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Ephesians : Chapter 6

14) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19) Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20) for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

Spiritual Warfare
Sammy Tippit: In our last couple of sessions, we’ve been talking about prayer and the two critical areas of being forgiven and forgiving other people. Now with Dave Butts, my friend… I just appreciate you so much, Dave.
Dave Butts: Thank you.
Sammy: I just appreciate the times we’ve had together over the years. One of the things I know from the times we’ve prayed together is that as you pray, you get into a spiritual realm, a spiritual battle, spiritual warfare.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Jesus actually told us when he taught his disciples to pray that that’s what would happen, because after he went through forgiveness… By the way, I think that before you get to spiritual warfare, you had better have the forgiveness thing down.
Dave: That’s right. Sure.
Sammy: But he got there and said, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil [or the Evil One].” So there’s this thing of spiritual warfare, and he dealt with the temptation and the Tempter. Let’s talk about that. What role does spiritual warfare play? How does a Christian, someone who may be fairly new in their walk with God and learning to pray…? What do they do in prayer with this spiritual warfare?
Dave: Sure. You know, there are two opposite dangers when we’re talking about spiritual warfare. One is to ignore it, pretend it’s just not there. The other is to focus on it.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: Every time someone sneezes, they try to cast out a demon. We have to be careful that we don’t go either way. I really believe the best way we can look at things is how Jesus dealt with what we call the temptations of Christ. It’s a model for us because Jesus was tempted by Satan. Now realize that if Jesus, the Son of God, could be tempted by Satan, so can we.
Sammy: That’s right.
Dave: The way Jesus dealt with this is very, very important. Jesus did not wage this battle with signs and wonders, though he did plenty of signs and wonders. When it came to this personal temptation, his battle was waged and won with the Word of God.
Sammy: That’s great. Yeah.
Dave: Every time Satan came against him and tried to divert him from his main task, tried to get him to do one thing or another… That’s often what temptation is. Jesus’ response was the Word of God.
Sammy: Wow.
Dave: He pulled out his sword, the Scripture, and countered the attack of the Enemy, the temptation, by saying, “I’m not going to listen to you. I’m going to pay attention to what God has said.” It was Scripture that became the key to this victory. I would say the same thing is true for us. We need to know the Word of God if we’re going to walk in holiness and victory. That doesn’t mean we have everything memorized.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: It simply means we’re people who love the Word of God because we see the place where God’s will is clearly spoken of in that.
Sammy: Yeah. Really quickly, I might just say that… You said this in the beginning, and I think that when I looked at Jesus as you were talking about the extremes and how we can go to extremes… Satan came back after Jesus quoted the Word. He came back with the Scripture, but Jesus came back with it in its context in a balanced way.
Dave: Yes. That’s right.
Sammy: He said, “Hey, this is what you really need to know about the Word,” so we need to have the Scripture in a balanced manner, a balanced way. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you on that. Keep going. You’re on a roll.
Dave: No. Absolutely. Well, again, I think Christians sometimes beat themselves up over temptation. The truth of the matter is even Jesus was tempted.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: Obviously right there we see those three things. There’s no scriptural reason whatsoever to believe he no longer had temptation. There were temptations that came throughout Jesus’ earthly life. He was able to handle those temptations and walk in complete victory. So the thing that is important for us to understand is that the temptations themselves are not sin.
It’s how you respond to them. Christians so often beat themselves up because they’re tempted. Then Satan has really won a victory, which is really funny. He is a liar. That’s what Jesus said. So he tries to get us to sin, and then he makes us feel guilty because he tried to make us sin. He tricks us. So we need to be a people who, like Jesus, understand we hold on to the Word of God. We are committed to not falling into sin.
When we do… We’ve talked about how we confess our sins, but understand there is a battle that is going on. It’s a very real battle. We understand we are indeed more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. He has come to dwell in us. We can walk in victory, but knowing you can walk in victory doesn’t mean the battle isn’t there.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: One of the things that have helped me, Sammy… It has been so helpful through the years. It’s to put on the armor of God. You see, I’m convinced that part of the biggest problem with spiritual warfare is that most of us don’t even think about it. We get up in the morning, and we have no awareness that we are actually going to go through the day on a battlefield.
In Ephesians 6, Paul very clearly talks about how we are living in a time of battle. There is a war that is going on, and if we’re going to walk in victory, we need everything God has for us. One of the very simple things he gives us is his armor. The interesting thing in Ephesians 6 is that the command is clear. “Put on the whole armor of God…”
He does it in the context of prayer. Now I believe the armor has a lot to do with the way we live, but it’s set in the context of prayer. So something I do every morning is simply say, “Lord, today I put on your armor.” There’s no magic formula. There are no right words to say. Sometimes I go through the whole armor. “Lord, today I put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. I put on the belt of truth and the shoes of peace. I take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Lord: your Word.” Other times I focus on one part of the armor. The important thing is to be clothed with Christ, because, you see, every part of the armor has to do with Jesus.
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: Every part of the armor does. It’s all him. He’s the one who ultimately won the victory over Satan on the cross, and he has come to dwell in us, so for us to be able to pray effectively isn’t a matter of knowing how to say the right words. It’s focusing on Jesus. It’s being clothed with him. It’s putting on the armor which is Christ and then walking in his victory.
Sammy: You know, it’s amazing… We keep coming back to that.
Dave: Isn’t it? It’s all about Jesus.
Sammy: We keep coming back to how you just need to look to Jesus and come to Jesus. Jesus is the source of it all. He is our all in all. You know, one of the things I think is that if we were in a physical war, we wouldn’t think about going out without being equipped, without having our armor on.
We would go out and… So we have to do the same in this spiritual battle. One other thing about that passage has been working on my heart. I’m talking about the passage where Jesus said,
“And lead us not into temptation…” He says, “Lead us not into temptation.” We need the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: This is at the end of the prayer Jesus taught, so what we need to do is come to the place where we say, “Lord, I don’t want to leave this place without knowing you are leading me.” If we know God is leading us, we know that wherever he takes us, he will give us the grace to overcome. The picture that’s sort of painted biblically there is of a shepherd and the sheep saying, “I’m on this dangerous mountain. Lord, don’t lead me over the cliff.”
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: And we are. We’re in a dark and dangerous world, and we need God’s leadership. One of the things I would encourage everyone to do in their prayer time… Moses said, “Lord, I don’t want to leave this place unless I know you’re going with me.” People ask me, “How long should your prayer time be?” You should pray until you know God is going to be leading you when you walk out of there. That’s how long it should be.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: I want to encourage you to ask God to lead you. Take the Word. Boy, Dave… Take the Word of God and hide it in your heart. Meditate on it, and have that Word hidden in your heart so you can combat the enemy. And put on the armor of God. Then let God lead you by his Spirit, and when you walk out of your prayer time, you will know “…we are more than conquerors…” through Christ.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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