"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his light. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." -Ephesians 6:10-11
A lot of us have heard of the armor of God, but what comes to mind when you think about this passage?
A lot of us start our days getting ready to leave for work/school or starting on tasks at home. It's hard to be intentional about where our head is at when we're constantly thinking about our to-do lists. The more this happens, the less we think about praying over God's armor over us for the day.
When I start my day with God and ask for his armor, it sets a good tone for the rest of my day, but on a lot of the days that I don't, I can tell a difference.
When we're so busy that we forget about God, we're not truly abiding in him as the vine. This is something that I've struggled with- being busy and letting time go by without spending time with God. If that's you today, then know that you aren't alone.
Today, let's dive into what the Bible shows as the components of God's armor and how it provides protection over your life.
Take up the whole armor of God
Before Ephesians 6 goes into the details of the armor of God, we're instructed to take up the whole armor of God.
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
I think that God purposely put this before the next verses to show us that each part of God's armor goes with each other. We truly need God's help in so many ways throughout the day, not in just one or two ways.
The belt of truth
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth..."
- Ephesians 6:14
This is the first thing that is mentioned in this passage. Another way I like to think of this is that the truth holds against lies. We all need to be tightly fastened with the truth. In the Bible, God mentions to always be ready to defend the gospel and talk about God's word when any time comes, and it reminds me of this because if we're not tightly fastened with the wisdom of God (which is the only source of true wisdom in life), we can't defend the Bible or talk about the Bible that much to others.
Knowing the truth of God's heart helps us walk closer to him, it helps us guard against the enemy, and it will help us during the good and bad days. Praise, worship, and encouragement all come from knowing the truth. It's a beautiful thing to be able to speak God's word to yourself throughout the day when you need it.
The breastplate of righteousness
"And having put on the breastplate of righteousness,..." vv. 14
The breastplate of righteousness goes in accordance with the belt of truth in verse fourteen. I think that this part of the armor of God is cool because we aren't required to use our own "righteousness" in life because we don't have any righteousness on our own. We're called to use the righteousness of God as protection every day, his wisdom, his encouragement, his commandments, his convictions, everything that he says.
This is another good reason, on top of the myriad of others, as to why we as christians should know our bibles. This doesn't mean that we force ourselves to read four chapters minimum a day, but knowing our bibles is good for us in every way.
We can call on Jesus for protection in any situation. What would he do? What would he say? When we call on his righteousness, we can walk hand-in-hand with the only righteous and holy person and receive his comfort and protection in all of our days.
Readiness given by the gospel of peace as shoes for your feet
"And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." vv.15
Have you ever been encouraged by the Lord and felt a fire in your heart to serve him and tell others about him? The good news of the gospel has a power of changing people and enabling their hearts to serve the Lord in many different ways. In this way, I think that this applies to this section of the passage.
As it's already obvious, just how shoes guard our steps and enable us to travel to different places, the gospel of peace does the same. We can wake up every morning knowing that we have the gospel of peace given to us by Jesus, and that we can be ready to proclaim his word to others in love.
The Shield of Faith
"In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all of the flaming darts of the evil one,..." vv. 16
The shield of faith has always been one of the most easily remembered areas of the armor of God in this passage. It's also one of the most popular known throughout the passage. The shield of faith can be used all the time, in many different types of circumstances.
As shields protect from weapons, so does faith from fear, temptation and sin, disbelief, anxiety, confusion, and many more things that the enemy might through at us every day. We need this shield at all times because the enemy has a target on every believer's back and is waiting to shoot us down.
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
-1 Peter 5:8
The only effective defense we have against the devil is God. God promises to help us out of the devil's grasp in life- we just have to submit to him and believe that He can help us.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
- James 4:7
We can take up the shield of faith from our loving father at any time and the devil will have no hold on us.
Take up the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit
"And take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,..." vv. 17
The helmet of salvation saves us from death. Once you are saved by Jesus, you have eternal life with him. As believers we should be encouraged by this and remember our salvation in Jesus. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how blessed we are to be saved by Jesus and all we had to do was repent of our sins and call on him for forgiveness and salvation.
The sword of the spirit is the second piece of a christian's armor in this verse, which is the word of God. In Hebrews 4:12, God mentions that the Bible is sharper than any double-edged sword. This includes any strongholds in your life, any difficulties, any temptations, anything that is waging war against you- whether that be anxiety or spiritual warfare.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
- Hebrews 4:12
Today, I encourage you to take up God's armor because He offers it freely to us. If you feel weak or heavy laden, His strength and protection is there for you at all times. You will never fail having God's armor protecting you.
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