As quoted above we need to put on the full armour of God. Our lives on earth is a battleground and we have an enemy, the devil who wants to take us down. Resist and put on the full armour of God!
To give some context, this phrase: “put on the full armour of God” is found in the Book of Ephesians, which is Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus instructing them as to how the church should function.
And in chapter 6 verse 11, Paul writes that the church should ‘Put on the full armour of God so that they can take their stand against the devil’s schemes.’
Life in itself is difficult, challenging, it is a battle. But even more so, it is difficult when you declare yourself as a Christian because now that you have chosen Jesus Christ as your saviour, you are now opposing the devil and his demons and you’re now a target whether you realise it or not. I love how it first mentions that 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 realm.
It awakens us to the truth of the matter. You may think that your battles are against flesh and blood- you’re thinking it’s against him/her, this human being, this nation. NO, you’ll be wrong thinking like that.
Rather your battle is not against the physical person or entity but rather the evil spirit or devil who is the root cause or impetus behind whatever battle you’re facing.
It’s important to know that because of what happened in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God they relinquished the power and protection they had on Earth and now the devil and their demons for a time have strongholds on this earth that we must constantly battle with.
But there is hope because Jesus reclaimed our dominion over the devil and his powers by dying on the cross, and now as Christians we are equipped to battle.
So, what are our weapons.
Verses 13-18 tells us.
First the Belt of Truth, why a belt for truth. For a soldier the belt played a crucial role in the effectiveness of a soldier’s armour. It held the sword, the soldier’s weapon of attack and for us to first attack the enemy we must know the truth. The metaphor of a belt is also befitting for truth because truth should cleave to us as a belt cleaves to our body.
Second the Breastplate of Righteousness. Why a breastplate for righteousness? The breastplate for a soldier provided protection for the torso, which contains vital organs like the heart, lungs etc… Without it a soldier might as well ask for death because any attack could instantly become fatal. So likewise, without righteousness, by not doing what is right in God’s eyes, we leave ourselves open to attack.
Third, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace or in other words Shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. What does the gospel of peace have to do with shoes? Well, by having shoes on, we are ready to move and spread the gospel that brings peace.
Fourth, the Shield of Faith. Now up till this point, Paul’s description of the armour of God has been limited to items we wear. But the shield is different Paul tells us that the shield is something we must take up. Something we are required to raise to protect oneself. The same can be described of faith. When the enemy attacks, it is our faith that will need to arise in order to protect us.
Fifth, the Helmet of Salvation. A helmet protects the head from attacks, or accidents. Salvation can be described as an ongoing conversion process where we transform from our former unsaved, deceived state of mind to our new saved and renewed state. This process requires renewing our minds, which is where our head is at.
Sixth, the Sword of the Spirit. The sword is an offensive weapon and it is the only offensive weapon stated the rest are defensive. This is because the one weapon we must rely on which cannot be defeated is the Holy Spirit. He is our offence.
Seventh, Prayer. God’s armour is comprehensive but Paul calls for us to be praying always with all prayer supplication in the Spirit. No matter how skilled we may be in the science of war, no matter how courageous we may be without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone gives us victory and prayer is our conduit to being with our God. Do not forget, prayer is essential! Prayer is our intel.
So let us put on the full armour of God.