like nothing else will work…that’s when you begin to pray like never before.
- This prayer calls in reinforcements.
- This prayer calls in the power of Holy Spirit.
- This prayer calls in the will of God, and the purposes of God.
- This prayer is intercession for others, and supplication for yourself.
IN this hour WE MUST STAY BATTLE READY.
Here’s the promise if we do…
Isaiah 54:17 NKJV
 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.
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