How to Protect Yourself with the Armor of God
When somebody walks without God, people tell me sarcastically. “Abouna, nothing happens to him. And to the good one, whatever problems of the world happen to them.”
We have to put in our mind something very important — those who walk in fear of God and follow Jesus, they will be the target of the evil one.
No one throws stones at a tree without fruit. They only throw stones at the trees with the fruit, in order to get the fruit. So even though you are walking in fear of God and Jesus with a spiritual struggle, that is a good sign. That means you are walking in the right way. If you have no problems or troubles in your life, that means you have to push for a break in your spiritual life – and ask God “what is wrong with me?”
Jesus, after getting baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. Even if he is true and absolute, he was also true and absolute while in the flesh on the earth. And while in the flesh, he fasted and prayed, immediately after being baptized.
And you, don’t feel like nothing is going to happen to you. The minute you receive the Holy Spirit from above, the evil one will try to put you in struggle. Jesus, by immediately going to fast and pray when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, is trying to tell us something very important. If we want to keep the grace in our life, if we want to keep our spiritual life very strong, we must fight against the evil one by fasting and praying.
When you sit with God you will keep the gift and cannot be overcome. You will be like the wise man who built a home over a very strong and big rock.
When Jesus started fasting and praying, the evil one did not leave Him alone. He tempted Him more and more and more. As a human and absolute man, Jesus was tempted.
This is what we call spiritual struggle.
There are leaders, soldiers and the army. And there is the plan. The smart one is the leader who knows how to fight his enemy and overcome. In our spiritual struggle, there is no way to win, except by wearing the whole armor of God, as St. Paul says.
The whole armor of God – cover your head with the truth, your body with faith, the sword of the word in your hand, and also be always ready to have the shield to protect yourself. All this represents the armor of God. And how can we get this armor? By praying and fasting.
We also have to have a very strong faith. Because as much as we are strong, we have weaknesses. When we ask Jesus to protect us, we need to have faith in His strength. So that we may be able to use His name by faith to protect ourselves.
It is not easy as a human. We are weak, we have earthly desires, we make mistakes, and we have anger in our life. Yet, if we rely in His power, we will be able to protect ourselves. When we fight the evil one in His power, we will win.
Don’t forget St. John said, “For whomever is born of God overcomes the world.” Your faith is the key for your very successful spiritual life.
If we are trying to have two faces, as Christian Church life and our outside life, we open the door for the evil one. We need to pray to the Lord to be with us all the days of our life.
Jesus overcame his temptations, and then he chose his disciples to begin their missions.
And similarly, if you want to be a good Christian follower of Jesus, you have to learn from your spiritual leader and master Jesus Christ.
Learn more from Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
January 28, 2024
January 21, 2024