Updated: Oct 16
1 Peter 5:8
Listen men, the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion - looking for someone to devour.” Notice this verse starts by saying ‘Be Sober’. What does sober mean? Well, it means being clear headed, alert, aware, and rational!
What is the opposite of being sober? Obviously being DRUNK! So, what does being drunk mean?
It means being intoxicated, high, under the influence of - or - being easily distracted by the things of this world.
So, what things of this world are distracting you? Is it women, social media, your cell phone, sports, video games, money . . . So, here’s my question too you MEN, ‘Are you SOBER? or are you DRUNK?’
Needless to say, not all of these things mentioned are bad, unless they take priority over your vertical relationship with Jesus and our FIGHT against the Father of lLies who comes to steal, kill and destroy; nasty old satan.
MEN, are drunk people good fighters? OF course not! They’re usually sluggish pushovers.
Our actions illustrate our priorities about what is important to us and show if we’re DISTRACTED DRUNKS or SOBER AWARE to what’s going on around us.
Do any of you realize that there is an invisible fight going on against an enemy who is spewing a path of carnage, destruction and devastation in our world like divorce, addiction, disrespect, violence, abuse, and broken people.
As I am putting this talk together, a shooting broke out at a Sweet 16 Birthday Party in Alabama. 4 Teens are Dead! How can this be? Anyone getting Sober MAD, yet? OR - have we just become distracted drunks.
The Full Armor of God
The Full Armor of God starts with Ephesians 6:10. It says that we need to “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” Listen Men, the devil will go after the weak so we need to be strong in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:11-13, goes on to tell us to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
This World is a Battle Ground
This verse is saying “This world is not a playground, it’s a battle ground!” Again! This world is not a playground, it’s a what? A Battle Ground! Now, If we don’t even know we’re in a war against the rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil, why would we even fight back?
John 10:10 says “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy." He wants to steal, kill and destroy us as Godly men, husbands, dads, and as leaders in our communities. The big question is “Why?” Why would satan be after You, be after Me?
Well, God created the whole world and then he created the first humans. Who was the first human-being God ever created? Of course, Adam. And what gender was Adam? A man! God created Adam and each man in this room in whose image? God’s.
Then who showed up after God created Adam & Eve. Right. Nasty old satan. Guess what? Satan hates what God creates. What was that? Satan hates - what God _________! Creates!!
So, satan hates each one of YOU and he has you in his sites.
Ephesians 6:14-17 goes on to say ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’
Belt of Truth
So the 1st Piece of the Full Armor of God is the Belt of Truth. In order to live according to God’s standard, we need to know the truth of who we are in Christ. Let me illustrate.
Who would like to have a $100 bill? Of course, all of you would. But what if I told the $100 bill “You’re worthless . You’re good for nothing. You don’t have any value. You’ll never amount to anything?” Anyone still want it. Really?
Well, what if I slapped it it, punched it and spit on it? “Take that you loser” Anyone still want it? Really?
What if I crumpled it up and threw it on the ground? What if I kick it and stomped on it? “Take that you worthless good for nothing. You won’t amount to anything.” Does anyone still want it?
Why? Why would you want it? It’s been put down, spit on, kicked, stepped on, and told that it has no value. Why would you still want it?
Right! Because no matter what I said to it or did to it, it still has the same value, right? It’s still worth $100. Its value has not changed.
So, Here’s my point! The same is true with you. No matter what has ever negatively happened to you or what anyone has said or done to you, you must not believe the lies from satan that says you’re a loser and have no value. God says that you have incredible value; much more than this $100 bill.
The bible says that YOU were created in God’s image. That God knew you when you were in your mother’s womb, that he knows every hair on your head, That you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” that God has “plan and a purpose for your life, a hope and future.”
I love what God says in James 1:18. It says that “YOU, out of all of creation, became His prized possession.” Think of that, out of everything in the world or the universe “YOU are His Prized Possession.”
And that’s why God sent His one and only son, Jesus to earth, because He loves you so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son for YOU!
And the Bible says there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that can separate us from the love of Christ. Did you hear me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Say to your self ‘Absolutely Nothing can separate me from Christ’s love!’
Our God identity will impact our self-idenity. Listen, a lot of our children today are confused about their self-identity & their sex-identity because they don’t know about their God-identity.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The 2nd Piece of the armor is the Breastplate of Righteousness.
The breastplate was generally a bronze metal plate that was wore over the midsection with many layers. The purpose of these layers were to guard the person’s vital organs especially the heart. Wearing the breastplate was the difference between life or death.
Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Notice this verse starts with “Above all else”. That means “HEY YOU! LISTEN UP!! This is extremely important!!”
Then it says “guard your heart because everything comes from it.” Everything from how we think, how we act, how we react, how we live and how we love comes from inside our heart.
What are some practical ways you can guard your heart? Is what I’m watching or doing growing me more in love with Jesus and my neighbor or farther away. Take an inventory of what you take in and ask God to show you any area in your life that you might be giving the enemy a foothold in your heart.
So for me, I have to guard my heart against racy movies or videos. If I look at any of that, it triggers something inside of me that doesn’t want to honor my wife Laurie. Growing up, my dad had pornographic pictures hanging in our shed and sexually explicit books in our bathroom. As a young boy, it made it very easy for me to access.
Trying to figure out my manhood with no direction from my dad, I thought that real men looked at porn. What I was introduced to as a young man, has become a constant battlefield of the mind for me.
Imagine if my dad, instead of introducing me to porn, had encouraged me to guard my heart, my eyes and my mind like the bible says? I wouldn’t have the struggle that I have today.
How about you? What do you have to guard your heart against? When you say ‘NO’ to temptation, you are saying “YES’ to righteousness.
Gospel of Peace
The 3rd Piece of Armor says to have our feet fitted with Gospel of Peace. Special Ops in the military teach a technique called Drown Proofing. Anyone hear of it? They tie the participants hands behind their back and tie their legs together. They then push them into a pool or pond and let them sink to the bottom.
Once their feet touch the bottom, they are to push themselves up toward the surface. When they submerge, they take a deep breath and sink back to the bottom again. They do this over and over again for about 5 minutes. It’s to train them to keep their peace in the heat of the battle.
As Warrior Men of God, we must learn keep our peace in the heat of battle too. When things heat up in the culture, at home with our spouses, or our children. We need to learn how to act, NOT re-act. We need to keep our focus on Jesus.
Peter had his feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace when he walked on water. He was Drown Proof as long as he kept his focus on Jesus. What happened when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storms around him? Right! He lost his peace & began to sink.
The enemy is trying to do the same with us. Satan is trying to get us to take our eyes off Jesus by focusing on the storms of life around us so that we too will lose our peace and sink in our roles as men, husbands, dads & community leaders. God has called us to be Warrior Men of God and says that we are More than Conquerers.
If we do find ourselves starting to sink, remember that Jesus is reaching out His hand to help pull us back to safety just like Jesus did with Peter. Does this make sense? Alright!
Here’s an example of me keeping my focus. I had been fishing and put my Walt’s Crawlers in the bottom of our refrigerator. That’s usually not a problem unless you didn’t put the top on all the way. Any of you know where this is going?
My wife, Laurie opened the door to our fridge and she was met with worms - everywhere! On the top shelf, in the lettuce, slithering up the door. Guess what she did? She screamed bloody murder! She was frantic. She went hysterical.
Of course, as a Warrior Man of God, I took hold of the situation by keeping my focus on Jesus. I took all the food out & checked everywhere for those creepy-crawlers. I cleaned the entire fridge while keeping my peace while wife was going freaking out. I put everything back and threw out the worms.
Guess what? I went from being a ZERO to HERO by slaying the MONSTERS in the FRIDGE.
I could have lost my cool by taking my focus off Jesus, got into a yelling match and who knows where that could have gone.
Shield of Faith
Now the 4th Piece of Armor is the Shield of Faith. The Shield is to protect us from satan’s fiery arrows. The fiery arrows are the lies or attacks from the enemy. Notice it’s not a one and done arrow. It’s a FIERY ARROW!
When a fiery arrow hits, what happens? It causes the destructive fires to spread. Satan wants his lies and attacks to spread to our marriages, our families and into our communities.
We need to replace these lies with God’s truths to stop the carnage. What arrows or lies has satan been shooting at you lately? Rebuke them in the name of Jesus!!
Our faith in God can shield us during trials or attacks from the enemy the same way a shield would during battle. So when doubt creeps in and our beliefs are questioned, our faith in Christ can protect us. Stand firm in knowing what you believe.
Helmet of Salvation
The 5th piece of Armor is the Helmet of Salvation. When we put on the helmet of salvation, it can help us avoid sinful thoughts and understand what is good and true. When we forget to do this, we are susceptible to thoughts that are planted in our minds by the deceiver, who seeks to harm our walk with Christ. MEN, don’t let him.
But how Randy? How do I battle the lies from the enemy that come into my head. What can I do?
Try the 4 R’s. These are biblical & powerful!!.
The 1st R is to Recognize any negative thoughts that are not of God but the enemy.
The 2nd R is to Refuse satan’s lie! Say “Not Me Satan!”
The 3rd R is to Replace it with God’s truth of who you are in Christ.
And the 4th R is to Repeat the 4 R’s. Believe me, another lie will be coming to your mind; recognize it, refuse it, replace it, then repeat! Got it. This can be powerful!
Sword of the Spirit
The 6th Piece of armor is the Sword of the Spirit, which represents the Word of God. For a Roman soldier, the sword served as an offensive weapon against his enemies. When sharpened, the sword could pierce through just about anything, making it very dangerous.
But, if we don’t know we’re even in a fight, why would we fight back? Why would we even pick up a weapon, let alone get familiar with it.
Would a good soldier go into battle without a weapon? Of course not! He’d be an idiot. We have a powerful weapon but a lot of Christians aren’t even using it.
When the enemy came to tempt Jesus, he came at an opportune time. Jesus was tired, hungry and alone after fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. When we are wore out and tired, these are vulnerable times for us, too. The enemy often comes at these times.
The only weapon Jesus used against Satan’s temptation was the Word of God. He answered every one of satan’s temptation by saying “it is written” and followed by a scripture verse against that temptation.
Jesus also used the 4 R’s. He Recognized the lies from Satan. He Refused them. He Replaced them with God’s truths and scripture and then HE Repeated it. Satan tempted Jesus 3 times. 3 Strikes and your out Satan!
If Jesus used the word of God to fight the devil, what makes us think that we can fight the devil with any weapon other than God’s Word. Unfortunately, a lot of us try to. When we read our Bible daily, we are keeping our sword sharp and we are becoming skillful at using it.
Listen, God’s word can keep you from the enemy OR the enemy can keep you from God’s Word. Remember, this world is not a playground, it’s a WHAT? Battleground!
Our Last Weapon-P.R.A.Y.
The Full Armor of God ends with Ephesians 6:18. It 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.”
Our last weapon is often the most overlooked weapon of all and that’s prayer. Once we put on our armor, we engage in the battle by being vigilant in humble prayer. As we pray, we are engaging in spiritual battle. Prayer unites us with heaven and protects us as we live out our faith.
I use the acronym Pray - P.R.A.Y.
The ‘P’ - is to PRAISE our Heavenly Father as the King of Kings & Lord of Lords; the Prince of Peace, The Great I AM, Wonderful Councilor, My All in All, & so much more.
The ‘R’ - is to REPENT of any sin in my life. Lord, please forgive me of. . .
The ‘A’ - is to ASK according to God’s will. Lord, protect my family, heal my friends, move at this life changing camp.
The ‘Y' - is to YIELD to God because ultimately He’s in control. Not us. We need to “Let go and let God!”
So MEN, do you realize that you are in an invisible fight against an enemy who is spewing a path of carnage, destruction and devastation in our world like divorce, addiction, disrespect, violence, abuse, and broken people.
Here’s my question too you MEN, ‘Are you SOBER AWARE of what’s going on around you?
If so, put on the Full Armor of God and fight for your families and friends because this world is not a playground but a BATTLEGROUND!