Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.Ephesians 6: 10-11 NIV
After reading this bible quote, it is easy to get lost in all of the elaborate descriptions of the Armor of God, insomuch that the idea of some sort of spiritual armor loses its meaning. Maybe you’ve never asked yourself what the armor of God is, or maybe you’ve never bothered to try. In this article, we will be discussing the armor of God and what it means to use that armor as a form of protection. Remember, you can’t protect yourself if you’ve got nothing to protect yourself with. However, thanks to our Loving Father, anyone who is willing to renounce their sin, accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and walk in His ways will be freed from sin and covered by His Blood. And I can assure you, the blood of Jesus is stronger than any disease, pain and heartbreak that life can throw at you. The best part about it is that it costs nothing. After all, life doesn’t charge you to throw its worst at you, so why would God charge us for His protection?
12 For 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. 13 Therefore 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.Ephesians 6: 12-17 NIV
It is important to remember that the armor of God was freely given to us. We did not earn it, nor did we deserve it, but God gave us (along with the priceless gift of salvation) the ability to protect ourselves through His word and by His strength. It is also important to acknowledge the functions of the armor of God in order for us to apply this scripture to our daily lives. This armor of God is characterized by seven pieces, including the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the feet of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. But there’s a secret piece of armor that rarely goes unrecognized, one that often seems insignificant but has a massive supply of unused potential. Keep reading to find out about the armor of God, and to discover one of the most important tools against the fiery darts of the enemy.
The Belt of Truth
One of the most common phrases I have ever heard is, “There are three sides to every story. Your side, my side, and the truth.” And while I hate to admit that, at times, the truth can be extremely subjective, the basis of all philosophy, of any religion, of any science or practice, is to uncover the truth. But if the truth has three sides to it, which truth is the truth? It is almost certain that, throughout the entirety of our lives here on earth, we will come across more than one false doctrine or ideology that claims to be the superior vessel of all knowledge and understanding. And, although some things may be true, it is difficult to find anything that is based on 100% sound, infallible wisdom and knowledge. And in that regard, anything and everything on earth takes some level of faith to believe in.
One piece of Good news that we can count on, however, is the truth that it outlined in John 14:6 when Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
When we base the foundation of our lives around the fact that Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose on the third day, that without him, there is no way to The Father, that He will return for His people, and that it is by His grace that we are healed, we instantly have access to the Belt of Truth. However, like any article of clothing, it takes effort to put on; the Belt of Truth will not magically appear on us. We must make the conscious decision, even in times of doubts, to remind ourselves of the truth we have accepted–of the truth that set us free–in order to put on this level of armor.
Furthermore, notice that the Truth is described as being a belt: it is wrapped around your body tightly enough so that another article of clothing (your pants) don’t fall off. Have you ever tied a string around your finger to prevent yourself from forgetting something? Well, that is what the truth does: it keeps that knowledge secured around you so that you never forget who your savior is, what He did for you, and what you should expect out of this newfound freedom.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
A breastplate is a metal plate worn as defensive armor for the breast, or chest area. Righteousness means acting in accord with divine or moral law. It is interesting that the breastplate of righteousness would cover your heart, which is the main organ by the breast area. This reminds me of Proverbs 4:23, when the bible states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
So what does a breastplate have to do with our heart? And why should we go through such extreme lengths to protect it?
Well, for starters, the heart is typically considered the hub of all our emotion (often times, irrational emotion), and it is easy for the enemy to attack. It makes sense why this would be the very first organ or body part being protected, because in many ways, it is the most fragile. So first, we must ground our minds in our faith, remaining determined to continue this walk of faith, no matter what challenges that may bring. Then, we must guard our heart, because in many cases, it can wage war against the mind and cause us to stumble. The bible describes the heart as “deceitful” and “desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), so it also makes sense why the heart would be associated with righteousness–because when your heart is set on the right thing, you do the right thing. And righteousness is all about doing the right thing (although righteousness is accredited onto us because of the sacrifice of Christ. All we can do is continue to walk in that righteousness).
The Gospel of Peace
When someone walks into a room, it is easy to determine what kind of “energy” they have. We can often tell if someone is confident–or overly confident–shy, afraid, angry, or depressed. Whether we stomp the yard or have happy feet, there is always something about the way we enter into a room that has the power to set the mood for the day to follow, as well as for the people around us. Because of this, God wants us to have feet that are readied with the Gospel of peace. Any time I read this, I think of shoes. These shoes serve two purposes: to stand firm, and to move forward. But what does that mean?
It means that in times of doubt, temptation, or duress, we must be able to plant our feet onto the ground and stand firm in what we believe. And in times of temptation, in seasons of growth–or separation–and during our “valley” moments, we must be able to walk by faith, taking one step in front of the other with the knowledge that somehow, everything will work out for the better.
The Shield of Faith
The shield of faith is interesting because it serves as an extra layer of mobilized protection. What I mean by this is that since a shield is a handheld object, one is able to move it around and position it so that it can protect any part of the body. More importantly, it gives an extra layer of protection to an area that could otherwise go unprotected, or to an area that has been weakened or compromised due to damage. The interesting thing about this in relation to the Christian walk is that faith does just that: it protects you from everything. Any situation can be endured or solved with faith, whether it be an illness, the loss of a job, or the death of a family member. The wonderful thing about faith is that it can fit any situation (or, in “armor” terms, it can protect any part of the body). In Mark 5:34, Jesus tells a woman who has been battling a mysterious disease with her blood, “Your faith has healed you.” This a clear example of faith directly protecting someone from an issue they were dealing with. Another is example is when Peter walks on water, or when Jesus heals the blind man with mud. As we know, with faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Luke 17:6); imagine how much more we can do when our faith has been activated and mobilized in a way that has the ability to protect us from any fiery dart that life, and the enemy, will throw at us.
The Helmet of Salvation
Whenever I think of salvation, I picture God swooping in to save me from trouble right in the nick of time. When I think about the Helmet of Salvation, I picture something similar, only this time, God takes a layer of defense off of himself and places it on our heads. Obviously that’s just an idea, but the point I am trying to illustrate is that salvation is God’s way of saving our skins. I know we’ve all heard the saying “not a hair on my/his/their head” when referring to protection. In this case, the Helmet of Salvation does just that: it is a way to protect every single hair on our head from damage or harm. In this case, the Helmet of Salvation is based on God’s promise to us that He will protect us, in this life and in the other. Does this mean nothing bad will ever happen to us in our lives? No. But it does mean that, through each battle, no matter what the outcome is, we are always safe and in God’s plan because our souls are placed under his protection. Physical harm may come in this life; but if you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus is Lord and submit to His ways, then no danger will fall upon your soul. Considering that our souls are destined for either an eternity of peace, never-ending worship, and harmony, or eternal hellfire, it is important that we put our trust in the one who has the power to make–or break–us in this life, and in the other. God’s gift of salvation is free and without reproach; it doesn’t ask for degrees or qualifications, it doesn’t do a credit-scan or a criminal history background check. All it wants is someone with a mind set on seeking the Lord, a heart willing to seek His ways, and feet prepared to walk where He guides us. Our list of armor started with the truth, and with a mind set on seeking out the truth; it is only fitting that the Helmet of Salvation be centered around the very area where our ideas, dreams, and thoughts stem from as well. Why? Because salvation is the first step to a renewed mind, and a renewed mind is the first step to walking out our newfound righteousness in Christ.
The Sword of the Spirit
The sword of the Spirit is the only offense oriented piece in the entire armory of God. Truly, it is only the Holy Spirit that has the power to fight back against the enemy. We do not have the power within ourselves to fight against the enemy; it is the Lord in us that gives us power and the strength to fight against the powers and principalities of the supernatural. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, guides us in the right direction, and goes before us during times of trial and tribulation. It is important for us to recognize that nothing we do is by our own might or power, but by the Spirit of the Living God. The Spirit of God has the power to break down walls, break chains, and restore hope into otherwise hopeless situations. The second we start to believe that our glories are based on our own will is the second we discredit what God is doing for us in our lives. That is why the sword of the spirit is so essential in our armory; it is the very thing that reminds us that God is the one who is fighting for us, not the other way around.
Last but not least, the hidden secret tool in the armory of God is YOU. Your life, your walk, and your testimony can also serve as a form of protection in life. I don’t mean this to say that we are in any way, shape, or form superior to God. What I mean is that, sometimes, the best thing we can do is submit to the Lord and allow us to be used as His vessel. By evangelizing, praying, and reading the word, we are not only able to fight against any doubts or evil thoughts the enemy may throw our way, but we can also be used to uplift someone else. Jesus gave us two commands in his time on earth: to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Now, with that being said, as Christians we should not only seek after our own protection, betterment, or fulfillment; instead, we should follow the Lord’s orders and do the same for someone else.
I pray that everyone reading this challenges themselves to be extra kind this week and do for someone else what you’d want them to do for you. More importantly, I hope that every day, you pray that God will clothe you in His armor and remind you of His divine plan for your life. Remember: no one fights a war without a goal, a mission, or a desired outcome. Ask God: what is your plan for my life?
Just as we started this weeks theme with protecting our loved ones, we can’t protect them if we can’t protect ourselves. Remember that this spiritual armor will protect you along the way.
Have any questions, comments, suggestions, or prayer requests; please leave them down below!