We have been studying the Armor of God and this week we are looking at the “Helmet of Salvation.” Let’s look at what the Bible says about the battle we are in by reading Eph. 6:10 – 18 in the Message Bible.
Eph. 6:10 – 18 Message Bible
“10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
Eph. 6:17a NKJV
“And take the helmet of salvation…”
The Roman soldier helmet was designed obviously to protect the head. It was made of bronze, covered their head with a front piece coming down on the face to protect the eyes and nose. In using this illustration Paul is saying that salvation will protect the believer’s mind.
The helmet covers and protects the head. The helmet talks about your mind. YOUR MIND PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN YOUR VICTORY!
The majority of soldiers today, and in the time of Paul, died most often from injuries to the head.
▶Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.
▶Brain injuries are most often caused by motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, or simple falls on the playground, at work or in the home.
▶Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.
▶An estimated 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States emergency rooms.
▶An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur each year.
▶At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.
▶Moderate and severe head injury is associated with a 2.3 and 4.5 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
▶Males are about twice as likely as females to experience a TBI.
▶The leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, ,struck by or against events, and assaults, respectively.
▶Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active duty military personnel in war zones.
▶Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI.
▶30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI.
These stats are in the natural but we can apply them to our Spiritual life. Because our mind plays an important role in our victory, we have to be aware of what and how we think. We must have our mind renewed by that helmet of salvation to prevent any spiritual brain injury.
Spiritual Brain Injury prevention: Helmet of Salvation
1. Where the mind goes the man will follow.
Whatever you believe is what you are going to live. Whatever you are thinking is what you’re going to live. Know what you believe. Pay attention to what you are thinking. If you don’t learn to think differently, you will never live differently. Our mind needs to be saved. It needs to be renewed and made right with Jesus.
Romans 12:2 Amplified Bible
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
Whatever you put into your mind is inevitably going to come out in your behavior and your beliefs. It weakens you and it weakens your values because you’ve become accustomed to it. When things don’t bother you any more that is a warning light. You’ve already passed the threshold in your mind and are walking in a lie. We have to guard against this.
Proverbs 23:7a NKJV
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Be on guard and protect your mind by controlling your thoughts. Don’t dwell on wrong thoughts. Wrong throughs are worse then bad friends. They lead you astray and you don’t even know it.
Actions will follow what we think. If you start thinking you would like a donut, and keep thinking about it, inevitably you will go and get yourself a donut if you have one in your kitchen. If you don’t have one in your kitchen, you might think of it long and hard enough and you will go to the donut shop or grocery store to get yourself one.
The second leading cause of death in military personal, who have come back from a battle, is committing suicide. In civilian life this is a leading cause of death too. Suicide only happens first in our minds. You start to think how bad your life is or thoughts of despair can flood our minds and lead us down a dark, self-destructing road. But, it starts in our mind first.
Where the mind goes the man will follow. Don’t let your thoughts go down that road of destruction. Find help! Talk to a friend. Talk to a Pastor. Realize the enemy is trying to kill you. Wear your Helmet of Salvation and fill your mind with the Word of God and good thoughts. Find something constructive to do instead of isolating yourself from others. Realize who you are in Christ and get that in your “knower,” your mind, and stand on it. Stop the destructive thought before it grows into something unmanageable.
2. Have the mind of Christ.
If we think right we will live right! How do we think right? By having the mind of Christ.
Phil. 2:5 NKJV
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
He lives in us when we have asked Him in our hearts as Savior.
1 Cor. 2:16 Amplified Bible
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
We have His knowledge, His thoughts, His purposes for our life. There are times I will walk around in my day and say, “I have the mind of Christ in this matter.” “I will respond with the mind of Christ.” Reality is we need His guidance in everything. I believe as we give ourselves to Him, He gives Himself to us. He guides us and gives us wisdom in our everyday life. As we call on Him for direction, He gives it freely to us.
Jesus wasn’t captivated by bad thoughts. He didn’t allow His thoughts to go down a destructive path. Jesus took authority over the devil and the lies the enemy was feeding Him. He didn’t give any place to what the enemy tried to taunt Him with.
Looking at Matthew 4:1 – 11 we can learn a lot about Jesus and His mind as He responded to the devil with each temptation the enemy brought Him too.
Matthew 4:1 NKJV
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
“To be tempted” – The word “tempt,” in the original, means to try, to endeavor, to attempt to do a thing; then, to try the nature of a thing, as metals by fire; then, to test moral qualities by trying them, to see how they will endure; then, to endeavor to draw people away from virtue by suggesting motives to evil.
Matthew 4:2 NKJV
“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”
Jesus was hungry. His body was weak without nourishment and the enemy knew it. Normal human response would be to feel down and depressed, maybe even be agitated. This is when the devil decided to tempt Jesus. He tempted Him with words or thoughts for Jesus to think about.
Matthew 4:3 NKJV
“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
The first temptation had to do with how Jesus’ body was feeling. He was hungry. It was Christ’s immediate need. “If you are the Son of God… command the stones to turn into bread.” You can hear the mocking in the enemies voice. “If You are the Son of God.”
Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God. He knew Jesus had power. But that is how someone taunts us or even criticizes us; by questioning our very existence. Not only that, but the enemy knew Jesus was hungry and the temptation was real because it would satisfy Christ’s hunger immediately. But Jesus’ defense move was to quote the Word of God, “It is written…” Jesus didn’t fall for the words the enemy was trying to make Him think. He didn’t listen to the lies that were trying to make Him take action. This is what we should do when we are tempted by the words of the enemy in our minds. Quote the Word of God right back at him.
Matthew 4:5 – 6 NKJV
“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “it is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
The devil came at Jesus with scripture, twisted though it may be, and tried to tempt Jesus. We have to be wise to the words of the enemy. He will take the Word of God and twist it to fit his temptation. Don’t fall for this scheme.
Jesus didn’t allow the enemy’s words to confuse Him. He stood strong, even being extremely hungry and bodily week, and came back at the devil with the Word of God.
Jesus could have fallen for this temptation. He is God and He is also human. His human body and mind could have fallen in their weakness, just like we can get at times. But, this was not the case with Christ. He pressed through the accusations and didn’t give the enemy any ground.
Matthew 4:8 – 11 NKJV
“Again, the devil took Him upon an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
How many of you need angels to come an minister to you when you have been tempted to respond to what you are hearing and possibly thinking? Me too. Jesus didn’t fall for it. He knew Who He was, and knew who the devil was. Jesus knew who He was to worship and it wasn’t the devil. The devil wants to be worshipped. We worship him by falling into temptation. We worship him by listening to his lies. We worship the devil by walking in the flesh.
We need our minds renewed and made right by Jesus, Amen!
3. What you think; you are.
I want to revisit the verse in Proverbs.
Proverbs 23:7a NKJV
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
That’s why we have to think right. We can’t have a defeated mind and a victorious life. We can’t have a dirty mind and a clean life. It doesn’t work that way. If you think defeated thoughts you will have a defeated life because we act on our thoughts. If you think dirty, not pleasing to God thoughts, we will have a dirty, not pleasing to God life because what you think, your actions will follow.
If we start thinking victoriously, then our mind and our life is going to line up. When we start thinking clean thoughts, a clean life will follow.
We have to have this helmet of salvation. We need the Lord to protect our minds in this crazy world where so much is accessible, where so much tries to penetrate our minds. We need that helmet of salvation to protect our minds minute by minute of each day.
Not only what we think, but the thoughts of those we hang around with can influence our actions. Their beliefs, views, and thoughts can become ours if we are not careful. That is why it is so important to hang around godly people who have the mind of Christ. If you are easily influenced, don’t even think you can hang around non-believers and not be influenced by them.
Wrong voices lead to wrong choices. The wrong crowd, wrong people, leads to wrong information and you will soak in what they are pouring out.
Pastor Kris Belfils
What have you been thinking lately? Think about what you are thinking about.
It is time we take inventory of our thought life. What are you spending your time thinking about? Are your thoughts doom and gloom? If a negative thought comes in your mind do you dwell on it and give it a place to live? We are to think and dwell on good things.
Phil. 4:8 NKJV
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
Meditate: “To reflect on: ponder, to plan or intend in the mind… to engage in contemplation, to care for, practice, attend to. (Webster and Vines Expository Dictionary).
The Bible presents a lot of detailed instruction on what kinds of things we are to think and meditate on. You can see from these various Scriptures that we are instructed to think on good things, things that will build us up and not tear us down.
Our thoughts certainly affect our attitudes and moods. Everything the Lord tells us is for our own good. He knows what will make us happy and what will make us miserable.
When a person is full of wrong thoughts he is miserable; when someone is miserable, he usually ends up making others miserable also.
You should take inventory of your thoughts on a regular basis and ask yourself, “What have I been thinking about?” Spend some time examining your thought life.
Thinking about what you’re thinking about is very valuable because Satan usually deceives people into thinking that the source of their misery or trouble is something other than what it really is. He wants them to think they are unhappy due to what is going on around them (their circumstances), but the misery is actually due to what is going on inside of them (their thoughts). The misery is usually his doing and our believing it.
You can try to ignore what is going on inside of you for so long and then it will either destroy you or push you to change.
Pastor Kris Belfils
Putting the helmet of Salvation on daily is our fail safe plan for success and victory! Decide now that you will think good thoughts about yourself, your life, and your future. Don’t be distracted by hanging around the wrong people who are saying the wrong things.
Be encouraged by the Word of God and thinking about all the good in your life. When the enemy attacks you will already be wearing your helmet of salvation, and having the mind of Christ which will protect your thoughts that affect your mind. Prevent Spiritual Brain Injury in advance then you are setting yourself up for success and victory. Amen!
Wear your helmet well,
Pastor Kris Belfils