Have you heard the song, “Bulletproof” by Citizen Way? It has a seventies flare to it, and a beat I really enjoy. But it’s the message within the song that really hits home. Listening to the lyrics reminds us that we are fighting a spiritual battle- but we already have the armor and weapons to fight it.
I am not going to sit here and tell you I have always fought my battles with the Lord’s help. Most of my life I have lived in fear and defeat. On the outside I may have appeared confident, with a smile on my face, but inside I felt anxious and overwhelmed. All the while, I was a Christian who knew the word pretty well. I knew I needed to put on the armor of God daily. I KNEW THESE THINGS, yet I didn’t act on it.
So what does it mean to put on the armor of God- or should I say, to be BULLETPROOF? Well, let’s look at what the Bible says about the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV says:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for God’s people.
As Christians, we are supposed to know the truth of God’s word. Part of our armor is knowing the word (sword of the spirit), and having faith (shield of faith) that God will honor his promises to us. He will protect and guide us, and he will give us peace.
But the enemy is crafty. He knows we have armor. Yet he also knows most of us do not put it on. This makes us an easy target for his “arrows” and “bullets.” Let’s think of something you are probably familiar with- A BULLETPROOF VEST.
Do you know what is inside a bulletproof vest? Though not all vests are made exactly the same, their purpose is to resist a bullet. Inside there can be very strong fibers, woven in a pattern similar to a net. You have seen how a net can catch a volleyball, or soccer ball. The net slows down the ball, and essentially “stops” it.
A bulletproof vest is designed to spread out the energy of the bullet as it hits the vest, minimizing damage to the person’s body. Some vests can even have a ballistic plate inside, or metal/ceramic plates to stop the bullet in its tracks.
Who usually wears these vests? Police officers, guards, and combat soldiers- people who need to be prepared for a fight!
You can think of God’s word like a bulletproof vest. In life you are going to come under all sorts of attacks. From sickness and disease, to the hurtful words of a friend. Family conflicts, work related issues, depression, anxiety, fear………..you name it. The enemy will use it against you. Bullet after bullet will fly your way, but there’s one thing you can use in your arsenal of weapons- the armor of God. It is the bulletproof vest.
When the enemy keeps saying, “You aren’t good enough. You’ll never be able to do it. Just give up!!!” You can quote back, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 Or perhaps you can quote, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest- if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 Even better, you could say, “Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3.
What if you are battling feelings of guilt? Well, first confess your sin(s) to Jesus and let him forgive you. Then you can quote the word by saying, “Blessed am I, God, because you do not hold my sins against me. My sins are covered. I am so glad to be forgiven.” Romans 4:7-8. At that point you need to let the guilt go and move forward. Obviously turn from the sin, but don’t let it hover over you once it’s forgiven.
What if you are feeling unloved and rejected? Perhaps you could say, “Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in creation, can separate me from your perfect love.” Romans 8: 38-39. The truth is, nothing we do can take away God’s love for us. He does want us to turn from sin because it hurts us, as well as others. But he sent his son to cover that sin. If we have received his son, Jesus, we can receive forgiveness, and the full measure of God’s love. If we sin, we keep trying to turn from it. We don’t beat ourselves up and give up.
Believe me, I’ve had my share of battles. The enemy doesn’t give up easily. But I have found he tends to use the same ol’ bag of tricks. In my case, I have a propensity toward depression so I find that is what he tends to use against me. The more I use the word to fight him, however, the less attacks I suffer through.
A good friend of mine gave me an idea recently and I decided to follow in her footsteps. In her closet she made a “prayer tabernacle.” She just hung up a sheet to resemble a tent. Then she placed some lights inside, a pillow, and a few other things to make the area cozy. She also had her Bible, and a list of scriptures to use during prayer time. This sounds a lot like the movie WAR ROOM, doesn’t it. Yes, that’s what is was! Except it was designed more like a tabernacle. Keep in mind, in the Bible, the Lord’s people met with him at the tabernacle. So, this area was a place to meet with God. In fact, right now from October 5- 11, is the Feast of Tabernacles. Many consider this a “Jewish” holiday, but the Bible designates this as a Feast of the Lord, so it is a holiday for all believers. During this holiday, God commands his people to “tabernacle with him”. They are to set up temporary shelters where they meet with God. These shelters are to be used as a place to pray to God and to celebrate his provision. It is also a reminder of how God helped his people escape bondage. It commemorates when the Israelites escaped the bondage of Egypt, and God brought them into the wilderness, where they met with him in temporary shelters (small tabernacles), and in the Holy Tabernacle. Then, he brought them into the Promised Land. As believers in Jesus, we are able to “tabernacle” with him anytime we want. Our chains are broken, and we can look forward to the day he will come to earth and tabernacle (dwell) with us!
You don’t have to have a place designed like a tabernacle, but I’m going to tell you- IT IS A FANTASTIC IDEA. Once I made my own, I was drawn to going into that “tabernacle”. It was a special place for me to go if I was sad, happy, or anything in between. Inside the tabernacle I placed books that would help me in times of need.
If you look at the picture above you will see a book by Beth Moore, called Praying God’s Word. This book is a great weapon against the enemy. Inside are verses to help you fight depression, rejection, health issues and all sorts of problems. Beth Moore includes all the verses from the Bible that can be used to fight the enemy in these areas. The verses remind you of God’s promises for your life, and help you understand that even in the midst of sorrow, God is with you. Do you see the boxing gloves above? God’s word and promises are the boxing gloves! Do you see the word EVERLAST on the gloves? God’s word is everlasting, and so is his love. He will fight for you, but you have to use the weapons he has given you. Prayer is always a great weapon. Pray daily and as often as you can.
Why do I keep saying to read the verses aloud? Well, keep in mind that much of our battles are spiritual. Whether you want to believe it or not, there is a spiritual realm of darkness. When you quote scripture aloud you are essentially telling the inhabitants of this realm to “take a hike.” You are telling them what GOD says. You override the lies of the enemy. In the Bible it says, “resist the enemy and he will flee.” The word of God is a sharp sword that is a powerful means of resistance. You can use your own words too, but God says to use the words of the Bible as a sword! So, why not do it!!
When I was setting up my “prayer tabernacle”, something cool happened. I grabbed a blanket, pillows and other items. I began setting it up when I noticed the dartboard you see in the picture. It was hanging on the wall in the exact spot where I was building the tabernacle. As I took it off the wall I felt like the Lord was confirming that this tabernacle was going to be a great way to fight off the enemy’s darts. I could walk around with a big bulls eye on my back, or I could do something! I could pray God’s word daily and consistently!!!
You know what else I found when I was building the tabernacle? The bulletproof vest!!! The vest you see in the picture up top belongs to my husband. It used to be in our shed so I don’t know how it ended up in the house, but there it was! It was just sitting on the floor where I was making the prayer tabernacle. What was neat is that earlier that day I had been listening to the song “Bulletproof” and the song was still in my head. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the vest just laying there on the floor! It was like God was saying, “Do you get it Angela? Build this prayer tabernacle and make time to pray and use my word! That’s your bulletproof vest! Stop trying to fight things your own way- use my way!” Interestingly enough, I had already suffered through a couple “attacks” that day and I was feeling down. That’s when I heard the Bulletproof song and I realized, perhaps I should be fighting this God’s way. I suddenly remembered my friend’s idea to build a prayer tabernacle. Everything just seemed to fall into place.
Some really amazing things have happened since I built the prayer tabernacle, and started consistently praying God’s word. Three very specific prayers were answered in miraculous ways! I would tell you what they are, but some of it is personal so I don’t want to air all my business to the world- LOL. But, I can assure you that I am convinced using God’s spiritual weapons made these things happen!!!
I’m not sure what you are facing. Certainly there are things you are going through that I can’t relate with. There are things I’m going through that you can’t relate with. But there’s someone who KNOWS and can relate to all of our problems- JESUS. He is ready to listen. He is ready to help. He’s just waiting for you to ask. Sometimes it requires some effort on our part. We may need to dig into the Bible and read a little, or maybe buy a book to help us learn the word better. If we don’t know the word, then how can we know the truth? It is the truth that sets us free. For you it could be as easy as buying a Beth Moore book on spiritual warfare (or another author such as: Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, or Neil T. Anderson.) Perhaps you just need to start spending time with the Lord and praying. You can also attend bible studies where you learn God’s word. Knowing the word will make a huge difference in your life.
I love the song CHAIN BREAKER, by Zach Williams . One day I was out walking and praying and I found this chain just laying in the grass!!! I picked it up and brought it home. I wanted to remind myself that there is only one CHAINBREAKER! Jesus!!!! I set the chain out where I could see it. It was a visual reminder of the truth- Jesus breaks the chains (the problems) in our life.
You are probably thinking- how come I just “happen to find” these objects at just the right time? The bulletproof vest, the dartboard, the chain????? I don’t think I just happen to find anything. I believe the Lord will always remind us he is there. If we look and pay attention, we will see he is always trying to get our attention– perhaps it is through a friend’s words, or through the beauty of a rainbow. The more I look, the more I see him everywhere. He is interested in every aspect of our lives. He is waiting for us to look and see him. Open your eyes today and SEE him. He’s right there beside you. He loves you and HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU! JOIN THE BATTLE WITH HIM!!!
Here are some photos of tabernacles I have seen on the Internet (click on link below) During the Feast of Tabernacles many people build temporary dwellings outside to celebrate. It is a seven day festival/biblical holiday. Leviticus 23:33 explains this holiday. Jesus celebrated the biblical festivals as well. John 7; 1-52 talks about Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Of course remember that Jesus came to “DWELL” or tabernacle with mankind when he came to earth. He is also the “word” that dwells among us, and dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. And of course, one day he will return to physically dwell here on Earth during the Millennial kingdom. This feast/holiday foreshadows this amazing event. As my friend explained- Right now our earthly bodies are temporary dwellings- our temporary tabernacles. But one day, when Christ returns, we will be made new and we will have our new, permanent bodies. These bodies will not age, break down or be corrupted by the world. We will dwell in peace (shalom) with the Lord permanently.