Paul describes six pieces of spiritual armor that are essential for the Christian. As long as we are in this world we will be at war with the god of this world, the devil. His mission is destruction—steal, kill and destroy. God has provided the necessary armor for withstanding Satan’s attacks and claiming the victory that Jesus won through the cross. We don’t need to fear Satan, but we do need to be forearmed and prepared. The belt of truth holds us together. God’s truth is absolute and as long as we have it securely in place, we know we are where God wants us to be. God’s righteousness is like under armor; it protects our vital organs—heart! God’s righteousness keeps us pursuing God’s best and keeps our hearts pure. The shoes of peace keep us from slipping when there is turmoil around us. Standing in God’s peace prevents impulsive decisions. The shoes of peace help us to move with sure footing through whatever we are facing. Now, let’s look at the other three pieces of armor that Paul describes—the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
Scriptures –Ga 3:26-27; Ep 6:10-17; Ph 4:8; Ro 8:37; 2 Co 2:11; He 4:12, 5:12-14
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Ga 3:26-27) 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. 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. (Ep 6:12-13) 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. (Ep 6:16-17)
The shield of faith helps deflect Satan’s fiery arrows. It allows you to fight with certainty because you trust the promises of God. Sometimes you cannot see God’s hand at work in a situation. But when you have faith…God said it; I believe it; that settles it, you can stand firm even in the midst of uncertainty. Keeping your faith shield in good condition is essential. Read God’s word, pray, worship, and share with Christian friends so that your faith shield will be ready for battle. It is said that every sin is conceived in the mind before it is committed. The helmet of salvation protects your mind. From what?—evil thoughts, negative input. These are the fiery shots that Satan takes at your mind. If he can get into your mind, he can cause doubt, discouragement and depression. When you accept Christ as Lord and Savior, you receive salvation and God gives you a new mind. You must protect your mind. There are many circumstances in life that you cannot control, but you can control most of what goes into your mind, and you can choose what you dwell and focus on. The first five pieces of armor are for defending and protecting, but the final piece is a weapon—the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. You can’t use God’s word if you don’t know it, and using it proficiently means spending time, learning, understanding and absorbing it. God’s word lights our path and it divides right from wrong. Unlike the soldier’s sword, which grows dull with use, the word of God grows sharper and more effective with use. Using God’s word is not only about knowing the Bible, but also about being obedient and knowing how to use it. The armor is there for the wearing. You just have to put it on!
Which piece of armor do you find best for your defense? Which piece do you need to use more? How are you doing with the sword? Describe a situation for using the sword effectively. Describe a situation in which the sword might be used ineffectively. Do you find the armor to be bulky? Why or why not?
Examine your armor. In what area do you need to strengthen your defenses? Decide how you will move forward in protecting yourself in that area.
Gracious God, help me keep my armor ready for battle. Help me to stay close to you and the truth of your word so that my defenses are strong. Thank you for providing all that I need to live a Godly life and for the promise of life eternal with you in Heaven. In Jesus, my Savior’s Name, I pray, Amen.