and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
(Ephesians 6:17 – ESV)
(Ephesians 6:17 – ESV)
When we “mess up”, it isn’t as if Jesus leaves us because we sin. We may grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and thus lose the joy of our salvation, and feel He is far away, but as we draw near (James 4:8), in repentance, He is right there with us. We need to remember the difference between relationship and fellowship, judicial (Romans 5:1 / 2 Corinthians 5:21) and parental forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Things like keeping in your Word are what sharpen the sword, so to speak, and keeping in repentance and prayer keeps the armor feeling snug, in a sense. It doesn’t fall off; it just needs to be refastened. We let it sag, not realizing we are wearing it and utilizing it in defense.
It is always the season to sharpen your skills. You need to remind your mind of these truths everyday, and then they will begin to sink in, talk to your self about God before your self talks to you about you. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 helps to clarify the meaning here, “and for a helmet the hope of salvation”. We have absolute assurance of our salvation no matter how fierce the battle becomes.
When you don’t believe you can be deceived, that’s when you already are. By this I mean that we are not as invulnerable as we think we are, not if we think we can slack in the spiritual life. Even Peter, after receiving the revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the greatest revelation of all time, which Jesus said was given to Peter by God the Father (Matthew 16:16-19), apparently just moments later (vs.22-23), Jesus rebukes him as if Peter was being led by Satan. At any given moment we can be deceived so we always need to be on guard. “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
This also points us back to the armor of God; we look to God and His Word as our defense, not our own feelings of wisdom and invulnerability. We are to be wise in God’s ways, not wise in our own eyes (Isaiah 5:21).
You need to keep renewing your mind around the truth. It is unbelief that is hindering you. Pray as the man in Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!” You may be carrying the sword of the Spirit, which is already sharp (Hebrews 4:12), but it is your duty to learn to wield it properly.