“For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory (Proverbs 24:6).”
We do not live in a neutral world. Along with the voice of Jesus that calls us, the voice of the enemy calls out to us in our hearts and surroundings. We are in constant war. God defeats back the enemy in our lives by His guidance in the Holy Scriptures, the abundance of counselors who are the Biblical authors, and through our brothers and sisters who live these words of life. We cannot live in this world, if we are not spiritually prepared and armed for battle, thus:
1. God’s Truth, the Belt.
“Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist (Ephesians 6:14).” For warriors of old, their belts held their weapons and rations. In the same way, in the Truth of God is all our spiritual weapons and sustenance. We cannot be swayed by any other truth, or various truths the world may purport: There is only one true God.
2. Christ’s Righteousness, the Breastplate.
“and put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).” A breastplate protects vital organs such as your heart, lungs, liver and intestines. Christ’s righteousness protects our lives, where we are most vulnerable. We know that we are unrighteous, but it is not our justice, it is the righteousness of Christ with which we can appear before God. Through Christ’s righteousness we hold holy testimonies, which are hallmarks of an Apostolic life.
3. Constant Witness, the Shoes.
“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).” The boots of American soldiers, like that of Roman legionaries, were light but strong. The believer who is constantly witnessing maintains himself or herself better prepared against the enemy’s attack. If you are not witnessing, you are not moving. If you are not moving, you are a still target.
4. Our Faith, the Shield.
“With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).” Some of the deadliest arrows were those coated with tar and set on fire. Roman shields were double coated to stop and put out these arrows. Our faith in Christ, unleashing blessing with our lips, stops and puts out the flaming arrows of the enemy.
5. Our Salvation, the Helmet.
“Take the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17).” When Martin Luther was plagued with doubts and temptation he used to write on his walls: “Baptizimus Est,” or “I am baptized.” When I hear that someone has left, someone went back to the veneration of saints or back to the world, I immediately think that the person did not have his helmet on. The enemy wants to make us forget what we are, and whose we are. We are the children of God, born of his name, and empowered by his very life.
6. God’s Word, the Spirit’s Sword.
“and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).” In 1924 a recently baptized José Ortega was chosen from among his brothers and sisters as pastor, their pastor had left and not returned. A couple came with marital problems. Being unmarried and a novice, he spent the whole night collecting passages about marriage. When he finally had the counseling session, all he did was recite these scriptures, and the couple began to weep, they got on their knees, embraced and reconciled. The Word of God has power alone to defeat the enemy.
7. Prayer, Our Lifestyle.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).” An eighteen-month-old baby died in one of our churches. Deeply grieved the pastor arrived to the hospital and began to pray over the child. After taking the dead infant into his arms and praying, the baby regained life. Our prayer must be a lifestyle, it must be constant and intense.
Bishop Ismael Martín del Campo,
Secretary of Christian Education.