THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
Believers are called to put on the full armor of God for spiritual battle and protection comprises the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).
They can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.
Apostle Paul further says to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Therefore, let us put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground, and after we have done everything, to stand.
However, before putting on the full armor of God, we need to understand them and their applications in our daily lives. This chapter will cover both the aspects.
2.0 Belt of Truth
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14) Loin is an uncommon word in modern vernacular. It refers to the lower back but includes the crotch area.
In ancient days, solders men would wear long robes that would get in the way of work or fighting, so they would wrap up the long, draping material. This was girding up one’s loins. Thus, a soldier is only ready for battle when he is girded with his belt.
A Roman soldier’s belt was made of metal and thick heavy leather and was the carrying place for his sword. It also had a protective piece that hung down in the front. His belt held all other pieces of his armor together. To be fitted with his belt, meant he was ready to face action.
The Lord knew our loins needed to be wrapped in truth. Regardless of the culture or time we live in, the Lord has seen all the paths we’ve taken and how they have hurt and derailed us. He knows we need truth. If we don’t begin with truth, we’ll never defeat the enemy.
Truth is the belt that holds the believers’ armor together as well. Ultimate Truth can be found in God’s Word (John 17:17) and in the person of Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) We must know this Truth in order to protect ourselves against our flesh, the world, and the Father of Lies. Truth grounds us and reminds us of our identity in Christ.
We need to pursue the truth on a specific topic but let us not forget to grab hold of the whole of Scripture. Let us not just study the parts that come easy for devotional reading but press into the whole counsel of God’s word. We also need to pray God’s word.
The Bible is the guidebook for life. Use the word of Truth as a template to guide our prayers. Each one of us to memorize the truth for quicker access when we need it. We should cover our world with Scripture on post-it notes, screen savers, décor, and anything that will help us to remember God’s word in a spiritual battle.
3.0 Breastplate of Righteousness
The Roman soldier was always equipped with a breastplate. This piece of armor protected his vital organs in the heat of the battle – when he wasn’t quick enough to take up his shield. The breastplate was for the quick and unexpected advances of the enemy.
Righteousness means being made right. Sometimes Scripture refers to righteousness that Messiah gives us – His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Sometimes Scripture refers to righteousness that God carries out through us, like “the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:8).
As believers, we have no righteousness apart from that which has been given us by Christ. Our breastplate is His righteousness. His righteousness will never fail. Though we have no righteousness of our own, we must still, by His power, chose to do right.
Living a right life, rooted in God’s Word is powerful in protecting our heart, killing our flesh, and defeating the enemy. In daily spiritual battle, both varieties of righteousness protect the heart. We need the complete righteousness of Messiah, but also the continuing righteousness that comes as a response to God’s gift.
The enemy tempts with all kinds of sinful entanglements, but righteousness protects our hearts. God’s instructions are often viewed as killjoys or burdens. But obedience to God is a protection for your heart from being wounded by sin.
Therefore, let us identify and work upon righteous activities in our lives that strengthen us. This may be as simple as having an occasional conversation with a homeless person and getting to know them by their name.
Also identify work upon the unrighteous activities in our lives that weaken us. For each of us, this is going to be unique. By intentionally exposing ourselves to immoral behavior, we are allowing Satan to weaken the walls that Messiah had built around us.
4.0 Gospel of Peace
Peace is an attribute of the Lord’s very person and character (Galatians 5:22). In Greek, peace means oneness or wholeness. The gospel, which means good news, is the forgiveness of sins and access to and oneness with God through faith in Messiah. This oneness with the Lord produces peace.
Roman soldier’s feet were fitted with sandals called caligae. These sandals were made to help protect soldier’s feet during their long marches into battle. They had extremely thick soles and wrapped perfectly around their ankles in a way that protected against blistering. Caligae also had spikes on the bottom to help them stand firm as they travelled. This helped them have a firm foundation.
The letter of apostle Paul to Ephesians repeatedly reminds us to “stand” and “stand firm.” One of the easiest ways for the enemy to succeed in shaking us loose from standing firm is to tempt us with worry. When we carry anxiousness and worry with us, we are robbed of peace. But the gospel of peace keeps our feet anchored and standing firm.
Believers also have a firm foundation in the Gospel. As believers, we have peace in knowing we are secure in what Yeshua has done for us. Therefore, let us preach the Gospel to ourselves daily. Remind ourselves of the hope we have in Yeshua the Messiah. Because of His sacrifice and our belief in Him, we shall not perish but have eternal life.
Let us not wait until the hardship to remind ourselves of this. Build our foundation on a daily reminder of this hope, and we will be able to get through anything. Let us Share your testimonies with others. The easiest and most effective way to share the Gospel with others is to tell our stories of how Yeshua changed our lives.
Also let us be a living example and surround ourselves with scriptures about the truth of our place with Messiah into our hearts. The way we walk through life will be seen by many. When we carry ourselves with the Fruit of the Spirt, people will stop and notice.
5.0 Shield of Faith
The Roman soldier’s shield was a complex piece of armor. The shield, also called a scutum, was a soldier’s primary defensive weapon. It was made of impenetrable wood, leather, canvas, and metal and could be doused in water to extinguish the fiery arrows of the enemy.
Faith is the shield of the believer. Trusting in God’s power and protection is imperative in remaining steadfast. When the battle rages, we must remember that God works all things for good. 1 Peter 1:5 says, “through faith we are shielded by God’s power.” He is always true to His promises. A believer’s shield of faith needs to be regularly dipped in the water of God’s word to be replenished and fully functional – because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Therefore, take time to remember the promises of God. When fiery darts try to impact our hearts, extinguish them with reminders of God’s goodness over our circumstances. Here are some of His promises. If your faith feels less confident than you wish it did, ask the Lord to increase your faith (Mark 9:24). Find verses that feed our faith and fill our world with them.
Set our faith on God’s character, not on a circumstance. Let us band together with other believers in the fight of faith. The best way to band together is through the closeness of a small group. Also recount God’s past victories in our lives. Make a list of all the ways God has come through for us in the past. Whenever our faith waivers, recite this list and remember in detail how God made a way.
6.0 Helmet of Salvation
The Soldier’s head is one of his most vulnerable areas. Without his helmet, one blow to the head would prove fatal. His helmet covered his entire head, facial area, and between the eyes. His armor would prove useless if he wasn’t equipped with his helmet.
Salvation comes the moment we place our trust in Yeshua’s death and resurrection as the payment for our sin. But salvation is also worked out through a lengthy process of sanctification.
The believer’s helmet of salvation is the most crucial piece of armor for the believers. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit that enters a believer at the moment of salvation, all other armor is useless. Salvation empowers believers to fight. It protects us in our weaknesses. Without salvation, there is no victory.
The helmet of salvation rests on the work of Messiah to save us, but also involves us as we journey with the Lord and allow Him to work that salvation into every part of our thoughts, words and actions. The battlefield of our mind is the primary place spiritual battle is fought. The Lord works His freeing truth into our perspectives while the enemy fights for strongholds to bind us (John 10:10).
Therefore, let us stand on the conviction of our salvation. When we know without a doubt that we are going to heaven because of what Messiah did on the cross, not even death can defeat us. We will all face extremely dark times. In these times, our salvation will light the way and carry us home. Let us place and line up our thoughts with the Scriptures. Be intentional about feeding and renewing our mind with spiritual food throughout the day.
7.0 Sword of the Spirit
All other pieces of the soldier’s arsenal are defensive weapons, but not his sword. The sword, a gladius, was a deadly weapon. In the hands of a skilled warrior, he could pierce through even the strongest armor. It is the only piece of armor that is both defensive and offensive. When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Our sword is the Word of God, both the written and the manifest Word. Every other piece of armor protects us against attacks. With God’s Word, we are truly able to fight and defeat all enemies. Messiah used Scripture and modelled this beautifully to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the desert. We must do the same.
Let us arm ourselves. Be intentional about reading scripture. Let us find a time that you can dedicate reading and studying the word of God where we are free of distractions. When attacked, let us fight back with the Word of God. When Satan attacked Messiah in the desert he told him, “No….for it is written…”
Let us use Messiah’s example when Satan tries to come after us. When beaten down, let us immerse ourselves in the Bible. Even those with great faith are going to have days when they feel like they are barely hanging on. On these days, ten minutes of time in the Word is just not enough. Let us take a sick day and immerse ourselves in His Word for the entire day. Read, study, pray, and repeat.
When is the last time that you memorised a Bible verse? I know there are people who are really good memorising Bible verses. I myself am not particularly good in learning a Bible verse by heart. But it is most helpful to have a Bible verse in times of need, especially, in times of trouble. It is most helpful to have a Bible verse for situations, in which we are trying to come to terms with the world around or within us.
Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. It is most helpful to have a Bible verse for situations, in which we do not find any words on our own.
In Matthew 22:29, Yeshua answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God”; and in Matthew 4:1-11 gave us practical example when he had fasted forty days and forty nights in wilderness and devil tried to tempt him.
In prayer, we show our reliance upon God to act and move. Our entire armor is rooted in His strength. Without His presence, we are powerless in the fight. We must fight on our knees. The One who has won the war is with us in the battle. We will see a victory when we fight in His power.