Mark Twain once said – “A man’s life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.” How true that is. Much of what affects our life happens inside of us; in a place of deep secrecy where no one ever sees.
Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote centuries ago-
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 17 And take the helmet of salvation…
What is the helmet of salvation and how can it help protect us against Satan’s attacks on our mind?
I. The Helmet of Salvation
A. The Helmet of the Roman Soldier
Little has to be said about the importance of the Roman soldier’s helmet. One of the most vulnerable areas of his body was his head. One wound upon the head could defeat and destroy him. Therefore a sturdy helmet was a crucial part of his protective armament.
B. Helmet of the Christian Solider – Protect the Mind
Paul uses that analogy to instruct us concerning the protection of our mind. As the Roman’s soldier’s helmet protected his head, so the helmet of salvation protects our mind.
1. Satan attacks the mind (thought-life)
Why do we need a protection of the mind? It is because it is our thought-life that Satan seems to attack the most. The devil knows that if he can invade our mind, he can control our body. I once read that the average person thinks 10,000 thoughts per day. If Satan can influence even a portion of these thoughts, he has thousands of opportunities each day to try to lure us away from God.
2. “Can Satan read our thoughts?”
Some have asked – ‘Can Satan read our thoughts?’ Many conclude that because Satan is not God, he cannot read our thoughts. To be honest, scripture doesn’t tell us for us for sure. It is unlikely that he can, however, he doesn’t always need to read our mind to know what we’re thinking.
3. Satan can influence our thoughts
No one knows for sure whether or not Satan can read our minds, but we do know that he can influence our thinking. It is most likely that our mind his most favorite target. What can Satan do to our minds?
a) He can twist the truth and make us believe a lie
The story of Eve is a perfect example of how Satan can twist the truth and cause us to believe a lie. Satan’s temptation of Eve involved her mind. The devil said to her – ‘Yea, hath God said…?’ In other words – ‘Come on Eve – get real. Do you really believe that’s what God said or that’s what He meant?’ Through such questioning Satan was able to influence Eve’s thinking.
I believe Satan attempted to do the same with Jesus. ‘If You are really the Son of God, then…’ That little word ‘if’ was used to stir Christ’s thinking. Satan was attempting to lure Jesus away from the truth.
b) He can plant sinful thoughts / desires / impulses / ideas
Satan is able to plant within our minds sinful thoughts, desires, impulses and ideas. There are several examples of this found in scripture.
For instance, there was a couple named Ananias and Sapphira who were members of the early church. Simon Peter said that Satan had filled their hearts (minds) with greed and deception. Another example would be the disciple, Simon Peter. Simon thought that he was speaking spiritual truth, yet Jesus accused him of being used by the devil.
c) Take advantage of weak moments in our lives
Perhaps one of Satan’s most effective strategies in attacking the believer’s mind is to take advantage of weak moments in their lives. Paul warned the Corinthians about Satan gaining an advantage upon them through anger and bitterness. Paul also warned the Ephesians of the same danger.
Satan also seemed to wait for an opportune time to attack Jesus. You’ll remember that it was after our Lord’s forty days of fasting that Satan began to tempt Him concerning His deity. Satan also attacked Christ while our Lord was praying in the garden and even while He was hanging on the cross.
C. The Need of Divine Protection
A Roman soldier would be very foolish to face his enemy without proper protection of his head. The believer is very foolish to face his enemy without proper protection of his mind. The first thing Satan is going to go after is your thinking. How does the helmet of salvation protect the believer’s mind from Satan’s attacks?
II. The Hope of Salvation
What is the helmet of salvation? 1 Thessalonians 5:8 answers that question.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
A. What is the hope of salvation?
1. For Some – Hope Expresses a Desire That is Uncertain – “I Hope I am Saved”
Titus 3:7 … the hope of eternal life.
For some, hope refers to a desire that is uncertain. They hope they are saved, but they are uncertain. They are uncertain because they believe that no one will know for sure whom God has chosen until we all reach heaven. To them it would be arrogant and presumptuous to say that you ‘know’ that you are saved.
Is that what the Bible teaches? Does the hope of salvation refer to a desire that is uncertain? Consider the testimony of these three great Christian leaders:
1. Apostle Paul
2 Timothy 1:12 …for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
The Apostle Paul did not believe in what some call ‘soul-sleep’ or a ‘hope-so salvation.’ Paul was confident and he didn’t mind saying so.
2. Apostle John
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…
John tells us that the reason he wrote this epistle is so that we can know whether or not we have salvation. Interestingly enough, John uses the word ‘know’ thirty-one times in just five chapters.
3. Apostle Peter
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. NKJV
Note these truths that Peter expresses regarding the hope of salvation:
a) It is a living hope because it is based upon a Savior who is alive
b) It is our hope because God has given it to us by His mercy
c) It is a secure hope because we are kept by the power of God
d) It is a glorious hope because it is our eternal inheritance
e) It is a worshipful hope because it causes us to praise God
2. I Have Hope Because I Know I am Saved
The hope of salvation is our confident trust and expectation of all that is ours because we belong to Christ.
Satan wants to attack our mind and to fill it with hopelessness. He wants us to become discouraged and defeated. He wants to keep us a prisoner to the past, fearful in the present, and uncertain about the future. Therefore, in order to resist his evil work, we must put on the helmet of salvation which is the hope we have because we know we have been saved.
The hope of salvation can protect us regarding the past, the present and the future.
B. The Hope of Our Salvation
1. Hope Regarding the Past
Satan wants to keep us a prisoner to the past. He loves to pull up the past and to torment us with it. Therefore, in order to have victory over such attacks, we must have hope. Consider these words from the book of Hebrews-
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul…
An anchor refers to something that is steadfast and certain. The anchor for the soul is confidence that we can have that all of our sins have been completely forgiven.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Only the devil loves to bring up the past. He does so in order to make us think that there is no way that we can ever possibly be forgiven. In order to stand strong during such times of battle, we must put on the helmet of salvation. We must shelter ourselves in the hope of our salvation.
2. Hope Regarding the Present
Some believers struggle with the past. Others struggle with the present. They worry about what might happen. Satan loves to torment our mind with worry and fear. How can the hope of salvation help us in these attacks?
Romans 5:2 By whom (Christ) also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Note, through Christ we have access to God. We can come boldly to His throne of grace and find mercy and grace in our time of need. We should be anxious about nothing, but we should pray to God about everything. We should cast all of our cares upon Him. What does it mean to cast our care upon God? It means to trust in His love and care for you. Most of us don’t struggle with the question – ‘Can God?’ We struggle with the question – ‘Will God? Will God help me?’ Whenever Satan begins to torment me with that question, I turn to Romans 8:32
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
If God was willing to give us the best, will He not also give us the least? God wants His people to be filled with hope and joy. Consider Paul’s words found in Romans 13-
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
3. Hope Regarding the Future
Many people worry about the future. They worry about the Stock Market and their financial portfolio; yet Jesus asked – “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Mt 6:27 NLT)
There are a lot of things in life that we can’t control and therefore it is useless to try. Nowhere in scripture are we told to worry about the past, present or future. Faith is trusting in the goodness of God. It is believing that if God is for us, who cares who is against us. The hope of salvation is focusing on things that are eternal, rather than things that are only temporary. The early church lived with the confident expectation and anticipation that Jesus could return at any moment. It was that hope that kept them going and it was that hope that caused Paul to write –
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
I don’t know when Jesus is coming; I only know that He is coming and when He does, I will say goodbye to this old world and forever I will bask in His glory. That is my blessed hope and that is what I live for.