THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
Living a life for Christ puts you in a battlefield every single day. You're in a spiritual warfare between good and evil (Ephesians 6:12), so it's of the utmost importance that you clothe yourself with the armor of Christ, daily. Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-17 is where we find what the armor of Christ consists of, so let’s dive into that. The first couple parts of our outfit, if you will, is the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). I associate the belt of truth with the wordintegrity. When I was in middle school, a teacher told me that integrity was doing the right thing even when nobody was watching. It was about being honest. It was about believing in something and sticking to those values/beliefs regardless of who was around you. Taking a stand. So if we are going to battle the forces of darkness, let’s fasten our belt of truth and stand firm on the truth that lays the foundation of what we believe – Jesus Christ is the son of God, He died for our sins, He was risen from the dead on the 3rdday and He is alive today. And one day soon He is coming back for us. That truth shapes our life, claim it every day. Next, scripture tells us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness was purchased for us on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” That righteousness is available to every sinner who accepts Christ, and it covers our heart from the evil that the world offers. Next, we go to the shoes. Verse 15 says “as shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.” Following Christ is never a smooth road. It’s a very bumpy path, full of obstacles and full of Satan’s tactics to slow you down. It’s important that you’re in shoes that can withstand the obstacles and can bring you peace regardless of the season you’re in. Peace doesn’t come from your situations, it comes from the One who is in control of your situations, it comes from the One who is always working behind the scenes for your good. Verse 16 moves to our next piece of equipment – the shield of faith. “With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” The part of that verse I love is the phrase ‘will be able to’ – if we keep faith, then we will be able to withstand the attacks from the enemy. Our faith is something that Satan can never take from us. So, when there’s chaos all around us, we can have faith that God is working everything out for our good (Romans 8:28). Verse 17 says “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” A helmet is often the last piece of equipment put on when going to battle, so we can look at this as our last bit of assurance that we can stand victorious. Our salvation is what carries us to the Promise Land – an eternity with our Creator. So let’s use that helmet to protect our mind, which is often our most intense battlefield. Allow the promise of salvation to bring you hope and joy through every battle you fight in your mind. And the last piece of equipment is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. It’s worth noting that this piece of equipment is the only form of a weapon that we have – everything else listed is used for defense. The word of God is that strong. It’s full of truth and the truth shall set us free (John 8:32). The word of God is what cuts us to the core, speaks directly to our heart, and when we make it a priority in our life – then we can combat any strategy that the enemy uses against us. When Jesus himself was tempted by Satan, how did he overcome? He referenced the word of God.
Something else that I believe is worth pointing out is the fact that every piece of equipment we use for battle only protects the front of our bodies. No piece of armor mentioned protects our backs. What does that tell us? Never run away from a spiritual battle. Never turn your back in fear. Face it head-on.
It's important to remember this: as a child of God you don't fight for victory, you fight from victory. Jesus already won the battle around 2,000 years ago on Calvary where He defeated death, Hell, and the grave. He defeated Satan and Satan hates when we claim that truth. He doesn't want us to remember that day. So when you're struggling and facing temptation, you don't need to fight for a victory - you already have the victory (read 1 Corinthians 15:57). Let’s start praising God in advance for Him allowing us to overcome. Remember, the one living inside of us is greater than the one who lives in the world (read 1 John 4:4). So, when we're in the midst of our deepest and darkest times, remember that our backs aren't up against the ropes, we don't have to come out swinging. We've already won, and we have to wake up everyday claiming that victory and clothing ourselves with the armor of God. Living a life for Jesus is the best life there is. We'll always be victorious.