EPHESIANS 6:11 KJV — Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
But God also tells us to put off some things in His Word...
EPHESIANS 4:22 KJV — That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
COLOSSIANS 3:8 KJV — But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5 KJV — (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The experience of putting on God, abiding in Christ as His Spirit abides in us, is a simultaneous process of Him taking away. Which means, it's a constant situation of us letting go.
I encountered someone recently who is afraid. While there is some reluctance in their situation, that hesitancy to change is rooted in fear. But apparently I wasn't learning for myself so the LORD let me encounter one of my own fears - the dreaded check engine light! It came the night of December 25th, before visiting family, Tara's parents, were headed home. We are a one-car family and all our money is spoken for. The LORD impressed me to purchase a remote charger before our family left. Later, I went to get a code scan at our local O'reilly Auto Parts. They scanned and the result is what you see in the picture above. They reset the code upon request, and the check engine light came back on at home. But there was also an alert in our dashboard saying a "Break In Attempt Detected" while the car was starting with a very stalled start as an anti-theft response. After researching and discovering that even dealerships did not really know how to address this problem, it was time to talk to the one who is so easy for me to turn to....me.
Yep, me! I started "doing the knowledge" in my head of how to work this out. But in the commotion of the hall of my thoughts, it's like Jesus was sitting in a still chair, waiting. Looking at me, and waiting for me to put off thinking, and put on praying and talk to my Heavenly Father. So I did. I talked to Tara, and now we kept praying. And everytime the situation or potential costs or possible outcomes came into my head, I prayed and consciously gave it to God and let Him know I trust Him, I don't trust myself, and I will obey and not worry. Even when Tara and I were about to leave the house so I could take her to school, and the car would not start, I told God I trust Him, I'm not gonna worry, but I will obey and charge the battery to try again.
God started the car, my daughters and I took Tara to school, we went shopping for what we needed, and while talking to Tara to let her know we were on our way back to school, the check engine light turned OFF. Off!
ROMANS 13:12 KJV — The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Putting on faith includes means putting off fear. Putting on humility means putting off pride. Putting on prayer means putting off worry. It's all the simultaneous work of the Spirit of God - Casting off is putting on, & putting on is casting off!
And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. LUKE 8:30
LUKE 8 is a power chapter for Jesus! Several of the miracles for which He is most famous are poured into the mold of a single chapter so we get a clear image of the power of the Son of God. While the chapter begins with teachings, it is loaded with doings. When Jesus and His disciples go sailing into a storm, the miracle is realized in Christ commanding, and the sea obeying. Jesus and His disciples encounter a multi-possessed demoniac. But by the time they leave Him, Jesus commands, and the demons obey in leaving. Even the former demoniac walks into the pattern after He wanted to join the disciples. Jesus commands, and the healed man obeys by returning home to testify of all that Christ had done for Him. A woman full of sickness but more full of faith, just touches Jesus and she is healed! Afterward, Jesus commands, and the woman who had uncontrollable blood flow obeys and goes home in peace. Then a dead girl. So dead that she is confirmed dead by a messenger and is literally being grieved. Jesus commands "Maid, arise", and the breath of God returns to her and she "arose straightway".
If you are keeping score at home, so far, fatal storms, demons (plural), chronic illness, and even death, have all taken their seat in the back of the classroom of Christ where He has bound them and put them in their place. In effect, Jesus commanded, and they all obeyed. But verse 30 is slipped in like a footnote to help us see something. The choice and danger of disobedience in contrast to the power of God's commands. LUKE 8:30 is a rare move - Jesus holds a conversation with the demons. Already knowing all things, it appears that Jesus conducts this discourse for our sakes. For the sake of His disciples on scene and us thereafter to understand just how this dude became a demoniac in the first place. When Jesus asks the demon (singular) his name. The demon responds with a plural name "Legion: because many devils were entered into him." Rather than giving a personal name the demon reveals a group name; a gang name. And more importantly, this was a crew whose numbers increased over time because the Scripture does not say that the demons invaded. The word used is that they entered. While this man's soul had become occupied, it was not achieved by assault; but rather, by access. By saying that they entered, the Scripture is revealing that this state of possession was acquired through contractual agreement, and not conquest. Each demon got their seat by ticket and not by taking.
So how did the nameless man get where he was? If every miracle of God was the result of Christ commanding and someone/something obeying, every advance of Satan (Christ's adversary) was the result of Christ commanding and the man disobeying. Satan's demons could only advance as the man avoided the will of God. Every step from God is a step to Satan. Disobedience to God is simply obedience to self and/or Satan. The demoniac's condition reveals that there is no Satanic affiliation, occult practice, paraphernalia, or magic required to be controlled by the enemy of our souls. It's why even today the core principle of modern-day Satanism is "do as thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law." Disobedience to God is serious because it's still obedience, but not to God. When we don't open the door of our heart to God, we still have that God-given heart and it still has a door that by design will be open, but not to the one Who created it. The demoniac's disobedience granted access, but thanks be to God - Jesus still came knocking! In fact, the Bible says He still knocks at the door of every heart:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. REVELATION 3:20
Let's take our cue! The LORD is so desperate we get it, He used a fatal storm, a chronic condition, death, and a whole legion of demons as visual aids to get us to look, to "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock..." He commanded them, and they obeyed. Will we do the same?
God has something to say to us (more than we want to hear it)! That's why there is always a WORD!