Read Ephesians 6:16-18
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
What should we do when negative, destructive thoughts assault us?
A friend of mine recently told me a story about her struggle with anxiety. She said it feels like her mind is under attack. All of these untrue, destructive thoughts just pop into her mind over and over again. Like Satan is throwing fiery darts of lies at her head. Have you ever experienced this?
The fact is, we are under attack. But Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not physical. It is spiritual. There is a war going on and we need to defend ourselves and fight back. And much of this battle takes place in the mind.
In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul reminds us that God has not left us defenseless against the enemy. He says to stand firm and put on the whole armor of God. He lists out several pieces of armor. When we get to today’s verses, Paul assures us that the shield of faith can extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one—the lies the enemy throws at us. Your faith in God can protect you so Satan’s lies are not able to penetrate your mind. Your faith shield also has the power to put out the fire!
The helmet of salvation is also key in defeating destructive thoughts. Satan’s lies may be trying to get you to doubt that God will save you. Don’t let Satan mess with your head. Put your helmet on! Remember that your salvation is secure in Christ and that there is nothing Satan can do to change that.
In addition to our defensive suit of armor, God gave us an offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit is His Word. How are we supposed to wield it? 2 Corinthians 10:5 says: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” With God’s Word, we can demolish the deceitful arguments and faulty opinions that mess with our minds and with the minds of others. When we speak the Word of God, we speak the truth and destroy the enemy's attempt to deceive us.
Finally, God has given us one more way to protect ourselves from the lies of the enemy and that is prayer. Prayer helps us guard our minds because it shifts our focus from our circumstances and our destructive thoughts to God. When we pray, we meditate on who God is, what He’s done for us, and what He is capable of doing. And when we do that, we experience the peace of God. Isaiah 26:3 promises: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Friend, every day we have to put on the whole armor of God. We especially can’t forget our head protection! It has always been Satan’s strategy to use deceit to mess with our minds, trip us up, and wreak havoc in our spiritual lives. But God gave us what we need to defend ourselves and overcome. Use your shield of faith to block and extinguish the enemy’s fiery darts, put on your helmet of salvation and remember Who has saved you, wield your sword of the Spirit and speak His truth out loud. And pray, pray, pray. In Him, you can have victory over destructive thoughts.
Jesus, thank You for the protection of Your armor. Help me to use it to find victory over the battlefield of my mind. When I am under attack, bring Your Word to my mind so that I can destroy the lies of the enemy. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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