GOD’S ARMOR Eph. 6:10-17
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
“Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb….” Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armor on…”, “We’re marching on to Zion..” are all very familiar to each of us. We have been singing them for many years. I’ve been thinking about these songs and asking if I am being a true soldier. As you read this, please think on these things.
This instruction is given to the Ephesian brethren by Paul and is applicable to us today as we find ourselves in similar conditions. (See chapter 2:12) The entire letter to the Ephesians is a guide book for being a Christian. Let us consider the closing exhortation to the letter.
Armor is designed and used to protect warriors in battle; whether the battle is pitched or from ambush. No soldier in the army led by Joshua would have gone out without his armor. No modern soldier or even police officer would go out without his armor. It is his protection from assault by any foe. So too is God’s armor for His soldiers.
Some may not want to be considered a warrior. Being a warrior does not mean you cannot love peace; but we cannot buy peace at the cost of yielding it to Satan and his minions by silence or compromise. God told us to stand!
Standing is not popular in our politically correct society, nor is following God in all things. Let us be proud to stand with God in all things! Six times in the New Testament alone, we are told “all things are possible with God”. We all want to be found as righteous soldiers who have fought the good fight, as Paul refers to it, and have a crown laid up for us in heaven.
Our protection is God.
Rom. 13:12-14 it is the armor of light; and we put on the Lord Jesus Christ
John 1:4, 5 He (Christ) is the light of life
II Cor. 6:7 it is called the armor of righteousness
Luke 11:22 A strong man takes away the defeated one’s armor and divides the spoils
Armor is a protective covering that can vanquish enemies who would do harm to the wearer, while we are protected from their weapons. It must fit. It must be maintained. It must be used in practice to teach us to use it properly to protect ourselves from all evils. Remember when young David was about to battle the Philistine giant? King Saul wanted David to wear his armor; none finer existed. But it did not fit, so David could not use it. David chose rather to trust wholly in God and enter the battle with God beside him. (“With God all things are possible…”) While our battles today are not so physical in nature, our choice of armor and our enemy remains unchanged: “if God be for us, who can be against us?” These passages are applicable to spiritual activities and should be always in our minds.
The Scriptures plainly teach us to maintain our armor.. II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved…” Such a verse clearly indicates that as a Christian, we must first achieve approval and then continue to work; to be found a ‘workman’ who uses that which he has mastered on a regular basis.
From Gal. 1:8,9 we learn that we must know and skillfully use God’s gospel. “If any man preach any other gospel, let him be accursed…”. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a vengeful God. We should then be fully prepared to skillfully use the armor God has provided us.
Gal.6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ”. Gal.6:1 “If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one” These verses indicate some of the duties assigned to us as Christians which can only be performed during our daily lives. We must be prepared and practiced at all times to battle Satan for any lost soul.
Think also of the story in Matt 25:1 of the 10 virgins who attended the wedding. Five were prepared and 5 were ill-prepared. Only the fully prepared got to participate in the wedding events!
But armor is useless unless we are in battle. No one wears armor to appear fashionable. It would be ridiculous. If not fitted, maintained, used in preparation to achieve skill, then armor is just a fashion statement. In Romans 13:12-14 we read: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Matt.28:19, 20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” Pet 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
If we are to be about our Father’s business as Christ was, then we must daily defeat Satan in every walk of life.
We should remember we are in battle though, and some battle injuries occur by accident and some by intent. We must always be prepared. It should not even cross our minds to leave home in the morning without asking God’s protection throughout the day. With God, all things are possible. God provides our armor, but WE have to use it. As one who has been in physical battle, and experienced the fear and carnage that battle brings about, I would never tread in enemy territory without all the armor (protection) available to me. Nor would I dream of going into the devil’s territory without God and the armor He provides. God has provided us with Shepherds to watch for our souls, a loving family to help us, and wonderful facilities for us to meet and worship Him. We are all thankful for these good things. But being in services is only a part of the battle God intends us to wage; in fact it could be the least likely place for spiritual battle to occur. God’s armor is for everyday use.
God expects more from us than just to attend services. Let us not be deceived, the devil stalks about as a roaring lion seeking those he can devour. Look at the protection provided us by God’s armor:
- Our torso girded (protected and strengthened) with truth.
- A breastplate of righteousness to protect all our vital organs
- Our feet shod with the preparation of truth (in NT times, the shoes extended to the knee to protect the lower legs as well)
- The shield of faith to block bullets, arrows, darts and swords, from all parts of our bodies
- The helmet of salvation to protect from crushing blows and cuts
- The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God; our only offensive weapon, but is also defensive in nature.
With all this protection and God as our helper, why would we ever consider not standing against evil? There was a country music song that in part said “you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Good words to think about. Do we stand daily with God, or only on the weekends? No army ever accomplished anything without conditioning, training, exercising, leadership, honor, and following orders. Skill is required to survive in a physical confrontation and is more required to stand before the great spiritual enemy: Satan.
May God give each of us understanding and wisdom to use that which He has provided. And may we each have the dedication of Christ in being always about our Father’s business.