Recently I’ve been pondering Ephesians 6:10-20 about the Armor of God. Verse 11 says:
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Those of us who have been Christ Followers for any length of time have probably heard teachings on the Armor of God, or possibly done a bible study about it. Some of us make it a daily habit to clothe ourselves in the full armor of God…while others, all too often myself included, don’t avail ourselves of God’s protection.
In “Help From the Sanctuary”, Charles Spurgeon says: “If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour to make us his prey. The Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear.”
Here are some questions and thoughts I’ve had recently:
- How important is the armor? Obviously it’s important if we’re standing against the enemy’s schemes. Our military troops are trained and provided defensive and offensive tools when fighting an enemy. We would be aghast if we sent them to fight without such tools; however, every day Christians enter into the fray with our enemy completely untrained and unprotected.
- Why do we fight without our defensive and offensive protection? Are we unaware of the continual war we are in with an unseen enemy?
- How do we become aware of the schemes of the enemy and how do we fight?
In verse 12, God’s Word states “…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.”
That tells me that first I must be aware that I have an unseen enemy, and that the struggle I face daily is very real…even more real than the threat of an unstable economy, child predators, failing homes and the attack on marriage, abortion, escalating crime, or any of the other horrors we are bombarded with in today’s world.
I believe that all of the evil facing us today is rooted in the PLAN (singular) of the enemy to overcome the PLAN (singular) that God has put in place. This is nothing new, and has been the enemy’s PLAN since the Garden of Eden. Lies, deception, fighting, separation, more lies and deception, perversion on every front…it is all put in place to keep our focus from the Truth of God’s Word.
Thankfully we don’t have to fight unprotected. When we avail ourselves of the Armor of God, we enter a different realm. Verse 13 says “Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…”
Standing our ground can only be done when we are equipped and battle ready. “…stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Most of the armor is defensive, put in place to protect us; however, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and Prayer are offensive weapons. They are like our modern day missiles that can place a direct hit on the very heart of the enemy. We know that until Jesus returns our battle will continue to rage, but as we effectively use the weapons given us from God’s arsenal, our enemy will be thwarted in his PLAN. We’ve read the end of the Book and know that his days are numbered; but, he isn’t giving up and neither can we. Our victory comes as we “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that even today as the day of evil has come, we are able to stand our ground…” (my paraphrase).
Father, I thank you that you’ve given us all we need to fight the fight set before us. May we clothe ourselves completely in your armor as the war for our world rages. May we stand firm in You as we see the schemes of the enemy crumble, remembering that “our fight 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.” Amen