Unseen Dangers

This month for our Down to Earth we talked about pruning our fruit trees. Pruning is essential for tree health and also to increase fruit production. One benefit of pruning that I mentioned was disease mitigation. By reducing the number of branches on your tree and spacing your branches to increase airflow you can reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases such as black spot and brown rot. 

Fungal diseases are difficult to manage because you can’t see that the fungus is there. You have to take preventative measures. These preventative measures include ensuring the overall health of the tree and its ability to resist fungal attack, spraying lime and cop[per cover sprays and as we have mentioned pruning and shaping the tree to increase airflow. 

This reminded me of our own spiritual lives. We can tend to focus on the dangers that we are aware of through our senses: things we can see, hear, touch, taste or smell. But the greater spiritual danger to us is the things we cannot see. 

Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-12 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

In 1 Peter 5:8-9, the Apostle Peter warns us to Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 

And again Paul in his letter ot the church in Corinth says,  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient. *2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

So, like the methods that we use to battle fungal infections in our tree, what are some of the methods, both preventative and active, that we can use in our spiritual lives. 

Just like a healthy tree can resist infection, so it is that spiritual health helps us to resist the attacks of Satan and evil. Practicing the Spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, fasting, and study can keep us spiritually and mentally strong. 

Paul talked about putting on God’s armor in Ephesians 6:10 and then he spoke about it further in the following verses (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 


Read through this study from Christianity.com and note what practical actions you can take to put on the armor of God. 


The Belt of Truth

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,” (Ephesians 6:14).

What It Means:

Some translations use a phrase like: “having girded your loins with truth” (NASB). The loin is an uncommon term in modern vernacular. It refers to the lower back but includes the crotch area. In ancient days, men would wear long robes that would get in the way of work or fighting, so they would wrap up the long, draping material. This was girding up one’s loins.

The Lord knew our loins needed to be wrapped in truth.  Regardless of our culture or time, the Lord has seen all our paths and how they have hurt and derailed us. He knows we need truth.

Our identity is more than our sexuality, but this is one facet of our lives that we often view as a definer. The first area of life in which the enemy frequently attempts to rattle is our sense of identity. And the things pertaining to sex are easy pickings for him. We need freedom regarding sexuality. We need the truth about who we are. And only Jesus is the Truth that sets us free.

David Chadwick said it this way in his Moments of Hope devotional:

“The first piece of the armor is the belt of truth. Truth, by its very definition, is exclusive. It means something is true, and other things are lies. The evil one is the father of lies (John 8:44). Every lie finds its origin in him.

“Every other piece of the full armor of God is attached to the belt of truth. If you don’t begin with truth, you’ll never defeat the enemy. And Jesus said God’s Word is true (John 17:17).”

How to Apply It:

  • Pursue the truth on a specific topic, but don’t forget to grab hold of the fullness of Scripture. Don’t just study the parts that come easy for devotional reading. Press into the whole counsel of God’s word.
  • Pray with God’s word. Use the word of Truth as a template to guide your prayers.
  • Memorize the truth for quicker access when you need it. Cover your world with Scripture on post-it notes, screen savers, décor, and anything that will help you remember God’s word in the spiritual battle.

Breastplate of Righteousness

“…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…” (Ephesians 6:14).

What It Means:

Righteousness means being made right. Sometimes Scripture refers to righteousness that Christ gives us – His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Sometimes, Scripture refers to righteousness that God carries out through us, like “the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:8). 

In daily spiritual battles, both varieties of righteousness protect the heart. We need the complete righteousness of Christ but also the continuing righteousness that comes as a response to God’s gift.

The enemy tempts us with all kinds of sinful entanglements, but righteousness protects our hearts. God’s instructions are often viewed as killjoys or burdens. But obedience to God protects your heart from being wounded by sin.

How to Apply It:

  • Soak in and obey instructions from the Lord. If an area of life feels like it gets easily tangled up in sin, ask a church leader to share some scriptural truths that might help you walk in the Lord’s plan more fully.
  • Ask a trusted person to pray for you if you struggle with obedience. All Christians struggle, but none were meant to struggle alone. We make easy targets for the enemy when we do not obey God.

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

“…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).

What It Means:

Peace is an attribute of the Lord’s very person and character (Galatians 5:22). In Greek, “peace” means oneness or wholeness. The gospel, which means good news, is the forgiveness of sins and access to and oneness with God through faith in Christ.  This oneness with the Lord produces peace.

Ephesians repeatedly reminds us to “stand” and “stand firm.” One of the easiest ways for the enemy to succeed in shaking us loose from standing firm is to tempt us with worry. When we carry anxiousness and worry with us, we are robbed of peace. But the gospel of peace keeps our feet anchored and standing firm.

How to Apply It:

  • Ask the daily Lord to remind you of His gospel work on your behalf.
  • Set your security and identity in His work and not yours.
  • Surround yourself with Scripture about the truth of your place with Christ into your heart. And remove the input that steals your sense of security in Christ.

Shield of Faith

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,” (Ephesians 6:16).

What It Means:

When Paul wrote this passage, Roman soldiers carried shields that were covered with heavy animal hide. Before a battle, they would dip their shields into the water so that when fiery darts hit them, the wet hide would extinguish the darts.

Similarly, a Christian’s shield of faith needs to be regularly dipped in the water of God’s word to be replenished and fully functional – because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

How to Apply It:

  • If your faith feels less confident than you wish it did, ask the Lord to increase your faith (Mark 9:24).
  • Find verses that feed your faith and fill your world with them.
  • Set your faith in God’s righteousness, not on a circumstance.

Helmet of Salvation

“Take the helmet of salvation,” (Ephesians 6:17).

What It Means:

Salvation comes the moment we place our trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection as the payment for our sin. But salvation is also worked out through a lengthy process of sanctification.

The helmet of salvation (like the breastplate of righteousness) rests on the work of Christ to save us, but also involves us as we journey with the Lord and allow Him to work that salvation into every part of our thoughts. The battlefield of our mind is the primary place spiritual battle is fought. The Lord works His freeing truth into our perspectives while the enemy fights for strongholds to bind us (John 10:10).

How to Apply It:

  • Surrender thoughts that don’t line up with Scripture. As Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
  • Remember the Lord’s character and faithfulness in Scripture as well as in your life experience.
  • Wash your mind with the renewing of God’s Word. As Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

Sword of the Spirit: Word of God

“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

What it Means and How Jesus Applied It

The explanation of this piece of armor is right there in the verse – it is the word of God. And it is the only piece of armor that is both defensive and offensive. Greg Laurie explains further:

“When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

“Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit (see Luke 4:1-13).”

When the devil tempted him three times, Jesus responded with the truth of God’s word – every time.


Listen and reflect upon this Prayer

A Spiritual Warfare Prayer

Listen to the song More Power to Ya by Petra (the lyrics of this song make this one of my all time favourite Christian songs 😁)

More Power to Ya – Petra (Lyrics)


Strengthen my faith, Lord. Forgive my sins, so that I may be clean in your righteousness. Make me brave, so I can stand and fight the spiritual battles in my life and in our world. Give me your wisdom and discernment so I won’t be caught off guard. Together, Lord, we’ll win, because in truth, you already have. While evil still roams, the power of Your name and Your blood rises up to defeat and bring us victory against every evil planned against us. While malicious actions may disturb us, we use the armor of God You have given us to stand firm. You will bring justice in due time for all the harm and needless violence aimed at Your children. Until then, we remain in Your presence, aligned with Your purposes, and we look to You as our Supreme Commander and Protector. Help us to avoid temptation, and deliver us from evil, Lord. You are the Mighty One, the One Who will ultimately bring all evil to light. With You, Jesus, we are safe. Amen.

One further song to reflect on 

Keith & Kristyn Getty – O Church Arise (Arise, Shine) (Lyric Video) ft. Chris Tomlin