In yesterday’s blog, Paul gave us the reasons for putting on God’s armor. (See the blog entitled “Armored Up.” Today we see the purpose for each piece and the benefits of suiting up!
Ephesians 6:13-17 “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.“
Each piece of God’s armor is specifically designed to help us withstand the temptations and trial of this world. Satan wants to see us defeated. He knows he cannot take our salvation away as it is held secure in the love of God and sealed by the Holy Spirt. However, he can destroy our witness, cause us to be discouraged or feel defeated and worthless. Paul presents the specifics of God’s armor to encourage and strengthen us, as we seek to walk with Christ day by day. First, Paul reminds us that putting on God’s armor will allow us to stand in the face of evil and hold on to Him no matter what comes our way. Then Paul begins listing each piece that will fortify us. The truth of the gospel, the truth of who God is and His being binds us and gives us strength like no other. Covering our heart is the breastplate, so our inner feelings and soul are protected from harm by His righteousness. When David cries out to God in Psalm 51:10 ” Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”, he is requesting renewal of heart, purification by Christ and resilience. All of these come from the righteousness of God and are ours in his breastplate of righteousness.
The next piece of armor is for our feet, the gospel of peace. The salvation of Christ to the world brings peace wherever it goes, as being in Christ brings unity of purpose. Putting on the shoes of the gospel means being willing to walk with Him and tell others about His love, forgiveness and salvation. Now that Paul has us up and dressed, we need to pick up our outer shield which is faith. The shield goes before us and protects us from the doubts and methods of Satan who seeks to destroy us and our witness.
Lastly, Paul mentions our two offensive weapons that can be used in our battles against Satan. They are the sword of the Spirit and prayer. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. Jesus rebuked Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness with God’s Word. His Word has power and can be our defense against any attack that Satan launches against us. It is a sword that is discerning and powerful according to Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The sword is amazing as it works to help us defend ourselves. Prayer is also an offensive weapon we can use it both for and against our enemies. Prayer changes things and gives us emotional, physical and spiritual support. We are admonished to ‘pray continually’ and that prayer is effective. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Prayer is a tool we can use continually- night and day, for and with each other and for our help, hope and defense!
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can suit up with God’s weapons of defense and offense to stand against the powers of this world and Satan. Thank you Jesus for your all covering armor that we can use to protect and defend ourselves and our witness in this world.