In Ephesians 6: 11-12 we learn that we are not fighting a carnal battle but a spiritual one of mass destruction. God has not left us defenseless but has provided the armor of light… or the dress that covers our souls (Romans 13:12). I had always been taught to “put on my armor daily” through an experience of reciting scripture and visualization of its application. However, I’ve since learned that we cannot simply put on the armor through a rehearsed prayer, even if it is based on scripture, for even Satan quotes scripture. When Jesus walked the earth, he healed many but used different methods such as healing the blind man with mud, or the woman with the issue of blood through the touch of His garment. Through this we learn that repeating a certain action or using a “magic formula” is not going to produce the same results, it rather requires a total reliance on God. Psalm 65:6 reveals “God who is our strength clothes us in power”. We don’t suit up in the armor by a specific method, but through life application.
Ephesians 6 describes the weapons of warfare that are in our arsenal to withstand against the enemy. Ephesians 6:14 tells us to “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth”. The Matthew Henry Commentary says “God desires truth, that is, sincerity, in the inward parts. This is the strength of our loins; and it girds on all other pieces of our armor”. A Roman soldier wouldn’t think of going into battle without having their weaponry close at hand and neither should we be found without ours. Its application is obtained by reading scripture and allowing God to write the Word, His truth on our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10).
Paul continues with his instruction to “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” In warfare, the breastplate protects our vitals, shields the heart and literally stops a deadly blow in its tracks. To put on our spiritual breastplate we put on the righteousness of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30). Without Jesus, we are as filthy rags and cannot stand against the accusations of the enemy who attempts to snatch the Word of God from our hearts and replace it with false doctrines. By taking on His righteousness we are sanctified and no longer subject to the enemy’s accusation against us which is one of his strongest weapons. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 tells us to “put on the breastplate of faith and love” which comes by walking in love and fellowship with both God and man.
As soldiers of Christ, Paul instructs us to “shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). Shoes were once part of the military armor and had thick soles with spikes protruding from the bottom to give them traction on the battlefield. We stand firm against the enemy, by having a resolved frame of heart which prevents us from stumbling and enables us to move in our calling of taking the good news to all nations. Since the enemy of our souls would like nothing better than to rob our peace, we live a life of repentance, and are at peace with God therefore firmly rooted against the attacks of the enemy.
Paul instructs us to “take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” Ephesians 6:16. The shield of faith covers from head to toe and when raised, deflects any of the fiery darts that the enemy hurls at us such as doubt, anger, pride, distrust, immorality, etc… all attempt to cause us to distrust God. Faith is established in our hour of temptation, as God demonstrated through Jesus who was tempted by Satan in the wilderness; our shield is our faith in God. It is our first line of defense and the enemy cannot penetrate it unless we lower it by doubt or unbelief.
One of the biggest battlefields is within our own minds so it comes as no surprise that part of our armor is The Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17) or the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). Our hope lies in the fact that our present struggle with Satan is temporary but our salvation through Jesus is eternal. The enemy targets our minds, planting seeds of discouragement and deceit, just as he did with Eve in the Garden. Therefore, we must renew our minds daily and take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5). The believer’s helmet is the truth in knowing although we fight the good fight here, our eternity is secured in heaven.
Lastly, we are instructed to take up The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We must remember the sword wasn’t used at a distance but in close combat. The Sword of the Spirit is double-edged and cuts in both directions, empowered by His Spirit nothing can withstand against it. It was what Jesus used to counter the attack of the enemy in the wilderness and it is at our disposal to wield against the attacks that we face. We draw the sword from the Word… therefore, the Word must be written within our hearts as we cannot expect to always have our Bible at our disposal. Just as Jesus, we need to learn to live “by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3)
A soldier puts on his armor and keeps it on throughout the duration of the battle. Our battle here on earth is continuous until the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we always need to be dressed and ready for war. The armor isn’t something you put on every morning and take off before you go to bed at night. In Romans 13:12-14 we are told to cast off the works of darkness and “put on the armor of light” The Matthey Henry Commentary describes it as putting off clothes worn at night, the sinful works of darkness and to put on the armor of light. He explains, “A Christian must reckon himself as “undressed” if unarmed.” Wearing the armor is like a Spiritual second skin… tightly fit, it secures the soul from the evil of this world; it is definitely something you don’t want to leave home without.
©By S. A. Tower, 2015