"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." – Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)
Isn't it odd that every time you set out to do the work of God, you seem to be pushed back, resisted, or bombarded with attacks to your mind, relationships, and perhaps even your physical body itself? It can be really daunting, disheartening, and make you feel like you are in a battle for your life! Well, I hate to tell you this, but you are, in fact, in a battle for your life! Because of Satan and the evils of this world, we as believers are in a battle for our lives and for the whole of Christianity. We are fighting for God and the fight is hard! There is however, hope since God understands our battle and our needs to fight.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we must put on the armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil. But, what is the armor of God anyway? Today, I would like to start a new series with you all about the armor of God. Throughout the series, we will learn what it means to put on this armor, all the pieces we must put on, and how to use each piece to its fullest. Our first article in this series will look at what the armor of God is as a whole as we begin to understand what Paul means when he says to put on the whole armor of God.
Well let's start with the most basic understanding we need to have of the armor of God: what is it Anyway? Is this something that I have to go to Big 5 and buy? Is it like Knight's armor, heavy and bulky? What is it? First and foremost, what we must understand is the armor of God is meant to help us fight something we cannot see. Therefore, the Paul says we must put on the armor of God, it is not something that we can tangibly hold. Rather, it is something tied intrinsically to our spiritual life. So, if the armor of God is not physical, why is it called armor?
Paul was known for using imagery, much like Jesus did, to help Believers understand what he meant when he talked about certain spiritual ideas. The use of the image of armor would be familiar to Believers in Paul's time due to their familiarity with Rome and its soldiers. So the image that Paul uses is largely derivative of the Roman soldier kit, or armor, that would have been seen regularly buy those in Roman occupied regions. These images however, are not alien to us as we have an understanding of ancient and medieval warfare as well.
Now, I'm sure you're saying " yes Whitney, I understand that Paul uses the image of armor to help Believers understand the key pieces of the armor of God, but what are the pieces anyway?" Very good question and I would love to go over each piece quickly here in this article today, and then we will look at them in a more in-depth matter in the upcoming articles.
In Ephesians 6:13-18, Paul says, "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 buckled around 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. 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 Lord’s people."
So we have our pieces of armor: belt, breastplate, shoes, Shield, helmet, and sword; and we also have prayer. In this way we can see that these really do make up an armor of some sort. However, if these pieces are spiritual and not physical, the understanding of how to put them on might be a little bit confusing. In our upcoming articles we will discuss each piece of armor on its own and get a better understanding of what it does, how to put it on, and why it's so important to our battle against the evil one. We will also discuss the ways in which Satan attacks us and tries to help us forget about the weapons at our disposal. I hope you will join me throughout this series as we learn more about what it means to be a faith soldier for God!
Want more Jesus in your life? Follow Whitney Gibbs Ministries on our Facebook and Instagram!