Getting 2 little boys dressed every morning sure has its challenges! As one complains that he wants to wear a particular dinosaur t-shirt, the other complains that he wants to wear his construction truck t-shirt…As one wants to wear his jeans, the other wants to wear his shorts…As one wants to wear socks and shoes, the other wants to wear his croc shoes…and oh the daily battles begin!
As their mother, my job is to make sure they are properly dressed for the day…whether their clothes are specific for a particular activity…for a specific weather forecast…or just for their morning at school.
My job is to provide them with the proper attire and encourage them to wear what I have provided…and whether they choose to put on their jacket, for instance, as the weather is now cooling down, is their choice…because once they are dropped off at school, I am unable to enforce the need to put on their jacket in the cooler weather. I have provided what they need…but they need to take action and put it on.
And so it is for us as Christians…
God has provided us with proper attire to wear on a daily basis. He has provided us with a daily spiritual armor to prepare us for our day…to provide us with protection…to even arm us to fight when we face daily challenges and possible battles.
We as Christians…as children of God… have an enemy, Satan the devil, who is very real…who wants to steal, kill and destroy us! (John 10:10) We have an enemy who prowls around constantly seeking to destroy those who are weaker than he is. (1Peter 5:8) We have an enemy who is a liar and considered the father of lies who will tempt us and bombard us with fears, worries, doubts, and insecurities. (John 8:44)
Do you ever feel bombarded with fears, worries, doubts, and insecurities?
If the devil can’t keep you from being from saved, you better believe that he will do everything in his power to cause you to…be tempted…be distracted… stumble…get you off track…and get your focus off of God!
But as God’s children, we have been given the power to overcome the enemy…
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1John 4:4 NIV
God has provided us with power…His daily spiritual armor…but we are the ones that need to take action and put it on! This is how we can be ready and prepared to fight whatever darts and flaming arrows the enemy throws our way!
What does it mean to put on the Armor of God daily? Do you put on God’s spiritual armor every day?
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV
Paul was actually in prison when he wrote about this “Armor of God”. Because Paul had no other company than the Roman soldiers who were guarding him, we can see that he really knew in detail what the soldier’s armor looked like. Because really…what else did he have to do?
And even more amazing…It has been said that Paul was actually chained to a Roman soldier in his last few years in prison! Can you believe that? Seriously? Way too close for comfort for me! I mean isn’t it bad enough spending all that time in prison but then having a guy chained to you too?
The first interesting point to note about this Armor of God in verse 13 is that we need to “put on the full armor of God” …not just part of the armor!
We are to put on the “whole armor.” We are not to go armed partly with what God has appointed, and partly with such weapons as people use; nor are we to put on “a part” of the armor only, but the “whole” of it. A man needs “all” that armor if he is about to fight the battles of the Lord; and if he lacks “one” of the weapons which God has appointed, defeat may be the consequence. Barnes Commentary
In order to gain a greater perspective of this Armor of God, each piece of armor is described below as it relates to a Roman soldier and then as it relates to us as Christians. This will provide us with a greater understanding of why we need to put on each piece of armor daily and how we can do it!
Belt of Truth (vs14)
Just as a soldier’s belt holds his armor in place and carries his weapons, the truth holds our spiritual armor together. So as Christians, we must first understand what truth is.
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 NIV
The truth is that when Jesus died on the cross, he made a way for all people to be free from the power of sin. Just as the belt held a soldier’s armor down and helped keep everything in place, so Jesus in our lives keeps us in order and keeps us together.
Breastplate of Righteousness (vs14)
In a suit of armor, the breastplate is a very important piece of equipment to the Roman soldier because its purpose is to guard the soldier’s heart and other very important organs. Without a solid breastplate, a soldier could easily be killed with one blow from the enemy’s sword or arrow.
We put our breastplate of righteousness on when we put our faith in Jesus. (Being righteous is being right, perfect, or without sin.) Righteousness is a byproduct of faith as we trust in God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. God is righteous and the only way for us to be righteous is by having faith in Jesus who died to take away our sin. (Romans 3:22) He is our strength in our times of weakness! (2Cor 12:9)
Feet Fitted with Readiness (vs15)
Footwear was essential for the Roman soldier. According to historians, a soldier’s shoes were studded with sharp nails. These shoes would allow them to travel great distances in short time to navigate through rough terrain with ease. The modern day equivalent would be some sort of combination of combat boots and cleats used for outdoor sports like football and baseball.
The bible tells us to be prepared or ready with the gospel of peace to give us sure footing. The gospel of peace is being sure that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are saved from our sin and we have nothing to fear from God or people.
The idea seems to be that the mind is to be steadied, kept from fear and flutter, by means of the good news of peace – the good news that we are at peace with God; and “if God be for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31) Pulpit Commentary
We too may have to walk through rough times…rough terrain like the soldiers…but with adequate footwear “fitted with readiness”, we can walk through those difficult times and come out unharmed. We can only have this sure footing when we have put our trust in Jesus.
Shield of Faith (vs16)
The soldier’s shield is used to defend himself against the enemy’s attack. It is in essence the armor’s armor. If a soldier’s shield was hit by a flaming arrow, the shield would still burn…so before soldiers went into battle, they would soak the shields in water. The wet linen and leather would stop the shield from igniting…even when there was a flaming arrow embedded into it.
So what is our shield? Our shield is the knowledge that our God has our lives in his full view and that He is in control of every situation and circumstance that comes against us.
True faith is…not only believing that Jesus is our Savior… but believing and trusting Jesus for His promises, His love, His grace and His return. It is having faith that whatever comes our way is in His hands.
(For more about the significance of this shield of faith, check out one of my earlier devotions called “Don’t Drop Your Shield!”)
Helmet of Salvation (vs17)
The helmet is one of the most important pieces of armor because it protects the soldier’s head. Without a helmet, the soldier would be easily crushed.
Paul compares our salvation to a helmet. Salvation is being saved from the punishment that we deserve because of our sin. Putting on the helmet of salvation is really denoting that we recognize each and every second of the day that we saved by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is important because Satan will lie to us trying to convince us that we aren’t good enough to be saved or that we can exceed the limit of God’s grace.
Sword of the Spirit (vs18)
The sword is the only offensive weapon a soldier has to strike his enemy. All the previously mentioned pieces of armor are for defense…for protection.
As Christians, the sword is the word of God. It our offensive weapon to fight the enemy.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword… Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
Even Jesus used the word of God to fight the enemy when he was tempted in the desert! (Matthew 4:1-11) What better reason than that to read God’s word and memorize scriptures to have in your arsenal to fight when Satan attacks you with fears, doubts, and lies! I have experienced in my own life the great power in speaking God’s word…His scriptures…out loud!
To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
So are you ready now to put on the Armor of God daily?
As I pick and choose which daily battles to fight with my 2 little boys, my hope is that they will not only put on the proper attire that I have provided for them…but that as they grow up they will understand the importance of putting on God’s armor…so that they too will be armed and equipped mighty warriors in God’s army!
1) Do you ever feel attacked with fears, doubts, lies, or insecurities?
2) Do you know that as Christians we have a enemy who is very real and will attack us?
3) How do you handle the enemy’s attacks?
4) Do you put on the full Armor of God on a daily basis?
1) It is important to understand that as children of God, we have been given the power to defend ourselves and fight against the enemy and his schemes. God has provided us with His spiritual armor to wear each day.
2) God has given us one weapon the Sword of the Spirit to fight against the enemy. It is important that we read God’s word and memorize scriptures so that when we are overcome with fear, doubt, anxiousness, or insecurities we can fight back with God’s word.