If you ever hear any Christian claim that his Christian experience has been one smooth ride through life, it is either he is not even a human being or he is just giving himself too much credit. Every human being, even animals face challenges and when you become a Christian, you have actually declared war on the kingdom of darkness and the devil cannot in any way be your friend. Actually, to become a Christian is to become an enemy of satan. He will do everything possible to make you lose your place in Christ. Indeed, every new day that breaks for a child of God, he is actually waking upon the battle grounds of life with the devil devising a new way to steal from you or kill you or even destroy you altogether.

It is because of the above that Apostle Paul counsels us in Ephesians 6: 11- 18 to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

From the above, it is clear that the devil wants to see you fall but in putting on the whole armour of God, the ability to stand in victory can be guaranteed.

Our enemy is not flesh and blood. You cannot focus on men who have yielded themselves to the devil to be used against you. They are not your true enemies. If you call and fight men because of their negative attitudes toward you, you are then just fighting against flesh and blood.

In other words, our warfare is first of all spiritual. It is against principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. These forces make their will manifest in and through men who submit to them either willingly or by deception. If we are going to fight against them and win, we have been given godly weapons- not physical boxing gloves, a quarrelling mouth or even a pen ready to write another petition against your ‘wicked or erring’ boss or colleague.

The weapons we have been given are clear- seven of them in the passage above- truth, righteousness, sharing the gospel, faith, helmet of salvation, word of God and prayer.

The TRUTH is our belt. When a man wears a pair of trousers, he usually needs a belt to hold it from falling off and exposing his nakedness. When a child of God lies, he makes himself unworthy of being in Christ. As a child of God, lying is capable of pulling you out of Christ and exposes you to attack. A woman is careful for the knot of her wrapper not to lose. As a child of God, do not let a lie come forth through your mouth. In fact, it is not all ‘truths that you must speak. According to Philippians 4: 8, if it is true but lacks honesty, virtue, justice and is not worthy of praise, then you are not permitted to think on it lest talk about it. Be wise.

If it will not further the cause of the gospel, it is not true. Be careful of your activities on social media. Stop posting insults against fathers of the faith. Child of God stop ‘standing with unbelievers’ on social media in the name of fighting for social justice. Stop assisting the devil to spread half-truths.

Stop living a pretentious life. Romans 12:3 says, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith”. Do not try to impress anyone. Be truthful. When you are on holidays, you show your parents that you are good boys and girls but back on campus, your friends are the worst of the bad boys- your life is a lie. Stop it and repent. Don’t be a man of God outside and a boxer at home- your life is a lie. Stop it and repent.

RIGHTEOUSNESS is our breastplate. It protects our heart and other vital spiritual organs. Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life according to Proverbs 4: 23. Be careful about what you permit into your heart. It is not all that you hear or feel that must be allowed to have a safe landing in your heart. You must develop a spiritual firewall and an anti-virus to screen what you hear so that only the beneficial lands on the thresholds of your heart.

A Christian’ heart is often attacked by fear and guilt. Fear makes a man to lose a battle that has not yet began. He is afraid he will fail. He is afraid that he may not have prayed enough. Fear carries torment. Guilt limits how well you can trust God because you feel He has judged you for your shortcomings- so you keep confessing and re-confessing even the sins He has forgiven and forgotten. Guilt in your heart keeps you moving one step forward and two steps backward. When these two make a grip on your heart, you begin to feel you are not good enough for God to help you so you begin to find ways to please God. Yes pleasing God by acts of righteousness is good but you must remember that it is not about your efforts.

Our righteousness is not our own. All of ours is as a filthy rag (Isa. 64: 6). Isaiah 54:17 says “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Our protection in the ‘A’ part is not hinged on what we are able to do but on what has been done for us in the ‘B’ part. 2 Corinthians 5:21 makes it clear that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. It is not about my effort but His. Having this knowledge saves us from fear and generates boldness in battle. I can boldly say, ‘I am righteous in Christ. I am not a sinner but a saint by reason of the finished works of Christ. God is for me. He is not against me. He is against everything and everyone that is against me. My victory is fully assured in Jesus name.’

The Gospel of Peace

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The gospel of peace is the only way to reduce the influence of satan on the earth. It is the only way to reduce wickedness and recruit men for increased righteousness. Proclaiming the gospel is one weapon Jesus holds dear to His heart. It is the tool for kingdom expansion and population as well as for hell depopulation. It is the tool for the exposition of the nature of God to our world. Paul commanded Timothy as well as us all today to “… do the work of an evangelist”, in order to make full proof of his ministry (2Ti 4:5.). It is our ultimate way to prove our wisdom- to save souls (Prov. 11: 30). Each of us ought to be READY to go with the message of God’s love- Jesus, to the world. Preaching and teaching the word of God is the major way to spread the peace of God. It is the only way for men to hear and have the chance and make the choice to believe unto salvation. Jesus commanded us to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt 28: 19- 20) and doing this, is the ultimate proof of our love for Jesus- “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Joh 14:15).

God through His servant has already given us the marching order for vision 20: 20. This vision is God-breathed to make every believer and Freedomite a soul winner. By this, you cannot claim to be a Freedomite if you do not commit to this vision.

What is Vision 20: 20? God wants to use you to bring at least, twenty (20) souls to Him and to Chapel of Freedom (to ensure that they do not fall away of are not left uncatered for) in the next one year. It looks like a tall order but all things are possible through Christ.

It begins by allowing the Holy Spirit to shed the love of God abroad in your heart. This is the love that God had and has, which overwhelmed Him so much that He could bear to crucify Jesus just to save any man that would believe. You need to develop the love for lost souls, the de-churched and the unchurched.

This love propels you to pray and propels you to wear your gospel shoes- shoes, which are thick and tough enough to traverse the whole earth and go to every man with the message of God’s love. This love makes you to act like Jesus (Acts 10: 38), to go about “doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;” This love makes the spreading of the gospel a necessity to you like it did Apostle Paul who said in 1Corinthians 9:16, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

Heaven is a place of constant joy. It is a place where worship exists always but when a soul is won to God, extra joy breaks out in heaven. May you receive understanding to run with the gospel in Jesus name. May you, like Apostle Paul become an empire builder for God in Jesus name.

May you become an Andrew who will not rest until his brother Peter gets to come to now Jesus (John 1: 40- 42).

May you become like Philip, who will not rest but be compelling enough to bring his friend, Nathaniel to Jesus (John 1: 44- 46).

May you become like Deacon Philip who converted an entire city and was still used by God to influence the whole Ethiopian nation by one contact with a eunuch in Jesus name (Acts 8).

May you become the reason why men in their countless numbers come to embrace the gift of God in Christ Jesus.

The declaration of the message of the gospel with passion is one major way to show that you are a son of God indeed. This is because every son must have a passion for going about the Father’s business to make it grow. A true son of God and of this ministry must be committed to seeking and seeing people saved. Every Freedomite must be committed to seeing more people converted unto God and even becoming sons and daughters of this commission.

Let us talk about the shield of faith. Verse 16 of our passage says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

Above all: This means, ‘Take note!’ It means that what he is about to say next is non-negotiable. It means it is not a matter of option but actually a factor necessary and mandatory for success. What is that factor? FAITH.

taking the shield of faith: Taking implies continuity. In other words, always and continually handling the shield of faith. A shield is an instrument of war mainly used for defense and sometimes for attack. This statement means that you cannot drop or forget your faith at home or in the office. Jesus severally asked His disciples- ‘where is your faith?’ It must be with you always. It must not only be with you always, it must be in your hand and you must be ready to use it at any time. It means that you are always living in the readiness for the devil to defend and make full proof of your calling.

wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked: the shield is to be used to quench the fiery darts, arrows and spears of the devil. Now since our warfare is spiritual, what are the fiery darts of the devil today? They include demonic suggestions and imaginations. They include medical diagnoses that showcase negative prognoses or predictions. That is when the doctor tells you that your case is difficult or even impossible. The fiery darts of the enemy include the suggestions from the devil that you will not return safely from a journey or that you will not see tomorrow or that you will not pas your exams and so on. When any news comes to scare the authenticity and the infallibility of God’s word out of you, it is a fiery dart of the devil.

By faith, you stop demonic suggestions and imaginations from getting into and taking a strong hold of your heart. Faith is the weapon used to keep or guard your heart with all diligence and watchfulness so that the issues of life therein are preserved (Prov. 4: 23).

Faith is also used as a basis for attack. Without faith in your heart, the name of Jesus and scriptures in your mouth will only be ordinary. It takes faith in your heart to speak God-like, forceful and fiery words that will make impact and give you a turnaround in every situation. When you speak by faith in your heart, the issues of life in your heart are released to quench the forces of death.

The next weapon is the Helmet of Salvation. Verse 17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation…” so that the devil does not get into your head and confuse you about what Jesus has done for you. Many believers today are like the Galatian church (Galatians 3: 1- 3). They began by faith but have gradually gone the way of flesh. They now think that they need the works of the law in order to be justified. Many now think that they need to do some other things in order to be saved. While those other things like restitution, waking up by 12 mid night to pray, fasting for seven days or forty days in order to have sins forgiven, giving of alms, fashion issues and others are good, they do not form part of the qualification for salvation. Jesus made it clear in John 3: 16- 18- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 10: 9- 11 that “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” We are saved by believing in the finished works of Christ! Galatians 3: 13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:…” and Ephesians 2: 8- 9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” So it is not about our own efforts but what He has done. When I accept Christ, He begins to live His life in me and shows Himself to the world through me.

The helmet of salvation keeps you from listening to and wandering off after every wind of doctrine. The helmet of salvation keeps your eyes on the standard of the word of God, keeps your ears on the word to generate faith (Romans 10: 17) and keeps your mouth confessing the word of God so you can possess the things which have been freely given you by God (1Co 2:12).

conclude this week with the sword of the spirit being the word of God and prayer, it is my prayer that God will help you to go out on your own to search out the scriptures to know more like the Berean Christians and indeed live more victoriously to the glory of God in Jesus name.

The sword of the spirit- The word of God: this weapon carries the same requirement with the shield of faith and helmet of salvation. They are to be taken along, wherever you go and in whatever condition you find yourself. While the shield of faith and helmet of salvation are meant mainly for defense, the sword of the spirit is mainly for attack and sometimes for defense. In fact, the sword of the spirit which is the word of God is the main weapon for attack. It is the only weapon by which we can press on against the enemy. The word of God is described severally as a fire and a hammer. In Jeremiah 23:29, God Himself says, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” when you speak the word, fire comes out of your mouth to devour demonic setups. When you peak the word in faith, it lands on the devil like a hammer on a rock to break it all in pieces. The word of God is more than just a sword. Hebrews 4: 12, it is written, “For the word of God is quick (alive and living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In other words, the Word of God has the capacity to dig to the root as well as climb up to the top and take control of the matter.

So how do I use the word as a weapon? The word of God is weaponized when you speak it over and against the challenge of your life. When the word is spoken, it motivates the Holy Spirit into action (Isa. 34: 16). When I, as a born again child of God, reads, believes and personalizes Genesis 12:2- 3 by confessing it, God becomes bound to do in my life what He did for Abraham. When the devil brings the thoughts of death to me and I remember and declare Psalm 118: 17 by faith, I have succeeded in both mounting up a defense and launching an attack against the forces of death.

The sad thing today is that most Christians do not have the word in their heart and are not reading their bibles talk less of studying. As if that were not enough, when the come to church, they come late and expect the man of God to preach for five minutes. The few who have some verses of scriptures in their head cannot enjoy the power behind the word because, the power is not released by speaking the letters you have crammed but by speaking the word which has gained entrance into your heart by revelation. The word of God is the only effective and efficient anti-satan language. If you do not have it in you, you will not win. You need to accept God’s word as the creative force by which God actually created the world and sustains it, which has been gifted to you as a child of God in all of its power so you could live as God (more than a conqueror) here on earth and not just some verses the pastor asked you to study and know.

Prayer. In our passage above, it reads, “Praying always with all prayer, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” in simple terms, prayer is communion with God. It is being in tune with God. It is a two way communication channel which allows you and God to be on the same page in every situation and circumstance.  What is all prayer and supplication in the Spirit? This encompasses, praise and worship, asking, confession and declaration of the word, making decrees according to the word, warfare and binding the spirits of darkness, with persistence and consistency for yourself and all the brethren. It involves praying aloud (Ps. 77: 1) and silently (Neh. 2: 4). It can involve kneeling down (Dan. 6: 10, 1Ki 8:54), lying down (Nu. 20: 6, Jos. 7: 6), bowing down (1Ki 18: 42), standing (1Ki 8:22, Mk. 11:25) or even walking about (2Ki 4: 32- 35) postures. It can involve closing or opening your eyes while you pray. In a nutshell, there is no situation or circumstance or time that must be allowed to disallow your ability to pray.

The importance of living a prayerful life was stressed by Jesus in Luke 18. Jesus made it clear there that earnest and persistent prayer in faith provokes God to avenge us speedily. The life of Elijah makes it clear that prayer can open the heavens over us. God Himself spoke in 2Chronicles 7: 14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Beloved, God has given us these weapons first, for self-protection and self-preservation, so we can live as victors among victims, thus making us wonders in this world. He has also given us these weapons, secondly to help those around us see the power of God. Do not live an uneventful life. Do not allow yourself become a victim like the children of Ephraim who, “…being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle” (Ps 78:9). You are more than a conqueror over sin, death, poverty….. live as such in Jesus name.

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