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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Part 2: Put on Your Armor!

I love museums. I like looking at really old stuff. One of the items I find interesting is armor. You know the type. The big ol' heavy suit men wore back in the days of jousting. I can't imagine trying to walk around in that thing let alone riding a horse! Over the centuries there have been many different types of armor worn for many different reasons. But the one thing they all have in common is that they were made to protect the wearer. To protect the head, the heart, the body, the arms, the legs, the feet. Every inch of a person could be covered to prevent an injury or worse.

The Apostle Paul used armor to illustrate to us and the believers in Ephesus what we need to do in order to protect ourselves from attacks.

Attacks by whom?

See my last post for a better explanation, but the short answer is: Satan and his demons.

In Ephesians 6:10-18 we find the best advice ever given to Christians. It's a little long but well worth reading the whole thing!

"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. For 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 realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

First of all, notice who you are fighting against. It's not your spouse, your kids, your in-laws, your parents, your neighbors, your boss or anyone made of flesh and blood. Verse 12 clearly tells us who we are fighting against: the rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. None of us is equipped to fight that on our own! That's why we need the armor God provides. Secondly, notice it says "when the day of evil comes" not "if" it will come. Satan will attack you! He is the enemy. And like any soldier in battle, you have to be ready to fight at all times. That's where the Armor of God comes in.

Belt of Truth. Jesus is truth. (John 14:6) Satan is a deceiver. (John 8:44) Gird yourself with Truth!
Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate protects the heart, lungs and other vital organs that keep us going.  (Romans 3:22) We are made righteous by Jesus. Wear Him!
Feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Only Jesus brings true peace. (John 14:27) Where your feet go...the rest of your body has to follow. Protect your feet!
Shield of Faith. Our faith in Jesus gives us access to the supernatural power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5) Flaming arrows are extinguished when we are "soaked" in Faith!
Helmet of Salvation. A helmet protects our brain, eyes, mouth. (Romans 10:9) Our mind is the greatest plunder Satan is after!
Sword of the Spirit. Jesus himself used the Word of God to defeat Satan's temptations. (Luke 4:1-13) READ YOUR BIBLE DAILY!

It's vital that you have all your pieces of armor in place. A crafty enemy knows how to find weaknesses. Paul writes in verse 18: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

My prayer for every person who reads this blog post is that you will:

1) Know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!

2) That you will put on your Armor of God every single day so that you can stand firm!

We're in this thing together!

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