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Living in a War Zone

We are engaged in spiritual battle and without God's help, putting on the full armor of God, and prayer, we will lose.

Introduction

I am writing this message on my front porch rocking chair. It is a breathtakingly beautiful day, uncharacteristically cool for August. My oldest son just finished the lawn; the smell of fresh cut grass is still in the air, and in my opinion nothing looks better than a well-manicured lawn. Through the window I can hear sounds of the Cubs game that my wife and my youngest son are watching. Here I am sipping lemonade and making notes on a passage of scripture that seems light years away from this moment. Paul is talking about the dark world and spiritual forces of evil. But today, from where I sit, life seems perfect...beautiful...peaceful. Everything looks so good; it is difficult to imagine that we are, in reality, living in a war zone. But we are.

Although today my life resembles a Norman Rockwell painting, the things that cannot be put on canvas—my thoughts, my struggles, my fears, my doubts, my dreams, my goals—they are in the midst of a fierce battle. From the time I wake up in the morning until my head hits the pillow late at night, I am in engaged in combat—in a war hard fought and not easily won, a war in which the casualty count can include every person I come in contact with day in, day out.

And it's the same for you. You live in a war zone. Your life is a battlefield. Every moment throughout the day there are things happening around you that cannot be seen with the natural eye, but are, nonetheless, all too real. Now, I'm not talking about ghosts and goblins, but I am talking about what Paul makes reference to here: We are in the midst of spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:10–12 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 ...

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Steve May has been a pastor to pastors for more than 20 years, helping preachers and teachers to become more effective communicators of the gospel.

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Sermon Outline:

I. Introduction

From the time we wake up in the morning until our head hits the pillow late at night, we are engaged in combat—in a spiritual war hard fought and not easily won.

II. When we put on the full armor of God, we can stand against the enemy's strategies.

III. Wearing the belt of truth, we can stand firm in truthfulness and sincerity of heart.

IV. Wearing the breastplate of righteousness, our personal holiness will be seen in doing good.

V. Wearing feet fitted with readiness, we can go and fight or serve the instant God opens an opportunity.

VI. Wearing the shield of faith, we are protected from anything the enemy throws at us.

VII. Wearing the helmet of salvation means meditating on all God has done for us and has planned for us.

VIII. Wearing the sword of the Spirit, God gives us specific words to live by.

IX. Our greatest weapon in the battle is prayer.

Conclusion

The only way you can win the battle is through the strength of God, but you must be proactive to use the weapons he has given you.