Ephesians 6:15 - The shoes of peace become protection against the divisive schemes of Satan and his forces when we act as a peacemaker among believers, but we should not try to rationalize or explain the believer’s behavior, forgiveness deals with our pain, not another’s behavior.
We put on the shoes of peace, because we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, and we must base our relationships with others on the same criteria. If we fail to speak the truth in love and manage our emotions, anger which turns to bitterness and unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan and his forces.
Instead of insisting on the unity of the mind, we need to preserve the unity by taking the initiative to be the peacemaker in our relationships. Bitterness and unforgiveness toward other believers is the most widespread stronghold that Satan and his forces enjoy, and if we do not let offenders off our hook, we are hooked to them.
Relationally, forgiveness is crucial to our maturity, it is the glue that holds the body of Christ together. Satan and his forces use unforgiveness more than any other human deficiency to stop our growth and our ministry of reconciliation, because the unforgiving believer is yoked to the past or to a person and is not free.
Ephesians 6:16 - When our faith in God’s omnipotence and care is strong, it is impossible for Satan and his forces to break through our shield of faith and land an attack. Satan and his forces are actively involved in trying to distract us by peppering our mind with their thoughts and ideas. The main targets which must be destroyed, are the strongholds. Strongholds are negative patterns of thought, which are burned into our minds either through repetition over time or through one-time traumatic experiences.
That is why Paul insists that we be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Strongholds in our mind are the result of conditioning. Satan and his forces have no power over us except what we give them by failing to take every thought captive and thus being deceived into believing their lies. If Satan and his forces can get us to believe a lie, they can control our life.
Since Satan and his forces primary weapon is the lie, our defense against them is the truth. Dealing with Satan and his forces is not a power encounter; it is a truth encounter. Satan and his forces know just what buttons to push to tempt us. They have observed our behavior over the years and they know where we are vulnerable, and that is where they will attack.
The important process of renewing our mind includes managing our emotions by managing our thoughts and perceptions. Satan and his forces are always hurling their fiery darts of fear, doubt and worry in our direction, but the only time they can hit us is when we let our shield of faith down.
A shield deflects; it keeps the darts of the enemy away from our mind, the shield moves with the attack. When we allow doubt to creep in, an actively raised shield of faith prevents this otherwise inhibiting fatigue, so the shield is the first line of defense, the enemy has to get past the shield first.
Ephesians 6:17 (A) The fact that the helmet is related to salvation indicates that their blows are directed at the believer’s security and assurance of being placed into Christ. This helmet covers our mind, intellect or reasoning. The two dangerous edges of Satan and his forces broadsword are discouragement and doubt.
We can become vulnerable to Satan and his forces deception in this area if we fail to daily put on this helmet of salvation. They are committed to fouling up our life through their deception that nothing really happened when we were born anew. They may disrupt our daily victory, but they can do nothing to disrupt our new identity in Christ.
The only ones who can take up any piece of God’s armor, and the only ones who are involved in this struggle against Satan and his forces, are those who have been placed into Christ. Putting this helmet on daily is important, because God has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation, to tell the world God is not imputing their trespasses unto them; so we see the world still thinks he is.