In the Pattern of Seven – The Armor of God vs Satan’s Armor, I’d like to establish what constitutes Satan’s armor before we go on to examine the seven pieces of God’s armor in the Person of Christ, full of grace and truth.1 Believers everywhere know that Satan has been Christ Jesus’ fallen, yet persistent foe from past ages to present day.
Wherever and in whatever conditions these two opponents are engaged, we will find them armored up: “the Strong” vs Someone stronger and better armed:
“For when Satan,[a] strong and fully armed, guards his palace, it is safe—until someone stronger and better armed attacks and overcomes him and strips him of his weapons and carries off his belongings. Luke 11:21-22 (TLB) [[a] Satan, literally, “the Strong.”]
While Jesus defeated Satan and his regime on the Cross (to which Jesus was pointing when He told this parable in Luke 11), the Adversary, before his appointed destruction, will not give up. Nor must we.
Even before laying down His life for all humanity – and especially then – Jesus knew He was the Messiah and why He had come to earth. In His lifetime, the Anointed One lived, was crucified, and resurrected fully clothed in the armor of His Father’s nature, character, and name. All of Who He was, is, and is to come. He could rightly assert to Philip, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”2
from Guarded Palace to Temple of the Holy Spirit 3
He still announces that to those who doubt. And, in increasing degrees of Right to Ownership of every true believer whose spirit has been re-born from above through surrender to Christ and acceptance of His gift of salvation. What was once the devil’s palace has become the habitation of the Holy Spirit.
Now dwelling within, He is on task to guide us into all truth4. Knowing the enemy’s penchant for battle, Holy Spirit counteracts by granting a willing spirit to sustain us as we desire and seek to assimilate Christ’s nature into our soul. The spirit may indeed be willing, but our flesh is weak. We need our Someone stronger to empower us in putting off the old self, and to “put on Christ” – the Armor of God.
There are strongholds to pull down, within us and without. It is not a different set of weapons for each. Rather, scripture tells us the weapons of our warfare are the nature of Christ himself, mighty before God. It is His character, attributes, and authority that is meant to be operating in His Body, including us.
3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), – II Corinthians 10:3-5 (AMPC)
Rest or Restlessness?
Successful spiritual warfare is not just relief from the enemy. Victory comes as we are conformed to Christ’s pattern, forsaking the world’s old pattern. This is the sevenfold work of Holy Spirit within. So, Jesus laid out ‘what happens next’ on Satan’s agenda for the newly delivered soul in our Luke 11 opening:
“When an evil[a] spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.” Matthew 12:43-45 (NLT) [a]unclean
What creates a place of rest for unclean spirits is being in accord with their environment.
The battle is real, beloved; for where unclean spirits are at rest, there you will find all manner of strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances… Turmoil reigns, translated in and to our person as restlessness – which only the peace God gives can assuage. Beyond understanding but real.
Conversely, encouragement to persevere comes as we recognize and take to heart that our spiritual rebirth is prelude to a life of transformation from glory to glory. Scripture clearly tells us there are two types of Christians. Those who honor the Lord with their lips but with hearts far from and resistant to conformity to Christ’s nature. And those who have experienced the reality of Christ as they receive Him by faith into their heart, with hope for real change. Not a ‘get out of hell’ card, but a transformed life.
The Fortress Within
I well remember years ago when Holy Spirit pointed out to me while reading scripture that evil is live backwards. John 10:10 was primary in my mind as I considered the truth, from personal experience, that the enemy only comes to kill, steal, and destroy. In victorious contrast, Jesus said He came to give life.
Holy Spirit’s illumination compelled me, and still exerts redeeming conviction, to be willing to deal with the areas of my thinking – ideas, attitudes, perceptions, and influenced behavior – that ‘helped’ build non-redemptive structures into my mental thought processes. Life happens, but so do our responses.
There was much I didn’t realize or understand but began to learn when I embarked on my healing journey with the Lord. Once the “low-hanging rotten fruit” was dealt with, there remained strongholds that so governed my thinking and responses that it was second nature. Most of us do not know how much we defend our own thoughts and attitudes that originate from the old self. All the while believing or deceiving ourselves that we have God’s mind and are making righteous judgments. Or complacent agreement that we don’t…with no intention of yielding. Viewed in His pure light, God’s armor gleams.
So, for an already defeated foe, with an already appointed final destruction, what comprises his armor?
That’s what Jesus called it; the same that Paul described as strongholds. And as one minister shared, a demonically induced pattern of thinking.* A thought-life in agreement with fear, habitual sin, unbelief.
Satan, fully armed with his dark hordes, relies on our own thoughts, opinions, and attitudes that remain in agreement with evil. We’re not talking about occasional sin or casual thoughts floating in, but that which is entrenched to the point of continued identification with our old self. Persuaded “this is me.”
It is not by chance that the list of redemptive gifts in Romans 12:6-8 is prefaced with Romans 12:1-2.5 Unclean spirits seek vulnerable access points to find their rest, masked as our own thoughts and hiding in our attitudes. Their first line of defense and legal right to remain is our aversion to the Word of Truth. Our resulting speech and actions belie our *uncrucified thoughts and unsanctified attitudes.* Our thought-life is our ‘truth’ until we see Jesus. Then, with Holy Spirit, we start to discern the old self in operation.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Corinthians 3:17) Consider what F.B. Meyer penned in his commentary on II Corinthians 3:16-18 –
What liberty becomes ours when we live in Christ! We are free to love, to serve, to know, and to be. We may gaze on the unveiled face of God in Christ. The more we look the more we resemble. The more we endeavor to reflect Him, in doing what He desires, the more certainly and inevitably we become like Him. Only remember that in all things we are deeply indebted to the gracious influence of the Spirit. He produces the Christ-life in us.
This is the hallmark of the grace gifts of Christ as you and I embrace our design for redemptive living.
The Armor of God
Going forward, each of the seven pieces of armor in Ephesians 6:13-18 will be featured in its own article. The power, majesty, and consistency of the Pattern of Seven in the Word is incredible. May we find that our spirit leaps in response to what our soul and body may need time to catch up with. Nevertheless, let’s sow deeply to ourselves and for and with others; there are harvest days yet within and before us.
I pray that the eyes of your heart be opened and filled with pure light to see King Jesus, mighty in battle.
You and I were ‘created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ (Ephesians 4:20-24) This is our call to “put on Christ.”
1 John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 John 14:8-9
3 I Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
4 John 16:13
5 Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) – And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Click here for a printable PDF of this article: Redemptive Gifts Pattern of Seven – The Armor of God vs Satan’s Armor