ARMOR OF GOD

ARMOR OF GOD

THE ARMOR OF GOD
A Bible Study

.

Don’t hurry through this study. It’s to be done as in-depth as possible. A Lesson might take a week to complete. That’s OK. Take time with the scriptures and really meditate and “chew” on them, asking God for new revelation to come to you through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit and His Word.

Topic: The Armor of God
..
God has given us weapons to use because He knows that we’re in a war. Many of us ignore His warnings and even forget to use the weapons He’s provided for us. The armor of God is essential for every follower of Messiah.
..
Ephesians 6:10-19 AMP In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel)

The Belt of Truth: The Roman soldier’s belt was made of leather and was used to gather his garments together, as well as to hold his sword. It gave him a feeling of inner fortitude and strength when tightened. According to Paul’s teaching, the Believer’s belt is truth. Truth is to be his inner strength. It gives him confidence. This can mean “the truth of God” and it can refer to Judeo/Christian doctrines, the specific content of God’s revelation in the Bible. It can mean the truth of God’s Love for us and the truth of who God says we are as His children. The word can also refer to our truthfulness or sincerity of heart. One depends directly on the other. We need to be truthful men and women, and will become that only as we feed on the revealed truths of the Bible. It is important to notice that Paul puts truth first in his list of the believer’s pieces of armor. This suggests that successful spiritual warfare begins with fixing Biblical teaching firmly in our minds and allowing ourselves to be changed in our inward character as a result. As Believers in Messiah, truth comes first, then action. Without truth, without the knowledge of who God is, who we are, what we have become in Messiah, and what we have been called to do by God, we really do not know what kind of activity in which to engage and we are easily vulnerable to satan’s onslaughts and wiles.
.
The Breastplate of Integrity or Righteousness: The second piece of the soldier’s equipment was his breastplate, which is compared to righteousness. It can refer to the righteousness of Yeshua transferred to the believer’s account, enabling him to stand before God, or it can refer to specific acts of righteousness or righteous character and personal holiness, but the two cannot be separated. Believers have been made holy on the basis of Messiah’s righteousness and therefore must walk in holiness. Being holy means that walking in perfect integrity. Being people of integrity means that we are completely honest, upright and moral. This is something that is so foreign to people in our culture. It means no sexual relations outside of marriage; no lying; no stealing; no cheating on taxes; telling the cashier when she gave you back too much change; not watching tv or movies containing sexual immorality or blatant glorification of evil; not listening to music that stirs up sinful desires; not telling little white lies; doing what we say we’re going to do; not taking home office supplies from work; striving for excellence on our jobs; walking in love with our families; getting rid of fear, anger and other negative emotional response systems; and a host of other things that the Lord will show you as you continue in relationship with Him. Interestingly, integrity also means wholeness and therefore points to God’s desire to repair the broken areas in our lives. He wants us to be healed of past hurts, but we must be willing to do whatever it takes to bring those painful areas to the surface, let Him take them from us and not take them back. It is your responsibility to look at every area of your life and change anything that displays a lack of integrity. The believer actually needs to be holy and walk in total integrity to effectively resist satan. We need to live blameless lives so that everyone can see that we are God’s true children and Yeshua’s faithful disciples. The breastplate also protects our hearts and emotions from the enemy’s schemes. It’s an extremely important piece of God’s armor!
.
The Gospel of Peace: Many interpret this scripture as our readiness to talk about Messiah. We should remember that it is one thing to know the Messiah and quite another to be ready to make Him known to others. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The peace also refers to the peace that we have with God through our faith in the Messiah. Once we truly experience that peace in our lives it is something that is so real and tangible, and it is not dependent on our circumstances. God’s peace lives in us and enables us to experience that peace even in times of trial and hardship. We need to strive for that type of empowerment from the Lord. And, we need to introduce others to God’s peace. When we do this we become peacemakers, both between people and God, and between people in general. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5: 9)
.
The Shield of Faith: The shield referred to here was used by Roman soldiers. It was about 4 ½ feet long and two feet wide and covered most of the soldier’s body. When the Roman soldiers advanced in ordered rows, as they did, the enemy was faced with a solid wall of shields. Paul suggests that our faith should be like that. It should do three things: 1) It should cover us so that not a portion of our person is exposed; 2) it should link us up with the faith of others to present a united wall of defense; 3) it should be able to deflect any fiery arrows the enemy may fire at us. Satan’s arrows may be suggestions of doubt concerning God’s personal love and acceptance of you, or doubt concerning your eternal salvation. They may be suggestions that lead you to resentment or bitterness concerning the way God has allowed others to treat you, or the people who you love. They may be arrows of fear or arrows that push you to display negative emotions. Satan’s arrows may be suggestions of fear that if you obey God, consequences will follow that you won’t be able to cope with, or suggestions that if you do not get angry, things won’t change. When you take up the shield of faith in God, and His love for you, you choose to believe that God will not let you down in any situation. You choose to believe that He is currently at work in your situation and will never leave or forsake you. You will also trust that He causes every circumstance in your life to work for your good. Such faith is like a complete shield around you. No doubt is allowed in, no arrow creates a wound of self-pity or bitterness, no stone makes a bruise of discouragement or loneliness, for God is with you. Such faith quenches all satan’s fiery darts.

The Helmet of Salvation: We are saved and need to know it. We are to keep our mind focused on Yeshua, who is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places. He is the author of our faith. In Him we find the truth about our destiny, our ultimate salvation, rather than our present state. Our anticipation of that end will protect our heads in the heat (and often confusion) of the battle. We may have momentary defeats and setbacks but we cannot despair since we know that the final glorious triumph of our King and Commander is assured. The security of the mind is all important. The Helmet helps give us the mind of Messiah. We need to think His thoughts and not “buy into” thoughts placed in our minds by the enemy or our own wrong thinking. When we truly understand the truth about our salvation and we know that we’re saved from the wrath to come, saved from satan’s power, we are free to live secure from apprehension and to be at peace. “Salvation” in Scripture always carries with it the thought of deliverance. Take the helmet of confidence that God will deliver you now, in your present situation and bring you forth with joy. Such assurance protects your mind from all satan’s lies, and from the power of his temptations. For momentary,light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
.
The Sword of the Spirit: Thus far each piece of the Believer’s armor has been defensive. Here we come to the only offensive piece, and that is our sword, the Word of God. Yeshua said that satan is “a liar and the father of lies” and that “there is no truth in him”. What is an effective and sufficient weapon against satan’s lies? There is only one thing and that is the truth of God, the Bible. We overcome in our spiritual warfare by using specific portions of scripture just as Yeshua did when He withstood satan’s temptations in the wilderness. There is nothing in all life more powerful than the specific words of God. The words of God can save you, give you life and bring you at last to heaven. If we are to resist satan and live in victory as Believers in Messiah, we must take the specific words of God into our minds and hearts. We must pick up this sword of the Spirit, make it ours, and wield it powerfully and with skill.
.
Our secret resource is prayer. The last thing mentioned in this Scripture passage is prayer. More space is given to it than to any of the other pieces of armor because prayer is of supreme importance. What makes it so important is that the weakest Believer can at any period of his life, at any moment of the day and in any circumstance cry out to God for help, and instantly have the resources of the infinite, sovereign God at his disposal. The importance of prayer is emphasized by the word “all” which he repeats four times, saying that we should pray: “on all occasions”, “with all kinds of prayer and requests”, “always”, and finally “for all the saints”. The human writer of this passage, Rav Shaul (The Apostle Paul) even encourages the Ephesians to pray for him. So, pray for me too! J Pray for yourself as well. Pray to God for your practical holiness in your daily life. Pray for victory over satan’s temptations to sin. Pray on behalf of all Believers who are seeking to win people to Messiah. Pray for all Believers to walk the victorious walk that Yeshua’s life directs us to. Pray for your spouse, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, the governments and world leaders, pray for all the people you know and on whom you depend for many important things. The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized! It’s another one of God’s mysteries in our lives. Why the Almighty, Sovereign God wants us to pray is beyond me, but He does. He wants us to take an active role with Him in our lives and the lives of people on this planet. And don’t forget to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem ” too!
Every morning as I’m driving to work I put on the Armor of God. In fact, if I wake up and experience negative emotions or tiredness once I put on the Armor my mood changes and I am empowered in a new and supernatural way for the day ahead.
.
Recently the Lord put it on my heart that not only does the Armor of God protect our souls (mind, will & emotions) but it also protects our physical bodies. There have been so many attacks recently against people’s health in the Body. We must put on the Armor daily, submitting to God and resisting the devil! (James 4:7)
.
Here’s an example of how to pray on the Armor of God. (I always start at the top and work my way down…) You can take as much time as you’d like to do it. Some people will pray this even before they get out of bed. Do as the Spirit of God leads you to do.
.
“Father God, I come to You in the name of Yeshua and put on Your Armor. Lord I put on the helmet of salvation. Give me the mind of Messiah today. I fix my mind on Yeshua, the author and perfector of my faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. Help me to think Your thoughts today and not my own, or the enemy’s. Protect my mind. Protect my physical brain and everything associated with my head and the proper functioning of that wondrous machine that controls the rest of my body. Lord I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Protect my heart and my emotions. Help me make right choices today. Protect my respiratory system and my heart. Make them function as you intend them to work, in order to cause my body to be strong and well-nourished with oxygen and blood. I tighten the belt of truth one more notch today Lord. Help me know the truth of Your great love for me even more today. Help me know and walk in the truth of who I am in You and who You are in me. Protect my digestive and reproductive systems. I put on the shoes of peace. Thank you for giving me peace today and giving me opportunities to be a peacemaker. Empower me to share about Yeshua with people today Lord. Make sure my foundations are sure and protect my feet and legs as they carry me where you want me to go. I lift up the shield of faith. My faith is in You God for everything pertaining to my life. I trust You. I believe You. Help me obey You. Thank You that the shield protects me. And Father, I lift up the sword of the Spirit. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit today, Lord. More of You and less of me. Put Your Words in my heart, mind and mouth, so that I can be pleasing in Your sight and walk in victory over the schemes of the enemy today. Thank You Father for the blessing of Your Armor to protect me emotionally, spiritually and physically! Amen.”

BEATITUDES

BEATITUDES

The Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12)

.
When Yeshua (Jesus) saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying…: What a beautiful picture of the truth that our Lord and Savior is seated in heaven above all rule and authority. As His disciples, we come to Him and He teaches us with all the wisdom and knowledge that He possesses. What a gift!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who are the poor in spirit? They are the needy, the hungry and the humble. We are the poor, spiritually and emotionally. Knowing that truth we remain humble. We recognize our need for God. We hunger to be more like our Messiah. Yeshua tells us that walking in these truths we are truly blessed. Ours is the kingdom of heaven. Heaven belongs to us. It is from there that God reaches down to meet the needs of our poverty. As we seek to know God more fully we will see His plan for our lives unfold. Humility is the gateway for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven to pour into our lives here on earth. One day we ourselves enter that glorious realm.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. God knows all about our pain. He knows about our sadness, the depth of our grief and the emotions that are brought about from our experiences of death. Not only does He know and understand those feelings, He blesses us with comfort during dark and difficult times. Trust the Lord and know that He is good. His comfort will wrap around our hearts like a warm blanket, bringing peace to replace the daggers of the pain of grief. God is there with us, to comfort us, His children, with the comfort that only the Love of our Heavenly Father can bring.

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. The gentle, or the meek are those who know the truth about their human state. They know that they are weak and like sheep, left to their own ways they will surely go astray. Because of this knowledge of the truth they have learned to honor others in humility. They have learned not to seek their own way, but God’s way. To accomplish this they must rely on God’s strength, guidance and wisdom. God then teaches them to be quiet in body, soul and spirit. This quietness is displayed as gentleness. It’s a quietness that says I can do nothing apart from God, yet His life living in and through me allows me to do all things. Because of this quiet dependence on the Lord, God promises that they shall inherit the earth. Nothing shall be impossible for the likes of these. They are truly blessed.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Desiring righteousness says we want to be in right standing with God. God equates faith to righteousness. Are we walking in faith in God today? We must hunger and thirst to be right with God in all areas of our lives. This will result in holiness in our lives,and there we find complete contentment in Messiah.

Desiring to be obedient to God, through the study and application of His Word, allows Him to fulfill promises that we will be blessed. When God sees our desire to be like Him in righteousness, He smiles on us. Not only does He smile, but He promises that blessings will flow into our lives. When we’re hungry or thirsty we don’t ignore those feelings. We must fill our desires. Similarly, we mustn’t ignore God’s instruction that we’re to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We must do everything we can to take active steps that move us to live righteous lives in the sight of God. These things involve both small and big things that the Holy Spirit will show us, if we’re listening.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. We’re not to look at our brothers and sisters in the Lord with a negative spirit of judgment. Our task is to look for each other’s good qualities before focusing on the negative things that the Lord is working on, in each of our lives. In this way we are being merciful, which will allow God to pour out His blessings of mercy into our own lives. We need to believe the best about each other. By doing this we’ll be able to be compassionate with each other. Compassion has many faces depending on the situation, but at its foundation is Love, the highest goal for all our relationships.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Being pure in heart involves our willingness to know the truth. If we’re willing to know the truth about ourselves we need to constantly check the motives of our hearts for doing things. When God shows us impure motives we’re to ask for forgiveness and desire to be changed. With this desire comes purity, which brings the highest blessing into our lives. We shall see God! We see God in many ways. We see Him now on earth as we take time to fellowship with Him in prayer. We see Him acting in situations in our lives. We see Him in our relationships with other Believers. We see Him as we worship Him in Spirit and truth. Yet now we only see dimly, but then face to face! What a glorious day that will be when we stand before our God in heaven without spot or blemish, being able to see Him fully because of the purity that we have achieved in the resurrection of Messiah!

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. God desires that we always seek peace and not strife in every relationship, and every situation. That’s His will for us as His children. He wants us to reflect His nature and receive all the blessings that come by being sons of God. What an inheritance the children of the Creator of the universe are entitled to. It’s an inheritance that comes from desiring peace. The first step to receiving that peace is by our confessing Yeshua as Lord and Savior of our lives. In doing so we have peace with God. It is only then that we can begin to operate as peacemakers on the earth. His life will live in us and through us, bringing peace to the wars in our own soul. We can only give what we have. With eternal perspective pray for the peace of Jerusalem, a name that means ‘vision of peace!’ One day Jerusalem and her people will know peace, through Yeshua Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace. Oh, how blessed they will be on that day, walking in their birthright.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. As we desire to walk in the righteousness of God persecution will come. Persecution is evidence of the battle that we find ourselves in as Believers. It’s a battle between good and evil. It’s a battle for souls. The good news is that all battles belong to the Lord. In our battles we’re to follow Him, trust Him and not be surprised by the battles. We will have them. Thankfully God has encouraged us that as we meet persecution all that belongs to the kingdom of heaven is ours – God’s peace, God’s glory, God’s victory – how blessed we are knowing this truth!

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. When we walk with the Lord the pride of unsaved people will cause them to speak evil against us and the Lord. God promises us that when this happens we will be blessed. We’re to ignore the evil words. They are lies. People who are unsaved do not know the truth about Yeshua, the Gospel or God’s plan for the ultimate rule of His Kingdom on earth, and in our lives. These words especially hurt when they come from our own family. Yet God instructs us to rejoice and be glad in these difficult times because we will have a great reward in heaven as a result of our experiencing persecution on earth. The persecution is evidence that people can see that we are following the Lord. Therein lies our promised blessing! Rejoice and be glad!

 

How does this study of the Beatitudes encourage you and what does it teach you about the Kingdom of God?

BEING A WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE

BEING A WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE

Being a Woman of Excellence (pdf)

 

This 7 Lesson study helps you be all that God wants you to be as His daughter and bride. Each lesson includes Scripture readings, life applications and memory verses.

Topics that are covered in this course include:

 What is excellence?
 Things that define excellence:
 Why desire to be excellent?
 Human character traits
 The world’s view vs. God’s view of excellence
 Who we are in Messiah
 Change: What, Why and How to change
 The Godly process of change
 The Blessings of obedience and godly submission
 The Power of Agreement
 Excellence in Relationships

BIBLICAL PRAYERS

BIBLICAL PRAYERS

Praying prayers that are right out of the Word of God is a powerful way to pray. Here are some examples of Scripture Prayers. I encourage you to pray these prayers for yourself and your loved ones. Praying God’s Word is powerful and so throughout this document are Scriptures on various topics, for you to incorporate in your prayers.

II Thes. 1:11-12 To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Christ Jesus.

Col. 1:9-12 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Col. 2:2-3 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1Thes. 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Christ Jesus. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

II Thes. 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

Acts 20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Rom. 10:1-2 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for {their} salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

Eph. 1:15-23 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention {of you} in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Christ Jesus, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the messianic community, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Eph. 3:16-21 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the messianic community and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Phil. 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Christ Jesus, to the glory and praise of God.

Philemon 1:3-6 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Christ Jesus. I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.

II Thes. 3:1-5 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Matthew 6:5-14

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,   but deliver us  from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The book of Psalms is full of prayers, here is one of my favorites:

Ps. 86: 11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.

How can you apply these in your life?