Growing up in the church, I have been taught numerous times about the armor of God. In the book of Ephesians, Paul warns believers to be prepared for battle. He lays out a detailed list of armor that we as Christians should “put on” as we prepare for war. As a kid, I understood the mental image, but I never fully understood what this armor meant until I was older and faced the battle in a very real way.
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God’s Word is clear. There is an unseen world of evil rulers and authorities, they have great powers, and they seek to destroy us. They will do anything and everything in their power to tear us down.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT)
The enemy is seeking our demise. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true. (John 10:10) The enemy has several main objectives:
- He seeks to keep us away from the life-giving truth of the gospel of Christ. – His goal first and foremost is to keep us on the path to destruction. He wants to keep as many people as possible away from the love and mercy of God.
- If he can’t keep us away from the truth of God’s salvation, “plan b” is to render us useless and weak in our faith. – He will try to weaken us and keep us from spreading the gospel to others. He will try to use us as means to keep others from salvation.
- He will try to steal every good thing that God has given us as believers. – God has promised us His peace and joy (along with many other wonderful blessings). The enemy would love nothing more than for us to not experience these promises.
We need to be ready for battle, and we need to make sure we never let our defenses weaken. Ephesians 6 tells us that as believers, we have access to God’s armor. He provides us with everything we need to not only defend ourselves, but to defeat the schemes of the enemy.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:13-17 (NLT)
I find it interesting that we only have one offensive piece of armor. Every other piece is designed to protect us. This offensive weapon happens to be the Word of God. Jesus spoke the Word as a weapon in the desert when He was fasting for 40 days. The enemy tried to tempt Him, but each time Jesus would respond with the truth.
Another aspect I find interesting about the armor, is that we are called to actually put it on. Every Christian has access to the armor, but unfortunately many of us choose not to wear it. I speak from experience when I say that the enemy never sleeps. He loves to catch us at our weakest moments. It’s important to be ready at all times.
As believers, we not only need to put on the armor of God – we need to live in it.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.