Ephesians [6:10]-16 describes the Armor of God and instructs us how to wear and use it.
Let’s begin by looking at verse 11. It reads: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Would you not agree that the issues in your life that you need to forgive were events when the devil used humans in his scheme to take you down? Of course this is true.
When you choose to forgive, you are taking a stand against the devil’s schemes. To do this, you need some heavy duty armor.
First up, you must put on the belt of truth. Lies have knotted you up inside ever since that offense happened. You may have told yourself that people are just out to hurt you. Maybe you thought that God failed you by allowing that person to hurt you. Well God is not a failure and that thought is a lie you must take captive. These lies cause anxiety and fear which tear up your stomach. Put on truth like a belt. Reign in those feelings and replace them with truth.
Next, we see the breastplate of righteousness. Verse 14 says: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, . . .” You need to guard your heart, seeking to be in right standing with the father, pleasing Him in all things.
As you wrap yourself in truth, and guard your heart with right actions, peace will rise up in you. You can’t forgive anyone without a desire for peace. Verse 16 reads: “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
After your belt, breastplate and shoes, you need to grab up your shield of faith. Verse 16 continues . . .”In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Make no mistake, the enemy won’t just disappear because you have accepted truth, chosen to make your heart right, and sought out peace by faith. He’s waiting with flaming arrows. Doubt, pride, anger and fear will attack you over and over again.
This is when you must heed Verse 17: “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
With your mind washed in the word, renewing takes place. You find yourself ready and willing to forgive your enemy. Let the Spirit lead you, not the flesh. Walk by faith not feeling.
This is where we tend to grow complacent. We think that since we’ve offered forgiveness, we are free and the attack is over. If only it were that simple.
Forgiveness is just the first step. You must stay on guard. You have to follow the battle up with prayer. Don’t skip that step. Every time those feelings of hurt and anger rise up, pray for the grace to walk in forgiveness.
Verse 18 says: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray and don’t stop.
Truth: Forgiveness is a journey. Every step, from discovering the offense to setting it right and attempting to establish peace, is a battle. Go in prepared and don’t expect the attack to stop with the words “I forgive you”. Satan wants you defeated. Pray continually.