Spiritual Warfare Basics: Our Equipment and Arms

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 16, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

One of the most important things you must know when talking about any kind of warfare involves your assets. Sun-Tzu said: “Know your enemy and know yourself, then in 100 battles you will never be in peril.” One of the key things involved in this statement is knowing your assets: your skills, your equipment, and your weaknesses. We’ll look at some of the enemy’s skills, equipment, and weaknesses later. In this post, we’ll emphasize on what we have for equipment, arms, and armor.

First, there is the standard equipment. This is gear, armor, weapons, and tools that every born-again Christian is issued. I need to make one thing clear before I move on. NONE of this equipment is accessible to any who has not been born again, who has not sworn fealty to Jesus Christ, who has not submitted his or her life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I wrote a post about those who claim to be Christians but were never born again. If you have any doubts if you are indeed saved or not, read this post before going any further and make sure you are saved. You are in this battle whether you want to be or not, and unless you are born again, you have no armor, no defenses, and no weapons. Any you think you might have are effectively worthless and won’t help you against the whims of the enemy. So make sure you know Jesus. Make sure you are born again. When you are, and when you are a citizen of God’s Kingdom, you have access to God’s equipment. And that stuff works.

So let’s dig into this. When we think of spiritual armor and spiritual weapons, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the Armor of God. Now, I’m not going to go into detail about what each piece of the Armor does here and the reason why is because I already did that for Worldview Warriors back in April and May. But do we even know what the Armor of God is? Could we list them? A good friend of mine and I gave a workshop about spiritual warfare at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference last year. We asked this question to two groups: Can you list the Armor of God? Only half of each group could do so, but even then, not with confidence. Fellow warriors, if we don’t even know what our equipment is, how can we be expected to use it? Tactics themselves, defensive or offensive, are of no avail if you don’t even know what you have to work with.

So what is the Armor of God? Ephesians 6:10-18 is the popular passage that we know about as we grew up in Sunday School (for those that did). We tend to picture this kid’s toy set, but as adults, we often don’t picture a real set of armor and a real sword that does real battle. Paul had a Roman soldier in mind as he described this armor, not a medieval walking tank, not a child’s toy. Roman soldiers had strong armor for defense, but they were also very light on their feet so they could move with speed and agility. Now, here are each of the six pieces. To go into more detail about it, click on the links to what I wrote about earlier on them. We have the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Feet of the Gospel, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. These six pieces are the standard issue. This is what every believer gets, but very few of us actually use it. I hope through this series, you will learn more about how to use this equipment. But God does not just work with standard equipment. He also uses specialists. Let me show you a very different angle of a common passage from a military perspective.

Every sports coach cannot make a good game plan if he does not know what his players can do. Every business CEO searches for the employees who are best capable of completing the tasks that need to be done. And the army, when properly run, does the same. Paul describes this concept in 1 Corinthians 12, like a body. Every one of us has a body that is comprised of many parts and each part has its own function and purpose. Likewise, in God’s army, we each have our own individual roles. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how we have different spiritual gifts, including teaching, prophecy, encouragement, serving, leading, and mercy showing. Each one of us has an emphasis towards one of these gifts, but also at least hints at others. I firmly believe that the combination of all our skills and talents are unique and will not be found anywhere else. But I will stop there, for the scope of this post.

But think of these gifts from a military perspective. In the army, you need scouts, short range fighters, long range fighters, generals, captains, artillery, healers, reserves, and others. We need everyone in this battle. Yes, if someone goes down, we need someone to step up and replace that person, but how many of us step aside so that someone else can fight the battles God meant for us to fight? As soldiers in God’s army, we need to know what our position is and be ready to carry out God’s orders upon command. We need to hold our position no matter what the enemy throws at us. There are times where we need to step back, rest, and recover, but that order needs to come from God. Because many times, it’s actually coming from the enemy. What is your position?

There are many other weapons at our disposal. We have singing, shouting, giving praise, being thankful. We have the Blood of the Lamb, we have the Word of our Testimony. We are called not to love our lives as unto death. But there is one weapon a friend of mine showed me that may be of interest. In war, it is critical to know your enemy’s movements. How they move, when they move, their routes, etc. What do you use when the enemy uses the same routes over and over and over again? In the army, we use landmines. What if we could learn to use spiritual landmines? Temptation has a wonderful tendency of taking the same route. Is my friend wrong about that? He describes a spiritual landmine as this: take that temptation and sinful idea to its logical conclusion. Where will you end up if you take that temptation over time? Is that a place you really want to be? Think about that place, dwell on it, but don’t wallow in it. Dwell on it so that you have that revolting sensation, so when you think about it you say “NO, I DON’T want to go there!” Then when temptation comes in, it triggers that revolting thought, wakes you up, and helps you to say, “No, you aren’t coming in here.” I’m testing out this concept but my friend says it has worked for him time and time again. What areas do you struggle with where you could use a spiritual landmine?

There are many other spiritual weapons in our disposal, but this is boot camp, not officer training. I’m just trying to cover some basics so you have a better picture of what is going on. To get into more detail would require a whole separate study. But let this help you take a different perspective on the Armor of God and the spiritual equipment and abilities we have. When we know what we have to work with, it makes knowing how to recognize the tactics being used against us and helps us to plan how to fight back. Next week, I’ll address more of the enemy’s equipment and the tools he has under his belt. Then we’ll go into basic tactics we see in the spiritual battlefield.