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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 5:8-9Why 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?

RESPOND

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.

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.


14 comments
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  • April 18, 2013 12:49 PM

    by

    Remember Jesus paid in full for all your sins. Walk in the consciousness that He gave power to be all He wants you to be. He calls you you to a daily walk with.Thank you Father God for making do with us.Remember Jesus will not ask you to do what He has not given ability to do! Greatness is a result of uprightness/godliness.Thank you for the grace and power to follow you. Amen.
  • April 18, 2013 10:06 AM

    by

    The messages are truly heartwarming and astounding, clearly reminds us of His unconditional love, that totally flows down right into our human spirit.
  • April 15, 2013 08:12 PM

    by

    I thank you for these verse they are very powerful in a time like now Lord,I pray that you will help me grow in your will for my life and live for you in all that I do amen.
  • April 13, 2013 03:34 PM

    by

    Thanks for sharing God truth about putting on the full armor of God!
  • April 13, 2013 02:02 PM

    by

    Lord i love u
  • April 13, 2013 12:15 PM

    by

    Wonderful message . Praise God ! Really soothend my heart and filled me with peace and comfort. Thank you Jesus...
  • April 13, 2013 12:15 PM

    by

    Wonderful message . Praise God ! Really soothend my heart and filled me with peace and comfort. Thank you Jesus...
  • April 10, 2013 10:05 AM

    by

    I believe that God is saying that we have an ability to overcome any thoughts or lusts of the flesh, that we are armoured through Jesus Christ and when we remember this awesome truth we look beyond what is in front of us to the enduring power of Heaven and our real place to live, with God and Jesus. Dear God may I continue to grow in understanding, help me in my areas of unbelief that I may do your will always. Amen
  • April 09, 2013 02:12 PM

    by

    This is so powerful thank you!
  • April 07, 2013 09:56 AM

    by

    Dear father I need you help to wear your armour against My enemies
  • April 06, 2013 03:12 PM

    by

    Thank god for you all blessings in your day
  • April 05, 2013 04:58 PM

    by

    I realize that "no weapon formed against me shall prosper"
  • April 04, 2013 09:32 AM

    by

    Thank you for your guidance. I have a very important meeting today that these precious words will help me get through. Jesus is ALWAYS with us and helping us to be victorious. Thank you for the study.
  • April 04, 2013 03:20 AM

    by

    I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes.

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