Clothed with Christ
To win a spiritual battle, first put on the presence and strength of Jesus.
At some point, we’ll all be called to engage in spiritual warfare, whether initiated by outside circumstances or within our own hearts. In those difficult moments, the dark suggestion that God can’t be trusted is never far from our minds.
No matter what we do, we can’t seem to shake the thought that despite all of our faith and devotion, the Lord won’t come through for us. Our greatest fears and anxieties come to the surface, and we suddenly feel as though the ground is eroding beneath our feet.
Deep within, we long to have peace of mind in times like these. Yet we need to recognize that a war is being waged not for our comfort but for our very heart. To remain passive in the face of battle is to be defeated before we begin. As Christians, we have to learn how to fight in a way that honors and depends upon God.
According to Scripture, the Lord has already provided you with the protection and power you need to engage in battle and come out victorious.
READ Ephesians 6:10-18
Paul uses the image of armor to illustrate these very real spiritual provisions from God. And just as armor needs to be put on the body piece by piece to be effective, we must deliberately put on every one of these “weapons of our warfare” (2 Cor. 10:3-5) to be truly ready to use them.
This New Testament imagery clearly connects with the language used elsewhere in Scripture (see Isaiah 11:4-5 and Isaiah 59:16-17 for examples). And there’s a key truth in this connection that can revolutionize the way we see spiritual warfare: Every weapon or piece of our armor is the weapon and armor of Jesus Christ.
In these prophecies about the coming Messiah, we see the Lord as a warrior, fitting Himself for spiritual battle and pushing back the forces of evil. It’s no coincidence that what Paul describes echoes these passages (i.e., the breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, the sword of God’s Word, or the belt of truth/faithfulness). As Jesus’ disciples, we follow Him into the battle to take back what the kingdom of darkness has stolen—and to stand against the Enemy’s schemes to distract, deceive, and disarm God’s people.
Galatians 3:26-27 tells us that those of us who have been united with Him have “clothed” ourselves with Christ or “put on Christ” (NLT). Romans 13:14 repeats the phrase as an exhortation (which can also be translated as “clothe yourself with the presence of Christ” or “take up the weapons of Christ”) and implies that while His Spirit lives within us, we must actively choose to walk in the reality of His presence and power.
Every time you fight against the Enemy’s attacks by clothing yourself with this spiritual armor, you stand firm in your true identity—"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27; Col. 3:3).
REFLECT + EXPLORE
Reflect on these insights from supporting scriptures. If you have time, explore the corresponding passages and journal your answers to each question.
1. Seeing a situation with the eyes of our heart will change our perspective and give us confidence in God’s presence and power.
Read 2 Kings 6:8-23. How do you think the perspective and attitude of Elisha’s servant changed after the Lord revealed to him what the prophet already knew without seeing?
2. When we recognize who we truly are in Christ—and the purpose He’s called us to—we are enabled to access His power, which is always present and available to us.
Read Ephesians 1:18-23. In the midst of a spiritual battle, why is it so important that we recognize Jesus’ authority over everything (including our hearts and all evil power that seeks to deceive and destroy us)?
3. When it comes to temptation, you can recognize, resist, and defeat the Enemy’s attacks by drawing your heart near to God and surrendering to Him.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:12-14, James 4:6-8, and 1 Peter 5:8-9. Why is it important to understand not only who your Enemy is and the limits of his power but also how his success is impacted by your choices and beliefs?
4. We have already been rescued from the “domain of darkness” and carried by Jesus into His kingdom, where He reigns in power and peace.
Read Colossians 1:9-20. When darkness obscures this truth, how does knowing to whom we belong impact what we see?
Answer the following questions, journaling your thoughts if possible.
1. What is God saying to you through your study today?
2. What questions do you have about what you’ve learned? Ask the Lord to reveal greater truth through prayer and further study, and to help you pay attention to what He shows you in the coming days.
3. Write a prayer of response to God.