Have you ever been praying and had a wicked thought go through your mind? Have you ever been driving and had an impulse to do something crazy or evil? What’s the source of those wild, out-of-control thoughts? In this study, you’ll discover where those thoughts come from and how to combat them when they enter your mind.
"Take up the helmet of salvation," or, literally, it's "receive the helmet of salvation." This is a command for you to take upon this helmet. In battle, obviously, the helmet would be the most important gear, because if you get hit on the head, you're out.
What is the 'helmet of salvation?' The word salvation would hint the idea that we're saved as justified believers and safe from Satan's attacks. But the focus in this passage is on the present deliverance from sin. The word "salvation" just doesn't mean you're saved from sin forever. The word "salvation" literally means to be delivered.
In order to win the battle for your life, you have to put on the helmet of salvation, and the confidence that you are indeed delivered. The helmet of salvation is the certainty of deliverance from sin and the protection of your mind in the battle. The helmet protects your mind.
One commentator says, "It is the ability to think logically, to reason wisely, and to maintain a Biblical worldview in the midst of attacks on your mind and your thinking." It's not simply something you can do; you receive it, but it's something you must allow God to do. And so you need to ask, "Well, how do you do that?" You do that by renewing your mind. Romans 12:2:
"Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that your life might demonstrate what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
You need to understand, the battleground is for your mind. We need to take on this helmet of salvation, and here's what we have with the helmet of salvation: you know regardless of what you go through, you have a hope that will never fade. You know that with the helmet of salvation, you may go through all kinda doubts and struggles, but you have been justified, your eternity is secure.
And so now what you say is, "In the midst of these bombarding thoughts and missiles, I don't need to be afraid, because I am God's child and my destiny is secure." In fact, so much so, the Apostle Paul uses the same phrase in 1 Thessalonians 5:8. And Paul calls the helmet "our hope of God's certain deliverance." The hope, or the helmet of salvation, is the certainty that all of God's promises are "yes" in Christ Jesus. He always comes through.
You are secure. You have a hope, and your hope isn't in finances, your hope isn't in people, your hope isn't in circumstances. Your hope isn't other people coming through for you, your hope is not what's gonna happen someday, some way, somehow. Your hope is in the person of Jesus Christ.
So, when the darts come those thoughts, put up the shield. Then helmet of salvation. And then next he's gonna say, "Hey, that's not all. Then pick up the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God." And this isn't the big, long, heavy sword; this is the two-foot sword that you see in those movies that the Roman soldiers use, because this is for close, hand-to-hand combat.
The Sword of the Spirit
Most times in Scripture the Sword of the Spirit or the Sword of the Word of God is called logos. But when preparing for spiritual battle, with the sword of the spirit, it's called rhema. It's the spoken word or words given to us by the spirit to do close, hand-to-hand combat with the deceptions of the enemy. Using the quoted truths from God's Word against each and every specific lie or deception the enemy throws at you will strengthen your fight.
Jesus modeled this many time for us. It really is not that complicated. For instance Matthew 4:3-4:
"And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God.”‘
Every time Jesus was tempted or challenged by evil what did he do? Answer: it is written, it is written, it is written, and He speaks out loud the truth of God into the lie of the enemy, and when he's done, Satan departs. That's what it means to resist the devil. You resist the devil by putting on the full armor of God, and it's taking the Sword of the Spirit and coming against the lies with the specific truths that apply to the situation.
Psalm 119:105: "God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path." Are you starting to get the idea? The idea behind Scripture and renewing your mind and meditating and studying is not about getting a little daily devotional, reading your chapter and a half, putting a little check in the box and saying, "Oh, goody, I don't feel guilty now."
Moses said to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 32: "Take to your heart every word with which I am commanding to you today, for this word is your life. This word is your life."
"How can a young man keep his mind pure? By guarding it according to thy word. Thy word I've hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:9-11.
If you're gonna have the full armor of God, you have to be a man or woman of this book. Not legalistically, not like have-to-got-to, but you have to begin to master this book. You need to read it in such a way where you can think your way through certain chapters, where you memorize core passages so that your mind is renewed, so you know who you are, and then you can reach in and defeat your enemy.
You should also know, that the sword is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. I love this passage in Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and both joint and marrow, able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." The way that you keep the belt of truth on is to be in the Word with an humble, open heart to God so that as you read it, He can reveal where your heart is so that He can restore you.
Shield of Faith.
So what is the shield of faith? The definition of faith in this context – it's "our absolute confidence in God, His promises, His power, and His program for our lives. And it's purpose is to quench all the fiery missiles of the evil one. So the shield of faith – this is not saving faith. This is the faith in God, God's promises, that when something comes, whether it's a deception or attack or like that night where you just get scared to death, the shield of faith is claiming God's promises, trusting God's character, and applying God's truth, and holding it up to deflect the lies and the darts, whether they be fear, accusation, condemnation, or whatever.
And these fiery darts are the schemes, the temptations, the lies, the deceptions, and the attacks that are aimed at us, God's people. Now get this down: The goal of the darts are to get you to shift your focus from God onto something or someone else. See, the ultimate goal is to get you to be afraid, to get you to feel guilty or condemned, and shift your faith and your dependency from God to something or someone else.
In your marriage, have you ever just had an unjustified thought, just this flash of a question about their truthfulness? "You know, I wonder if she's telling the truth. I wonder if she's been honest all these years of our marriage." I mean, out of the blue, just this thought that you think. Unexplained, overwhelming times of depression. I don't mean, you know, you're down and there's normal grief and difficult times. I mean certain times where it is like you're in the sunlight and then someone turns a switch and it's dark all around you and your in a major life funk, and you don't wanna come out. Those are darts. It's how the enemy works.
I mean, those are a few examples. You could give me many, many more. So how does it work? How does Satan attack you? I'm gonna suggest that you study carefully Genesis 3 and Matthew 4. If you really wanna understand how the darts work, Genesis 3, study carefully. Study carefully the tactics of what occur with Adam and Eve, and then go to Matthew 4 and study when, where, and how Jesus was tempted. And from those passages you'll see a classic methodology.
Demonic attacks often start with disguises. You don't know where it comes from. Then doubt is cast on God and His Word or on you and your worthiness. By the way, when these attacks come, it doesn't matter. I don't think Satan cares. If he can get you to think God is cruel and uncaring, that He's harsh, that He doesn't love you, that how could a good God do this, he's got you going. Or if he can get you – "You're worthless, you're terrible. I mean, you call yourself a mother? You call yourself a Christian? You think you're a real man after your cowardice." It doesn't matter. As long as he can get you thinking inaccurately about God or yourself or others, he takes you down the trail.
Disguise, casting doubt, and then he provides in the midst of that window an opportunity – an appealing, immediate alternative rooted in the pride of life, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh.
1 John 2:15 and 16. Worthy of our memorization, because every temptation, I believe, that I can find in Scripture will fall into one of three categories.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For all that is in the world, for those who love the world, the love of the Father isn’t in them. And then for all that's in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world and all that is in the world is passing away, but he or she who does the will of God abides forever."
You need to know that missiles are gonna come, and they'll be an appeal to your flesh or an appeal to your eyes or an appeal to your ego, and those will be the ways that he'll come. And here's the application: darts of doubt and deception must be immediately met by the shield of faith.
So what does that mean? It means you do this: you activate immediately the truth to your personal situation as soon as you recognize a dart has been received. See, often when this happens, you're not sure where it came from. But to hold up the shield of faith is – as soon as that comes, you take a specific truth of Scripture and hold up the shield of faith to deal with that issue.
How do you Engage the Enemy?
Prerequisite: a healthy spiritual life. Understand your position in Christ, first three chapters of Ephesians.
1. Discern when demonic influence may be the cause.
2. Claim God's promises out loud,
3. Take your authority and position in Christ and command the demonic forces to cease their activity and depart."
Lastly, remember you're a child of the king of Kings and the Lord of lords. And you have on your side the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And demons must believe and obey and respond to the authority of every child of God who takes the Word of God and shoots the bullets of God to the specific issues. And you don't have to be strong or spiritual or go to seminary or know a whole lot. What you have to do is claim who you are and act on what is true, and they must obey.