The Bible is full of word pictures to help us understand spiritual truths. One of the best known and most loved is the armor of God Paul describes in Ephesians.
I know some Christians who “pray on the armor of God” every day. While we definitely need that level of awareness, the spiritual armor we need to “stand against the schemes of the devil” is not simply a rote prayer before we start our day.
Christians are Fighting a Battle
This passage (Ephesians 6:10-20) is a battle call. Our opposition is real. Satan and his forces are fighting to prevent us from experiencing everything God has for us. They want to shake our faith, to make us fall. They scheme to derail us from living the full life of faith Jesus died to give us. Satan is powerful, wicked, and cunning. But he is no match for God.
Yes, God calls us to pray at all times (Ephesians 6:18). And prayer is the over-arching key to winning the spiritual battle. But this prayer is active. We are not simply to “pray” the armor but to “put on the whole armor of God.” Then get in the trenches and join God in the fight.
God provides His strength as we fight with His armor.
The “Armor of God” Represents Spiritual Principles
Paul was very familiar with the armor of the Roman soldier. While the list in Ephesians 6 is not exhaustive, the elements Paul cites were key to the soldier’s protection and victory. Let us “put on” the armor of God represented by these ancient pieces and fight alongside God for the spiritual victory!
- Know God’s Truth (Belt of truth) – Here we find two-levels of meaning. First, we must know God’s truth in order to recognize and reveal Satan’s lies. Second, when we maintain sincerity and integrity in our lives, we will not give Satan any ammunition to use against us.
- Live a Holy Life (Breastplate of righteousness) – Like the soldier’s breastplateprotected him from and back covering all the vital organs, a Christian’s righteousness protects her spiritually. Commitment to holy living and purposeful guards on our hearts and minds help us resist Satan’s temptations. (See “5 Benefits of Living a Holy Life.”)
- Keep the Gospel Central (Gospel Boots) – When we keep a constant awareness of the Gospel of Christ our firm footing is established and we are equipped to share the Gospel with others, rescuing them from an eternity separated from God.
- Hold on to Faith (Shield of Faith) – Our faith in God – knowing who He is and remembering His promises for us – will quench all the arrows of doubt, guilt, and fear the accuser shoots at us. Remembering who you belong to and what He has done for you will protect you like the soldier’s shield covered his whole body.
- Rejoice in eternity (Helmet of Salvation) – The enemy of your soul has no power over your eternity. If you have a saving relationship with Jesus, you belong to God and are protected by His Spirit. Reflect on this truth and rejoice!
- Use the Word (Sword of the Spirit) – The Word of God is a powerful, two-edged sword. God not only uses it to reveal our hearts and refine our faith, it is also our weapon of offense against the enemy. Study it. Dwell on it. Root yourself in the Scripture so you will be equipped to defeat Satan and his schemes.
Yes, let us pray as we fight the spiritual forces of evil. Always, without ceasing. But let us also live the spiritual principles represented by the armor.
Is this way of looking at the armor of God helpful to you? If so, in what way?