The Armor of God

Posted: August 20, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Battle Ready

Many of us have at least heard about the armor of God.  In this post we are going to look at it with a new set of eyes.  See, in an earlier post we were made aware that there was a war raging.  I think sometimes we look at the armor of God and read it as if we were living in peace times.  The way you treat armor during war times and during peace times differ.

In peace times, your armor is important to maintain, but not on a regular, daily basis.  You want to make sure it’s all there and there is no rust or oxidation happening.  You don’t practice every day.  You don’t put all of your armor on.  But that all changes when war breaks out.  Now, you rely deeply on your armor every single day.  You know what your armor feels like.  You know its weaknesses and strengths.  You hold your shield and sword for hours upon hours each day.

We often treat the armor of God as if we are living in a peace-filled time.  We pick it up occasionally, dust it off and make sure it’s all there.  But we rarely treat it as if we wake up each day and prepare for the battle of the day.  We rarely believe that a battle will break out.  But as we know, that is not the case.  The battles are a constant daily matter.  You know the saying, “A knight in shining armor?”  Why shining?  Well because if you have rusted armor, you know that the person inside the armor really doesn’t care, and probably is rusty on his fighting skills, not just his armor.  But a knight in shining armor gives off a more polished lifestyle as well as armor.  They look as though they are ready for battle at a moment’s notice.

So let’s jump in to Ephesians where it talks about the armor of God.  Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”  Paul’s statement is directed to the reader, but his focus is not on the reader, it is on God.  When we battle, we like to think of our own abilities, our own strength.  But as Christ-followers, we do not have to rely on our own strength.  It is not that we can’t, it is that we don’t have to!  I do believe the devil lets us find victory with our own ability so that we begin to believe the lie that we can do it alone.  But, we have access to a strength that is far superior to ours, God’s!  Back in the day, armies would settle disputes with just 2 men instead of using the whole army, such is the case with David and Goliath.

There is a war that is taking place.  Ultimately it is good against evil, God against the powers of darkness.  The battle begins to falter when we try and step in and take God’s place.  Who defeated Goliath?  David throwing a rock?!  I don’t think he did.  That was God’s victory and David gave credit to God.  See, as we look at the pieces of the armor we will see that we are in a more defensive role than we are an offensive one.  We are to stand against the schemes, not fight against them.  Ephesians 6:12-13 “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.  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.”

We are to stand firm, not advance against the devil and defeat him, that’s Jesus role; but simply to stand against his schemes.

Let’s look at the actual armor now.

Ephesians 6:14 “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”  He doesn’t start with a sword, or shield or helmet, but a belt.  What does a belt do?  “The belt—known as the cingulum or balteus—played a crucial role in the effectiveness of a soldier’s armor. It was the belt that held the scabbard, without which there would be no place to put a sword. Imagine an overzealous soldier, fired up and charging out into battle—but without his belt, and consequently without a weapon!”( http://www.freebiblestudyguides.org/bible-teachings/armor-of-god-belt-of-truth.htm)  The belt was also accompanied by leather strips that hung in front of a man’s private area, keeping him somewhat safe.  How does this relate?  Without the truth of Jesus and his word, we will be laid bare just as if we had no belt and our personal area was exposed.  We would be exposed as frauds.

Then we have the breastplate of righteousness.  What does the breastplate conceal?  It takes care of our heart.  When we are apart from Christ we are slaves to sin.  Our heart and soul belongs to sin.  But when Christ changes our lives, we are slaves to righteousness.  Our heart belongs to God.  We have had our heart changed from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 11:19-20 “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.  I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them.  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”  Flesh is penetrable.  Therefore, we rely on the righteousness that Jesus brings to protect our heart.  All things flow from the heart, both physically speaking but also emotionally and spiritually.  It is our desires, our aspirations in life.  We must cover our hearts in righteousness.

Ephesians 6:15 “and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”  OK, so this one is interesting to me.  What do our shoes represent?  Readiness.  It is a preparedness, a boldness, courage, that we get not from ourselves, but from the gospel.  The gospel has equipped us to be bold and courageous.  Because we know that we do not have to fear anything or anyone and we do not have to prove ourselves worthy for our worth is in Christ.

Ephesians 6:16 “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”  Here is the first piece that we are to take up at all times.  Why at all times?  Because it is when our guard is down, when we become comfortable, that the devil seizes the opportunity and attacks the strongest.

Ephesians 6:17 “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Lastly we have the helmet and sword together.  They almost seem like an afterthought now.  Salvation is our hope.  1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”  Fear, anxiety, and worry all come from the mind.  It is our mind that works these out and presents them as plausible feelings.  But remembering the hope we have in salvation, we need not fear, worry, or be anxious about anything.  But where can we truly receive the assurance of our hope?  From the sword, the very word of God.  It is our only offensive weapon because it is all we need.  God does the fighting for us with his words.  Remember it was with his words that he created all things and controls all things.  Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

It is so crazy how God works.  He tells us to dress for battle and be prepared, but we are simply to defend.  Because we can’t fight?  No, because we don’t have to.  God fights, and we get the reward.  We get the eternal reward which is eternity with God!

In Christ’s Love,
Josh

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