Therefore put on the full armour 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 buckled round your waist, 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 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.
Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV)
Read: Ephesians 6:10-20
Consider: This is probably the most familiar part of the Ephesians 6 passage. Paul uses the imagery of a soldier preparing themselves for battle to convey to the believers that, as Christians, they are involved in a battle for which God has provided them with the necessary armour. The first thing to notice is that the armour is mostly defensive, with only one item being offensive.
Look at the items mentioned and you will notice that there is no armour provided for the back, giving an indication that when we are told to ‘stand your ground’ and ‘stand firm’ it is envisaged that we will face the enemy.
Think about the imagery of the soldier again and ask yourself the question: Would a soldier preparing for battle not bother to utilise all the equipment provided? Knowing this you can now understand Paul’s exhortation to ‘put on the full armour of God’. We are not expected to pick those items of armour that we might prefer. It is expected that all the armour is needed and should be utilised by the Christian. We’ve referred so often in past posts to the importance of knowing and understanding the Bible. Hopefully, you’ll see that this is not to be an academic interest, but one that seeks to utilise Scripture as a weapon to counter the devil’s temptations and accusations.
I like Eugene Peterson’s rendering of the whole armour passage in The Message:
‘Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon’.
Pray: Father, thank you that you have provided all the armour we need to live as Christians in a world that is dominated by things that will try to pull us away from you. May we utilise all the armour so that we can stand firm in the face of the devil’s temptations and accusations. Amen