Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV).
Life is not easy.
On any given day, we face unexpected challenges: hurtful words from a loved one, a threatening diagnosis, loss of security, confusion, a sense of darkness and isolation, etc.
These challenges are not the face of our enemy. They are, however, areas of life where the real enemy seeks to torment and hold us hostage.
How do we move forward and live a life of freedom Christ died to give us? We start by getting dressed. God has fashioned a top of the line spiritual suit of armor that will protect and defend us from the real enemy. Let’s unwrap this divine gift and put it on. Our very lives may depend on it.
The soldier’s belt supports the core of the body. Personal fitness trainers tell us that in order to be fit, we have to strengthen our core muscles (abdominal muscles). With a strong core, we can lift heavy weights, move with greater ease and hold our balance. Our walk is straighter, our knees last longer, and our back is reinforced – all from having strong abs! The TRUTH is what we need wrapped around the very core of our being. What we believe about ourselves, others and the world around us is directly related to how strong our core is. As we take every thought and decision to and through God’s word, we put on the belt of truth and reinforce our core.
The breastplate protects the most vital organ we have: our heart. Our heart functions to pump blood to every part of our body. The righteousness granted to us through the blood of Jesus gives us eternal life. When we walk with the righteousness of Christ in place, and step in line with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we guard our heart from that which seeks to infiltrate and destroy life.
Nike and Jimmy Choo is no match when it comes to the supernatural shoes of the gospel of peace! The shoes of peace enable us to hike through rough terrain. They ground us and hold us steady under all conditions. The good news of peace is that God is with us, and he remains our constant, come what may.
Faith is the shield that protects our entire body. Faith, like a transportable wall, protects us as we engage in battle with fear and doubt. With faith in place, we set our eye on the goal and walk forward, one step at a time. It is the shield of faith that extinguishes the unexpected fiery darts of life which intend to harm and distract our attention away from God’s promises. We may not know what lies ahead for us, but the shield of faith allows us to advance, believing that God will keep his word.
The soldier’s helmet is made of a hard surface that covers the entire head. The helmet of salvation is what protects our mind. We have a new identity in Christ. With this new identity comes a new way of thinking. Our thoughts directly impact the way we live and the level of freedom we experience. When we align our thinking with what the word of God says, we can tear down beliefs based on lies and forever change how we see ourselves and the world around us.
The sword is the offensive piece of our weaponry. Scripture defines the sword as the word of God. Victory is found when we attack lies, fears, and accusations with God’s word. This involves reading the scriptures and searching for promises and truths that will specifically pierce the attacks against your mind, soul and spirit. When we know the truth, we will know freedom (John 8:32).
Without this spiritual armor in place, we risk defeat. Our hope for victory is in the armor. Each piece has a purpose and it will serve its function when you put it on. Prayer activates the armor. Pray now, to be secure in the truth of who God says you are, covered in the righteousness of Christ, walking according to his ways, steadfast in all conditions, established with your mind set on the things of God and skilled at fighting lies with the truth of God’s word.
Game on. Are you ready to fight? For a deeper study of the armor, see The Armor of God, by Priscilla Shirer.