Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. 12We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.
14Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. 15Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.
18Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people. 19Pray that I will be given the message to speak and that I may fearlessly explain the mystery about the good news. 20I was sent to do this work, and that’s the reason I am in jail. So pray that I will be brave and will speak as I should. â€“ Ephesians 6:10-20 (CEV)
Do you put on the armor of God before going out to represent Jesus in the world?
Iâ€™ve seen many ways that Christians have of putting on the armor of God. Some read this passage of scripture and meditate on it. Others will pray a prayer related to each item of armor. Some go through the motions of putting on the various items. Some renew their armor when going into a particularly tough situation. Others think that by asking Jesus to be with them and the Holy Spirit to guide them during their day, they have put on the armor.
I donâ€™t want to criticize any of these approaches. What I do want to do is remind us of the meaning of this armor. I also want to remind us that we never want to take our armor off. Even though the translation I read uses some slightly different terminology, Iâ€™m going to use the terms most people are used to for the item of armor.
Belt of truth â€“ When you put on the belt of truth, you are surrounding yourself with truth. Do you suit your actions to your words? Do you surround yourself with truth, and present only the truth to others around you throughout the day? Godâ€™s truth will protect you. Walk in truth!
Breastplate of righteousness â€“ Godâ€™s righteousness and justice is offered to you. Put it on, but also take it in. Let Godâ€™s righteousness become more natural to you each day.
Shoes of the gospel of peace â€“ This means that you spread the good news where you walk, through the truth and righteousness you are wrapped in, and by the peacefulness of your actions. Let your shoes spread Godâ€™s peace wherever you are.
Shield of faith â€“ The Christian life doesnâ€™t always go the way weâ€™d like it to. If we live by the moment, any dart the enemy sends our way can push us under. But faith, which includes faithfulness carries us through whatever comes.
Helmet of Salvation â€“ there is nothing like the assurance that God loves you to keep you steady. God loves you. He provided for your salvation. He accepts you as you are. Let that brighten your every thought through the day.
Sword of the spirit â€“ donâ€™t just take the sword in your hand as a book, but let Godâ€™s word pierce to your heart and judge your thoughts and attitudes. The Christianâ€™s sword is different from other swords in that we really need to use it on ourselves first. Godâ€™s word is alive and active and reveals whatâ€™s really in you. (Hebrews 4:12 & 13)
So today Lord, let me be truthful in all things. Let me discern and hear the truth, but especially let me speak the truth. Make it like a belt, all the way around me. I want to show your righteousness and your justice. Let it defend me from the enemy, but let me also spread that justice to those around me. Let me be faithful, Lord, no matter what is thrown at me. Let me put out the fires of attack and not fuel them. Wherever I walk, let me bring peace because of the good news that you have bridged the gap and reconciled us to you, Lord. Let me reconcile myself to others. Let me spread reconciliation. Give me peace and joy because I already know my salvation in you. Thank you Lord! I pray that your word will guide my thoughts and my life. I pray that I will never use that sword to hurt anyone, but only to rid the world of evil and of hurtful things. In the name of Jesus, Amen!
Paul tells us in Galatians 3:27 that if we have been baptized into Christ, we have put on Christ. Each of these elements of the armor of God characterizes part of our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ.