Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13
It is hard to live on this planet and not see the battle that is raging around us. Not battles between countries, nor political battles. Not battles between law enforcement and angry citizens, nor battles over rights and religion.
But the battle which rages and fuels all those battles; the battle between good and evil. This battle has been raging since the world began, and will continue until the world, as we know it, ends.
The brilliance of our enemy’s battle plan is to blind people to the fact we are in a battle. He loves complacency, misdirection and fear. Those are some of his greatest weapons. He stirs up people to think they are fighting one battle, without realizing the greater battle raging around them.
There is a real battle going on and it is impossible to deny. Evil grows all around us and hearts are being turned away from God as the enemy prowls around looking for people to devour.
However, good is stronger than evil because God is stronger then satan! And God has already won the war. But we are called to fight.
Obviously, we cannot fight on our own. Just as a soldier would have protection and weapons, God has given His children protection and weapons so that we can stand against our enemy and fight back.
I just got done writing a children’s lesson on the armor of God, and while I’ve read that passage many times, it was as if God opened my eyes to see it in an entirely new way. I saw our armor in a whole new way that excites me, and drives me to my knees in praise and pleading.
The Belt of Truth. Just as a belt surrounds our waist, we must be surrounded by God’s truth if we are to stand against our enemy. Surrounded in truth: reading God’s Word everyday, praying for spiritual insight, thinking about Jesus, listening to Godly wisdom from others, speaking truth, singing truth, literally surrounding ourselves in Truth. There are so many lies and half-truths out there. We will most certainly fall to the lies, if we are not surrounded by Truth.
Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate covers the heart and lungs, and Jesus’ righteousness covers the hearts of those who trust in Him. His righteousness literally covers us so that we can stand before God. Satan cannot accuse God’s children, because they have been redeemed and justified by Jesus Himself.
Shoes of the Gospel. Our “Gospel shoes” give us both the ability to stand, and the reason to move. We stand on the Gospel and because of the Gospel, and we move so we can share the Gospel.
Shield of Faith. Satan attacks with arrows of lies, deceit, half-truths, and tricks. He knows he cannot take God’s children away from Him eternally, but he will do everything he can to make them ineffectual for God’s Kingdom. He seeks to turn hearts away from God. Faith in Jesus is our protection. Knowing who Jesus is, and who we are in Him is how we deflect those arrows. When our faith is in Jesus, He becomes our shield, which means satan’s arrows strike Jesus instead of us! Those arrows are no match for The King!
The Helmet of Salvation. Just as a helmet protects a person from a deadly injury, our salvation protects our lives from being snatched away from God. While satan will attack, he cannot remove God’s children from His hand. Satan may win a battle, but he will never win the war because the names of those who know Jesus are engraved on His hands.
The Sword of the Spirit. This is the only weapon in our armor, and it is the only one we need. What is more powerful than God’s Word? With His Word, He created the universe. And with His Word, He will one day destroy satan. God’s Word is so powerful that it is what Jesus Himself used to fight satan in the wilderness. God’s Word is the most powerful weapon of all, capable of changing the very core of man. However, just as a soldier must pick up his sword to use it, we must pick up God’s Word so we can use it. We must read it, speak it, pray it, talk about it, listen to it, and meditate on it. We must know God’s Word so we can use God’s Word in battle.
Prayer. While prayer is not officially listed in the armor list, it is no less important in our arsenal of weapons. I read an amazing quote by John Piper that I believe sums up the purpose of prayer beautifully: “Prayer is the walkie-talkie on the battlefield of the world. It calls in for the accurate location of the target of the Word. It calls in to ask for the protection of air cover. It calls in to ask for fire power to blast open a way for the tanks of the Word of God. It calls in the miracle of healing for the wounded soldiers. It calls in supplies for the forces. And it calls in the needed reinforcements.”
We must admit that we are in the battle of all battles, and we must put on each day, the armor God has given us. Surround yourself in truth, ask Jesus to cover your heart with His righteousness, run with the Gospel, ask Jesus to be your shield, battle confidently, know God’s Word, and pray.
“God, raise up warriors to fight boldly and confidently, knowing that You have already won the war!”