By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
We live in a spiritual realm. Many times, what we consider fleshly battles with other people or circumstances may in fact be a full-on attack from the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:11-12 instructs believers: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (NIV).
It’s interesting that Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the “full armor of God” so that we can withstand spiritual attacks, and then every piece of armor listed in verses 14-17 refers to the Person of Jesus. That passage is basically telling us to clothe ourselves in Christ – to bear His truth and righteousness, exercise faith in Him, yield His Word as our sword, and trust in Him as our salvation. In other words, abiding in Christ, and worshipping Him is our full defense against Satan’s attacks.
Here are five ways to put on the full armor of God and worship Him as your weapon against spiritual attacks:
1. Say the name of Jesus.
Ephesians 6:17 tells us the “armor of God” includes “the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 4:12 says “Salvation is found in [Jesus and] no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Furthermore, Scripture tells us the word of God was made manifest in Jesus (John 1:1,14). Simply put, there is power in the name of Jesus. So incorporate that power not just by ending your prayers with the words “In Jesus’ name,” but start praising Jesus and Who He is to remind yourself (and the spiritual forces of darkness) of the power in that name. For example, pray: “Jesus, You are more powerful than my enemy.” “Jesus, when You are for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31) “Jesus, Your name is above every name in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 1:21). “Jesus, You have all authority” (Matthew 28:18).
2. Keep a heart of praise.
First Thessalonians 5:18 exhorts us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” To give thanks in all circumstances means to praise and thank Him in the midst of disappointment, in the midst of heartache, in the midst of pain. As those are often times when we are at our weakest, and most prone to spiritual attack, your praise-in-all-things mentality just may ward off the enemy’s attacks in the first place.
But if you’re like Job, and you’re being attacked in spite of your upright living, then obey 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and thank Him that He is stronger than any forces that will ever come against you. Thank Him for how the trial or attack is developing you spiritually and perfecting and maturing your faith (James 1:2-4). As you keep a heart of praise, which is the essence of worship, you are abiding in Him. Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits the praises of His people or is enthroned in our praises. When God is inhabiting the person of praise, Satan’s attacks can irritate but not penetrate. Keep your heart and mind set on thanking Him and you will be wielding spiritual attack with a weapon of praise.
3. Sing the scriptures.
One thing I love about the old hymns and even some of the newer contemporary worship music is that many of them contain direct quotations from Scripture which make them easier to memorize and recite. All of Scripture’s Psalms (which literally mean “songs”) were originally set to music and meant to be sung. Compose your own tune in your head as you sing the Bible’s Psalms aloud or sing some Psalms or New Testament passages that have been set to music by 19th-century composers or contemporary music artists.
As you sing the scriptures you remind yourself of who you are in God’s eyes. For example, you are His beloved (Jeremiah 31:3), you are His friend (John 15:13-15), you are His adopted child (Romans 8:15), you are “His masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). When you quote scripture back to Satan, he knows that scripture, and he trembles – and backs off – at the power of the written word of God.
4. Pray Scripture aloud.
We tend to think of worship as singing or some other form of praise, but worship also involves prayer, reading the Word, quiet admiration of and reflection on God, and focusing on His worthiness. In fact, think of worship as a focus on God’s “worth-ship.”
I have found Psalm 145 particularly effective for teaching young believers how to pray through Scripture. Read each verse aloud, then paraphrase it and personalize it in a prayer back to God. For example, Psalm 145:8 reads: “The Lord is gracious and compassionate; Slow to anger and great in mercy” (NASB). Pray that back to God by personalizing it: “Lord, You are gracious and compassionate. Thank You for being slow to anger and great in mercy when it comes to Your love toward me. I know I can bring anything to You.”
By personalizing the Word to your life and situations, keeping God’s attributes and the truth of Who He is intact in your prayer, you are applying Scripture to your everyday life. That is what it means to pray Scripture over your situation and to use it as a weapon in spiritual attack.
5. Remember Who has the power and authority.
If you learned in Sunday School or believe today that God and Satan are equals, that is a lie. Satan is a created being, a fallen angel, one who is still subject to God’s authority and judgment. Satan’s attacks are nothing compared to the Almighty omnipotent everlasting God who was not created but created all things. The battle – and any battle of yours – truly belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31). First John 4:4 tells us greater is He who is in you (Christ Jesus), than he who is in the world (Satan and his minions). Romans 8:31 asks the rhetorical question: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Those verses build our faith in the One who has absolute power and authority.
Spiritual attacks often come when we are already feeling defeated — or when we believe we could never be defeated. Guard yourself against pride and a belief that you are above attack by reminding yourself of God’s authority and ability, not your own. Humble yourself before the Lord (James 4:10) and depend on His power to get you through.
According to Ephesians 1:20-23, God raised Jesus 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 above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Jesus, Himself said in Matthew 28:18: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Praise Him for that authority, call upon Him and His authority, and realize the authority you have, in Him, as believers. When you worship and remember Christ’s authority, you are also reminding yourself and Satan of Satan’s imminent defeat.
For further reading, see 8 Ways Praise Delivers You from Evil.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker, Bible teacher, and award-winning writer who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is also a mother, pastor’s wife, and author of 17 books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 150,000 copies sold), When God Sees Your Tears, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, and When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts. For more on her speaking ministry, coaching services for writers, and books to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.