In the past, when reading about of the Armor of God, I usually read through Ephesians 6:10-18 trying to pick out the main points: Yes, truth, righteousness, readiness, faith... those are great things. And yes, salvation and the Spirit are important! And man, what a cool metaphor, that means I'm like a fierce lady warrior!
Let's see if I can find a good picture to represent what's going on in my mind right now...
Ah! Here we go! If God wants me to be a warrior, this is the kind of warrior I want to be!
It wasn't until my spiritual life began to resemble the background of this picture that I realized why I would need such powerful protection and weapons.
I recently returned to this passage to try to better understand the tools God has equipped me with to win the battles of this life. Even more importantly, I needed to know who I was fighting.
Paul, God's servant, speaks clearly in his letter to the Ephesians. No matter how much it might feel like it at times, we aren't fighting the people we share this world with, or even the worldly problems we face. We are in battle with the Enemy who tries to trip us up spiritually, destroy our peace and joy, and take our eyes off of Jesus and our Salvation. That Enemy is Satan himself.
John 10:10 says, "The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy..." and then it follows with God's response, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
God knew we would have a fight ahead of us. And our Mighty God gave us special armor and weapons to fight with.
This is my new perspective on the Armor of God:
- Belt of Truth: This life is quick to knock us down and it's easy to get tangled in emotions that simply aren't from God. What are God's Truths? Here's a few I have to remind myself of daily when I put on my Belt of Truth: God loves me. God works all things for the good of those who love him and accept his calling. God is always with me. God made me exactly how he wanted me.
- Breastplate of Righteousness: Righteousness is a rather loaded word in the Bible, but put simply, its definition is to be morally right. The Bible makes it clear that all humans are imperfect and we can only attain righteousness by seeking to do the right things and asking for God's forgiveness when we mess up (another Truth: God always forgives). By doing our best to honor God with our righteousness, we are putting a protective Breastplate over our hearts to protect us from sin and worldly pain that will knock us down.
- Feet Fitted with Readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace: By staying in the word, in the Gospel of Peace, we are in tune with God and ready to move when he says move.
- Shield of Faith: I love this one. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1. For me, the Shield of Faith perfectly complements the Belt of Truth. I know that God holds my future. I know He loves me enough to die for me. I know He came so that I might have an abundant life. These are truths that I know. These are truths that I need to have faith in when the Enemy begins to throw doubt and fear at me. I need my Shield of Faith to block his assault.
- Helmet of Salvation: The helmet has got to be one of the most vital pieces of protection for any warrior. That is why God says our Salvation is our Helmet. No matter what life brings, we can rest assured that this world is not our home and this life is only a breath in the light of eternity. Our salvation in Jesus is the most crucial part of our protection. Nothing can fatally wound a Christian wearing a Helmet of Salvation.
- Sword of the Spirit: I find it interesting that God gives us five pieces of armor to protect us, and only one weapon to fight with. But my, what a powerful weapon it is. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God that lives in us when we accept Jesus as our Savior. When Jesus died for us, he made the Sword of the Spirit accessible to us. The Sword of the Spirit is sharpened by His sacrifice and fortified with the Power of God. We use it by calling on God to fight with us and for us against the one who is trying to trip us up and hold us back. Sometimes we get too spiritually weak to even pick up our Sword. When we are at our weakest, the Bible says the Spirit of God will fight for us. Imagine! A sword that picks itself up and fights for the warrior that fell wounded. We can rest assured that we are loved and we are safe, because of the weapon our God gives us.
I love that verse. Yes the devil will try to trip us up, but when he does each of us can take our stand. I love knowing that God is with me and for me, so much so that I can take my own stand against Satan himself. Even better, I am guaranteed the win.
God's given you the protective gear and the weapon you need to win your battles today! Wherever you are, take some time to pull your Belt tight, fasten your Breastplate, lace up your feet with Readiness, secure your Helmet, reach down and pick up your Shield. Raise it to your defense. Draw your Sword high and ready, Warrior. This day is yours and your God's.
With you in the Battle,