In the last chapter we referenced Ephesians chapter 6 and spoke about the Sword of the Spirit aka “Word of God” being the only offensive and defensive weapon listed in the “Armor of God” and the very thing that Jesus used against the Devil when he was tempted by Satan. Although, “The Word” is an imperative piece of that armor it is not the ONLY piece that is essential for our success! As a result, I would like to further elaborate on this subject of overcoming spiritual attacks…
No one in their right mind would choose to go into a war zone without the necessary armor and weaponry if it were at their disposal! If you could clothe yourself in invincibility armor with weapons that would, not only give you the upper hand, but actually ASSURE your victory, you’d be a FOOL to decline or attempt to go into the battle ill equipped in any other way! YET so often this is what we do from a spiritual perspective!
Put on the FULL armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (NIV)
“Taking a stand against the Devils schemes…” Based upon the next verse in that chapter (Ephesians 6:12) we understand that our battles are not rooted in the physical realm… they may manifest themselves as physical but they are rooted in Spirit.
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.
Not understanding the meaning of the FULL armor of God or the COMPLETE armor of God can be detrimental to our successes as it pertains to fighting against the Devils attacks.
Each piece of the armor is intended to protect, defend and/or fight against the attacks of our adversary. Leave a piece of that armor off and you leave an aspect of yourself exposed to attack and/or injury. BUT when fully clothed/protected in “God’s Armor”, the enemy doesn’t even see YOU he sees God because, it’s HIS armor!
Lets read Ephesians 6:10-17 and then break down the meaning of each piece of the Armor of God…
Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For 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.
13Therefore 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.
14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The first piece of the Armor mentioned is “The Belt of Truth”. There are a few things that I would like to point out about this first piece, “Truth”… The #1 essential understanding about “truth” is that the Word of God IS truth! It is an all-important prerequisite that we recognize that God’s Word is the FINAL authority! It is TRUTH whether or not we are seeing the manifested application of it in our lives …YET! Knowing that Word and having that Truth tightly wrapped around your other armor is an essential to keeping the rest of the armor in place during battle! All that God has promised us in His Word is FOR US! It is TRUTH! It is LIFE! If there is a promise in the bible…it is FOR YOU!!!
To quote a pastor friend of mine (Jeffrey Smith, COL ORLANDO!!! Whoop Whoop!!), “How can you defend your rights if you don’t know what they are? Memorize scripture! Don’t just read it, learn it!”
I think that statement says it all! The Word of God holds the Truth that we need to understand but if we don’t READ it, we can’t KNOW it, and if we don’t KNOW it, we can’t USE it… The rest of the Armor of God literally rests and is secured on this first piece!
The next piece of the Armor of God is The Breastplate of Righteousness. If the bible says that “our righteousness is as filthy rags to God” then why is this listed in the Armor of God…? Because it is not OUR Righteousness! First of all, let me define Righteousness in layman’s terms, “Righteousness” means “Right-standing with God”. We become the “Righteousness of God” through Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22). We are literally MADE righteous by the blood of Jesus and as a result can walk IN God’s righteousness by following His leading and Word for our lives once we are in covenant with Him! It is true that we are not “made righteous” by anything that we do or don’t do per se’…HOWEVER, we CAN step outside of “Right-standing with Him” when we choose to do things that oppose His leading or that is not in agreement with the TRUTH of His Word! (See the connection?) Just because we are saved or in covenant with God does not mean that we cannot step outside of His will or desire for our lives…It doesn’t mean we are not saved but it could leave us exposed if we TAKE OFF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS…
It’s interesting to me to think about what “Righteousness” covers… The Heart, the lungs, the digestive track, the liver, spleen…All covered by Righteousness! Think about the spiritual parallels for the function of each of those physical organs! (That could be a chapter all in itself!)
The next piece is the “Shoes”… “Feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace…” Initially when I considered this piece of Armor, I was a bit “under-impressed”… but then I thought about it a bit deeper… Consider being in a battle, you are weighed down with armor, the terrain is rocky and dry, the enemy is coming against you and you are having to FIGHT for your very life… how difficult would it be to maintain traction, to think about the fight, to concern the attack of the enemy, to mount any kind of offensive attack if you were having to consider your feet being cut, bruised, broken…etc… The “Readiness of the Gospel of Peace” I think is two-sided, In order to be ready WITH the Gospel of Peace, you have to first understand and POSSESS IT!!!
The bible says that our PEACE was purchased at the same time that salvation was purchased! “The Chastisement of our PEACE was upon Him”… Jesus went further to say, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…Let not your heart be troubled”… David talked about this kind of “peace of God” in Psalm 23 when he says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemy”… I love that scripture because he is literally referring to sitting down and eating in peace with God while surrounded by those who would KILL him! THAT IS THE PEACE OF GOD!
This “Salvation” that we have IS a gospel of Peace! It levels the playing field, it takes no account of our past or who we have been… This gospel places us in a position to have peace about eternity, about our relationship with God, about our past sins, about our future…because they are ALL covered! So, we have a “Readiness” in this Gospel of Peace to be able to apply it to our lives, to WALK IN IT (That statement is SOO POWERFUL…We walk in God’s Peace, how appropriate when talking about our shoes), and to convey it to those we come in contact with…
Our feet which bear the weight of the rest of our body AND the rest of the armor…surrounded by the Peace of God… Peace is ours, but we won’t understand it, know it, or walk in it until we first secure “Truth”, which helps us understand God’s “Righteousness” which allows us to walk in His “PEACE!”
Next is the “Shield of Faith” which helps us to extinguish or guards us against the attacks/fiery darts of the enemy. I recently had someone ask me, “Aaron, do you think I just don’t have enough faith…?” I didn’t think that was the case at all, but I DO think that the OTHER pieces of God’s Armor work in CONJUNCTION with and COMPLIMENT the other pieces! And if all are not applied, there could be an area that is under equipped…We understand the Truth, we apply/put on God’s Righteousness, We walk in HIS Peace, THEN when the fiery darts come against us, our shield of Faith is in full functionality!
The bible says Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF GOD… Literally, each piece of this armor becomes interconnected with our body and as a result, each other…we are the link between each piece! And Ephesians 6 uses the action words “PUT ON” to emphasize that it is OUR responsibility to equip ourselves with the armor that is available to us!
It’s A LOT easier to have “Faith” when you have “PEACE”! It’s SO MUCH easier to trust God when you know that you are walking in HIS Righteousness! And it’s the difference between Night and Day when you come to a Heart knowledge that His Word is TRUTH and what it says is, FOR YOU!!!
The final two pieces are addressed in the same sentence…The Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
Psalms 140:7 (NAS) says, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation [Yeshua], You have covered my head in the day of battle”
Jesus (Yeshua) in Hebrew means Salvation…So that previous scripture literally means that Jesus/Salvation covers our head in the day of battle!
Colossians 1:18 says “He (Jesus) is the Head of the Body, the church.”
Salvation is understood because of our acceptance of the Truth, Righteousness, Gospel of Peace and our Faith in the totality of the work accomplished…We can have faith because of the understanding we obtain and ultimately the application of our understanding as we then extend our faith and receive salvation which allows us to have the “Mind of Christ” for life and the battles that we come against. We can have the wisdom of God because of our covenant with God through Christ and the Salvation that He has provided… This “helmet” protects the mind, the eyes, the ears and the mouth, all of which are used in navigating our battles…Interestingly, the mouth actually becomes the very tool implemented to wield the next and final piece of armor… The Sword of the Spirit!
And as we amply elaborated on, in the previous chapter, it is the Sword of the Spirit that is used to defend against, attack, take authority over and overcome our enemy!
Salvation is understood by learning the truth, and the Sword of the Spirit is properly wielded against our enemy because of our understanding and application OF that Truth!
One final note: The FULL/COMPLETE Armor of God, is all frontal armor! It’s intended for FORWARD progress! The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”… There is no “retreat” armor… Through Him we are more than conquerors! We are an unstoppable force when we are adequately clothed in God’s Armor!
I think, many times, people look only at ONE aspect of the Armor of God (The Shield of Faith) and assume that they simply don’t have a big enough shield to stand against the devil… The bible says that we have each been given a measure of faith… and even a SMALL, minute measure of faith can move mountains… As a result, I think it may be more probable that we have taken off or failed to put on a different piece of that necessary FULL armor, and, as a result, may be leaving ourselves exposed… Just a thought that I think is worth pondering…
Ignorance is simply, “not knowing what we don’t know…” I hope that this may have shed a bit more light on what it means to equip ourselves with the FULL/COMPLETE Armor of God…PUT IT ON and KEEP IT ON!!!
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…
If you can dig it…Say, “WORD!!!”