(Mike Ratliff – Possessing the Treasure) 1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 (NKJV)
Satan opposes the believer in many ways. No matter how he attempts to subvert our faith, the method he uses is a fiery missile. With these fiery darts he attempts to attack or question or deny God’s character and credibility. We see this as he works through those who hate Christianity and the God of the Bible. Their attacks will always be to try to bring doubt into our hearts about God’s faithfulness and our faith. If we are successful in our service to God he will try to undermine our victories by generating trouble that makes life difficult, thereby temping us to forsake obedience to God’s standards and calling.
He attacks believers through doctrinal confusion and falsehood. Remember he cannot attack God so he attacks the church. He wants to destroy unity in the Body of Christ. What better way to divide God’s people than over doctrine? He also attacks God’s people by hindering their service to Him. I have a great deal of experience in this. It seems that every time I would have a role to play in some ministry at church, there would be things that would go wrong. These things could be anything, but many times it was people who seemed bent on thwarting our efforts through non-cooperation or some other method in which we could not follow through in what we needed to do. Through this, divisions in the body would become apparent.
He attacks believers by persuading them to trust their own resources. This is an area in which we can all testify I’m sure. If we are trusting in our own abilities then we will be an easy target for one of Satan’s fiery darts. He also attacks believers by leading them into hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a fruit of pride and no believer is where they should be if they are functioning from pride. Humility, knowing who we are in Christ, functioning within His Lordship, and obeying Him as servants to all is where we should be, but our enemy will convince some that their righteousness is somehow earned. This is the beginning of hypocrisy.
He attacks believers by leading them into worldliness. This is a slippery slide. Once we step off into compromise with the world, we will find the next step a little easier then before we know it we are on a slippery slide into apostasy. He attacks believers by leading them to disobey God’s Word. If there are parts of the Bible we hate to read because we do not want to submit to what it says then we have been attacked by Satan and have given in to him. This is not good. However, although we should be aware of all of these devices of Satan, our defense against them is not simply our knowledge of them, but rather God’s provision to meet them.
The armor of God that Paul gives us in Ephesians 6 can be divided into two groups of three. The first three, the belt or girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the feet shod with the Gospel are long range protection from Satan’s schemes and darts. If these three are actively being used, Satan will struggle mightily in getting close enough to find an opening in which to attack. The second three, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit are for hand to hand combat. These defensive weapons are for use when he does get in close. Now, let’s take a closer look at each.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth Ephesians 6:14a (NKJV)
The fastening on the belt is also stated as girding the loins. This was a mark of preparedness. Soldiers who were serious about fighting were sure to secure their tunics with their belts. This was an act of gathering together the loose ends of their tunic then stuffing them into the belt. This demonstrates the believer’s readiness for war. This readiness is truth. The false schemes of Satan can be successfully encountered only with the truth of the Word of God. This is why I do not allow debate on this blog except from the basis of scripture. The Greek word for truth here can also refer to the attitude of truthfulness. This represents not only the accuracy of specific truths but the quality of truthfulness. It has to do with the self-descipline of total commitment. This attitude is developed through mind renewal. (Romans 12:1-2)