As I shared a couple of days ago, we are in a battle that is ever present in our lives. We struggle on some days while the others we seem to be strong and not bothered by the annoyances or the attacks of the spiritual battle. The idea of us being victorious in our lives can be realized if we are willing to be obedient to Christ. He gives us instructions as well as equipment for our daily lives. Once we know that we are in the battle, we need to know how to “dress” for the battle.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
The Apostle Paul gives us the description of our battle attire which we must put on daily. Each part of our armor has a purpose in our protection from the enemy.
- Belt of Truth: On the Roman soldier, his belt was like a utility belt that would hold his weapons or essentials for his assignment. Jesus says that He is “the Truth.” Jesus needs to be our belt. Not only do we need Jesus to be our belt, but we must live in the Truth of God’s word.
- Breastplate of Righteousness: The breastplate would be either thick leather or a type of metal that covered the upper torso of the soldier. Some of them would only cover the front, while others covered both the front and the back. We choose to live righteously. I know that God is the one that makes us righteous, but it is our choice to live in the righteous deeds that please God. He makes us righteous, but several times in scripture we are told to “put on the new man.” We must choose to be righteous. When we do, our hearts are protected.
- Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: The foot-soldier would wear sandals which had some form of spikes on the bottom for traction in the rocky terrain. Our shoes need to be the preparation of the Gospel. Do we know the gospel? Can we share the gospel? We will be firmly planted in the battle if we are prepared in knowing the Gospel of peace.
- Shield of Faith: There were two different types of shields a soldier would use. One was about 3 feet in diameter that was used in hand to hand combat. The shield here described is that of the heavy infantry; a large, oblong shield, four by two and a half feet, and sometimes curved on the inner side. (Word Studies in the New Testament.) The soldiers would stand side by side and actually form a wall as they moved as one. What a picture for us as believers! We need to have people that are standing with us, side by side, aiding us in our spiritual walk. Our belief in God is paramount in our battle with the enemy. As the enemy shoots his arrows at us, we must know that God is bigger than anything that comes our way. We must know that He is at work in all of our circumstances for His glory and our good. (Even circumstances we don’t like.)
- Helmet of Salvation: The helmet of the soldier was to protect his head. Some of them would cover everything except the eyes while others would be open in the facial area. Again, metal or leather would be used to make up the helmet just like the breastplate and shield. I have heard many preachers say that we need to be saved based on this piece of equipment. The problem with that is that it is the last thing that the soldier is to put on. You cannot have any other aspect of the armor if you are not a believer in Christ. I believe the helmet represents the knowledge of your salvation. We cannot be very effective as a Christian if there are a lot of doubts about our salvation. We have to know that we are saved. No doubts and no questions. Satan loves to attack us with doubt. The helmet protects us from those.
- The Sword of the Spirit: This sword is about 20 to 24 inches long and is double-edged. It was used by the soldier in hand to hand combat. The picture here is a battle that is in close range where other weapons would not be effective. The only offensive weapon that is used is the Word of God. Jesus quoted scripture as He was tempted in Matt. 4. We need to have a good grasp of scripture and realize that scripture is our only offense against Satan and his horde.
- Pray in the Spirit: The final aspect of the battle is our prayer lives. God knows how He wants us to pray and the Spirit prays for us. We need to join Him in our prayers. Without prayer, we cannot join God in the battle. We would be alone. We also need to pray for others that are in the battle as well. Strength comes from knowing that we are not alone as we fight this war that is raging.
I realize that this subject is tough. I have struggled with these last two writings as the enemy does not want us to be aware of him. Satan would love for us to ignore his presence as he attacks. God wants us to be very aware. We are in a battle. Are we armed? Are we wearing God’s armor? We must get dressed for battle every day!