When Paul talks about the "full armor of God" in Ephesians 6:10-18, he is speaking as one who is familiar with armor. In those days there were Roman soldiers on every corner. I imagine some were often in full armor, ready to do battle against their enemies. They needed complete protection if they were to survive an attack.
We are no different than those Roman soldiers. Verse 13 says we need to be ready "when" the day of evil comes. It doesn't say "if" the day of evil comes! So, since we know we're going to face battles and attacks in this life--sometimes every single day!--we have to be ready and fully protected if we hope to have any chance at defeating our enemy.
Verse 14 begins the list of what is required:
1. The belt of truth buckled around your waist. If you go out without a belt, you might lose your drawers and become exposed!! YIKES! Don't want that to happen. Keeping ourselves securely wrapped in the Truth prevents us from being left exposed and therefore vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.
2. The breastplate of righteousness in place. A breastplate protected the heart and other vital organs! Without it, a sword could pierce you and instantly end your life. Believe me when I say our enemy wants our hearts!! Protect it!
3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. The King James version says, "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Our feet take us everywhere we go. Shoes give us that readiness to go out and about in the world. But try walking around a whole day without your shoes. Rocks, broken glass, gum, oil, dirt, and all kinds of other stuff can hurt you, get you dirty, and make your feet sore. You need shoes, just like you need the readiness/preparation of the gospel of peace.
4. Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I have an interesting hand-written notation in my Bible about shields. Back in Paul's day, shields were often made of leather and wood. Before battle, a soldier would soak his shield in water in case the enemy used flaming arrows. The wet shield extinguished the fire. We absolutely need to be soaked in faith so we won't be burned by all of Satan's "flaming arrows." And the first part of this verse says "take up" the shield of faith. Your faith needs to be an action!
5. The helmet of salvation. This is a no-brainer. (Pun intended. Ha!) Your brain is protected by a helmet. Hubby has a motorcycle and we enjoy going out for rides. We always wear helmets. It would be foolish not to. And trying to do battle against the enemy of this world without the salvation that comes through believing in Jesus Christ is just as foolish. Without it, we are susceptible to all kinds of misguided and flat-out wrong ideas and beliefs.
6. The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The first five articles of armor protect us. This last one, however, is our weapon! We simply can't go into battle without a weapon, and we simply can't have a good grasp on that weapon if we aren't familiar with it! We have to know the Bible, which is the Word of God! We have to know what it says about the enemy! We have to know what it says about living a life that is ready for battle. We have to know what it says! Period!! Pick up your sword every single day, folks!
There isn't any way for the enemy to win if you're ready for battle!! And I don't know about you, but I positively LOVE it when I defeat him! Woohoo!
(Originally posted July 2009)
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