The armor makes a difference!
Part 2 Evil Armor
I believe there’s a battle that we can’t see going on in the world today.
God gives believers armor and weapons to wear and use as protection, and as offensive and defensive weapons against the evil one and his schemes against us.
But I believe the evil one offers us armor too. Or he leaves it lying around enticing us to pick it up and use it.
Because he is a deceiver, he can only counterfeit what God has made. Someone may think this counterfeit armor will protect them, but it only serves to harm them, their relationships and the course of their lives.
Belt of Lies – Instead of a Belt of Truth, they gird themselves with the lies and deceit of the evil one, satan. They will not hold something up to the Bible as a standard, but only to the current morality of the times, or what they feel is “right” for them. Or whatever they can get away with without suffering consequences. And because of this undercoat of support in the form of a veil of deceit they are living under – they feel totally justified in doing so.
The truth is relative, and so, irrelevant to their world view and the values they govern themselves by. They are so misled as to cause themselves harm without realizing it. And devastation to relationships. They are mortgaging their future with a loan of moral and spiritual debt they can never repay.
Breastplate of Self-Righteousness – They protect themselves with a breastplate of self-entitlement and selfishness. Rather than seek out what is right and good, they protect what seems good to only them. And they feel power in being successful at manipulating, scheming and doing what it takes to get what they want.
They do not take responsibility for their words or actions. The breastplate is supposed to protect your heart so no evil weapon can inflict damage. But where God seeks to soften their heart, they throw up armor, surrounding it with only what they feel they deserve or are owed. And whatever they feel you or I or the world owes them creates a barrier to our trying to instruct them in responsibility, right behavior and clear thinking.
Shoes of Strife – I won’t say they are shoes of war, but in smaller ways, they devalue keeping the peace. In their jobs, in family relationships, in their choices of disobedience and rebellion, they literally and figuratively “walk all over people” in the name of what they feel they deserve or are owed.
Helmet of Destruction – They entertain thoughts that lead to sinful and destructive behaviors. They embrace the values of the world and the flesh, defending that this is the way everyone thinks. Ironically, they feel indestructible and so behave in ways that damage themselves, their relationships, their future and their spirits.
Their minds are filled with thoughts that tear themselves down. So to deal with this they tear others down to build themselves up. Rather than take every thought captive to God, they’re distracted to act on every stray idea without discernment as to its true consequences. And in doing so often harm themselves and others.
Shield of Intolerance – They hold up a shield whenever criticism is lofted their way, to repel the truth. But in that way, they actually don’t see that they have become intolerant of anyone who is not under their shield with them, tolerating only what they tolerate. All kinds of injustice and evil have been done in the name of tolerance.
If anyone even hints at suggesting something is wrong with their behavior or attitude, the shield comes up and the questioner is accused of being intolerant. Not only a defensive protection, they now use their shield to bully and push back against and knock down anyone who dares to have standards that are different from theirs.
Sword of Idolatry – These swords differ by whatever the individual worships. Some fight with the sword of knowledge/education and go about slicing any argument to bits that can’t be proven scientifically or empirically. If they can’t see it and understand it, it can’t be true. Others slice down truth with secular humanism holding that people can govern themselves, making their own moral decisions based on what’s right for themselves at the time.
Another group slashes its way by exalting nature, mother earth, and all their decisions are made with this as the highest level of importance. Still other swords used bear out that people live their lives and make their decisions based on whatever will bring them happiness, comfort, fame, wealth, power or beauty. Some even carry several swords to defend their many loves against truth.
Do you recognize any of this armor? In yourself? In a loved one?
This armor is destructive. Sometimes a loved one may not even realize they are acting defensively in this armor. They become less loving, hard and hurtful people we barely recognize. They carry attitudes of self-entitlement and their words and actions push us away rather than draw us in or accept any help.
When I sense this I realize it’s not the person I have a problem with, but the armor. And I ask God to remove that evil armor. With my own spiritual Armor of God prayed on, I pray off the evil armor.
Here’s a sample prayer for praying off that armor:
Lord Jesus Christ, with Your armor on I enter into the battle before me. I believe (name) is acting under the influence of evil armor they may have picked up either intentionally or without realizing it. Please remove the belt of lies, half-truths and deceit they are living in. Show them Your truth and the cost and real consequences of what they have been mistakenly believing.
Father, remove the helmet of destruction. Wipe out any thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Help them to take every thought captive to evaluate it and call out to You for discernment before taking any action.
Lord, rip off the breastplate of self-righteousness. Soften their heart to You and bring them salvation if they are not believers. If they are believers, show them how this armor is not really protecting them. How they are instead allowing the hurt in but then pushing away those who love them and want to help them.
Show them how to kick off the shoes of strife and set their feet upon Your path. Remind them that Your plan is to prosper them and not harm them, but to give them a hope and a future.
Father, convince them to set aside their shield of intolerance so they will be willing to see Your truth offered in grace and with love. And let that grace and truth strengthen their faith.
And God lead them to lay down their swords of idolatry. Defeat whatever else is ruling and ruining their lives.
Let them hear Your voice and understand Your words. Send the Holy Spirit to silence all other voices that are not from You.
In the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, I thank you for hearing my prayer. And for working in the life of (name). Amen.