It is said that “familiarity breeds comtempt” and in our fast-paced world, we often fall into a form of lust where we crave only the new. The novel. The fresh. In Christian circles, we can idolize the idea of “fresh bread,” of hearing a new word. Often we’ll hear a new worship song and think it’s especially anointed when, really, it’s just new. Jesus said in Matthew 13, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.” It is good for us to go back to the old ways and look for God there. It is also good for us to look ahead to the future and discern where God will be doing. Both are valid, both are needed.
Which brings us to this video. Heidi pulls out the familiar passage from Ephesians 6 about putting on the full armor of God, and for anyone who’s been a Christian for a while, it’s easy to tune-out because of the passage’s familiarity. Don’t do it! You may not be able to tell from the video, but this teaching came in the midst of a very powerful moment. There was a manifestation of God’s presence in the room that brought a sense of awe, reverence, repentance, and humility. Many in the room were undone and even Heidi herself was at the point of tears throughout. What you’ll find, as you watch the session, is the Holy Spirit is shining a light on this passage and reviving it. So…as you watch, allow the Holy Spirit to make this familiar passage new for you.
There is evil in the world, and sometimes that really feels to us like a damaging firestorm that brings pain, loss and more. The bible says the devil came to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come to give us life and life abundantly (John 10:10). We are instructed by King Jesus Himself not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices and to put on the full armor of God.
Let’s allow ourselves right now to learn from a forerunner of the faith on how to empty ourselves of us so we can be filled up by God. Let’s believe that He will bring that sweet wind we need to lift us up and give us strength for the journey ahead. Check out this passage in a different translation, so that it can read as new for you:
A final word: 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. 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. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:10–18 (NLT).
LESSON #1: DON’T GIVE AWAY WHAT’S MEANT TO COVER YOU.
We are in a war, so put your armor on! God wants to clothe us in His armor. He wants to clothe us in Himself, clothe us in His righteousness. Who would go into war without their armor? God did not call you to go naked into battle. We are not meant to go into battle without armor.
“Wounded warriors have gone into battle without their armor or half of it missing.”
Also, we can not wear someone else’s armor. We can not take someone else’s shoes and go into battle. We can not do something because someone else did it and think it is going to work for us. We have to wear the armor of the Lord. We need to hold on, stand firm and be filled with God Himself—be filled with the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
LESSON #2: DAILY READ GOD’S WORD. DAILY PUT ON HIS ARMOR.
The Word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit”. It is what keeps us standing strong and firm in this crazy world. Some of us might have been “sliding by” a bit and not reading the Word because our world has not been as crazy as someone like Heidi Baker’s (pictured above) has been in Mozambique. But scripture tells us the world is going to get crazier (Read 2 Timothy 3:13 and John 9:4)—so we need to be daily reading His Word and putting His armor on.
Even in our everyday lives, we need to know where to go and what to do. In order to know that, we need to daily prepare ourselves by feasting on the Lamb (the Word of God). We need to daily put on the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; the shoes of the gospel of peace; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit.
LESSON #3: DON’T GO OUT UNPREPARED. GO TO THE SECRET PLACE, FIRST.
The body of Christ is called to step out of the closet and shine. But unless we learn what it is to hide in the secret place of His embrace, we can not get up and go out without fear.
Whatever God has called us to do, it is first to be face to face with Him. We can’t forget what He asked us to remember. With everything going on, don’t forget to go in. Don’t forget to go low and be on your face. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).”
“Everyday, when I go into the secret place with Him—I don’t go with all the heavy armor on. I go ‘poor in spirit’… I go needy…I go in desperate.”
Do you want to see God’s presence breaking out through your life? Then we get to a low place; a place of humility before the Lord. When He tells us to go lie down, we lie down. When He tells us to stand up, we stand up.
We are the body of Christ. We are His “feet on the ground”. We are empowered by Him to stop for the one in need. We are called to help the poor, the sick, the dying, the leper, the broken… We are His first responders. We must remember that, and we must prepare ourselves; gird ourselves; and get ready.
“Some of you may think only a few people are called to the poor. No. It’s just your poor may be in disguise. I heard the Lord say, ‘All hands on deck! Tell them to suit up! All eyes on Me!’”
LESSON #4: WHEN YOU GO OUT, PREPARE OTHERS.
When we are called to “feed the hungry”, we do not go in and just bring food. (Though, when we read Matthew 25:35-40, it would be silly for us to think we are not also called to actually feed the hungry!) We go in with the Word of God in our hands, in our hearts and in the heart language of the people—and we give them armor.
Heidi and her husband Rolland Baker founded Iris Global in 1980 and began ministering together in Asia. In 1995 they were called to the poorest country in the world at the time, Mozambique, and faced an extreme test of the Gospel. They began by pouring out their lives among abandoned street children, and as the Holy Spirit moved miraculously in many ways a revival movement spread to adults, pastors, churches and then throughout the bush all across Mozambique's ten provinces. Heidi is now "Mama Heidi" to thousands of children, and oversees a broad holistic ministry that includes Bible schools, medical clinics, church-based orphan care, well drilling, primary schools, evangelistic and healing outreaches in remote villages and a network of thousands of churches. She has BA, MA from Vanguard University and her PhD from Kings College (University of London). A documentary film called Compelled by Love: The Film premiered on January 5, 2014 which features the life story of Rolland and Heidi Baker, narrated by the late evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.