Last night our pastor again taught about the armor of God. I have really enjoyed the in-depth study. One thing that captured my attention was that the armor does not cover the backside- there is a reason we are commanded to stand and not retreat!! Here is more of what I learned.
“Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,” ~Ephesians 6:14-18
Paul was imprisoned during the writing of Ephesians, chained to Roman soldiers much of the time, so he was able to view their armor up close and personal. The soldiers wore a thick belt around their middle, which held their clothing together as well as provided a place to hang their weapons. We need to gird our loins with truth- truth is what will hold everything together for us. Jesus is the truth, and we need to hold fast to Him and remember His words. “Thy word is truth” ~John 17:17b. The world is telling us that God’s truth is irrelevant- that is not the truth!!
The breastplate protected the vital organs of the soldiers, especially the heart. We are to “put on the breastplate of righteousness”- the righteousness of Jesus. Continue on walking with Jesus, and He will keep your heart safe from attack.
“Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace”. In battle, good solid footing is important. The more sure-footed you are, the better you will be able to stand and fight. We need to know that we know what we know. Know God’s word, and enjoy His peace in knowing.
The shield of faith will help protect the rest of the armor. The Roman shields were quite large and provided much protection, especially when they were standing shoulder to shoulder. Our faith is so much stronger when we can mutually encourage one another. “that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” ~Romans 1:12. Our faith is essential in fighting this spiritual battle, and it has the power to not only stop ALL of Satan’s arrows, but also to extinguish them!
Our mind is, unfortunately, easy to attack, especially in our culture today. The helmet of salvation is to protect our mind and give us clear, correct thinking. God doesn’t want us to blindly follow Him. He created our minds and wants us to use them- correctly. “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'” ~Isaiah 1:18. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2. Remember our hope of salvation! Guard your mind.
The next two parts of the armor are offensive, not defensive. First we have “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The Greek word used here for sword is “machaira”, which is a small sword. The Roman soldiers carried small, handheld, double-edged swords for hand to hand combat. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12. The word of God is to be used to protect from the attacks of Satan- look at how Jesus answered the temptations of Satan in the wilderness with Scripture!- but it is to be used correctly and carefully. Don’t go around hurting others with it. Be familiar with it and learn to use it correctly!
The final piece of our armor, and it is the second offensive piece, is prayer. “Pray at all times in the Spirit… be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints”. We are to PRAY at ALL times with ALL perseverance for ALL the saints!! Why do we seem to use prayer as a last resort, when it is a powerful weapon in our fight against spiritual warfare? And we are to pray for everyone. Paul goes on in the next verses to request that they pray specifically for him. He knew the power of prayer and knew he needed their prayers.
Putting on the armor is a command. Each part is written in the imperative- (YOU) stand firm, (YOU) gird, (YOU) put on, (YOU) shod, (YOU) take up, (YOU) take, (YOU) pray. Hmm, I guess we are to do this?! 🙂 Remember, it won’t cover your backside, so stand firm!