Believers are told to wage war against sin (Romans 6) and against the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-18). Spiritual attack can be a result of direct demonic influence, or we may simply be experiencing the effects of living in a world that is cursed by sin and ruled by Satan. In either case, the approach is essentially the same: "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might" (Ephesians 6:10).
To be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (as the NIV puts it) means to be aware of the Source of your strength, which is God Himself. Demons and Satan are formidable, frightening, and much more powerful than humans. But God fights for us, and within us, and they are no match for Him. Paul tells the Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God," which consists of the following pieces: the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness given by the gospel of peace, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. All of these pieces of armor are things that illuminate God's power, and our protection underneath that power. Our faith is given to us by God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our righteousness and salvation are also gifts, resulting from that faith (Romans 3:21-26). The Holy Spirit indwells us because of that salvation (John 14:15-17; Ephesians 1:13-14), and He reveals truth and illuminates the meaning of the Word to us (John 17:17; John 14:25-26). Finally, because of all that we have been given, we are ready to bring the gospel of peace to others, so that they might have faith in God and be saved. This armor makes us very powerful, able to stand against spiritual attack. Paul also exhorts the Ephesians to pray at all times in the Spirit, to keep alert and persevere, and to pray for other believers, who are fellow soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3).
Another very useful tool against spiritual attack is the quoting of Scripture. Jesus is our example here. He was led into the wilderness by Satan and tempted (Matthew 4:1-11). We can see three levels of attack, or three different angles taken by Satan in the attempt to bring Jesus down. He uses the three aspects of worldliness that the Apostle John mentions in his letter: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Satan appealed first to Jesus' flesh, His hunger for bread after fasting for many days in the desert. Next, he tried the pride of life angle, trying to get Jesus to manipulate God. Lastly, Satan used the lust of the eyes tactic, tempting Jesus with the kingdoms of the world and their glory. But Jesus easily deflected each of these flaming arrows with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. He had faith in the Word, and quoted Scripture in Satan's face. There was no argument or debate once the Bible had been quoted—Satan recognized it as a hit and tried another angle. After three failures, the devil fled, defeated (James 4:7).
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