11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the worldâ€™s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, 13Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; 16above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. â€“ Ephesians 6:10-20 (WEB)
I have encountered quite a few people who pray-on the whole armor of God each and every morning. I have even taught people that this is a good idea. Iâ€™m not taking that suggestion back, either.
But there is a ritual way of praying on the armor that just goes over the words but doesnâ€™t get to the meaning. Praying on the armor is only going to be of value if you believe what youâ€™re praying and that means to think it as well. I suggest that as you mention each part of this passage that you not only say the words, but you stop to listen to what God might have to tell you about that subject for your day.
But today I want to talk about living Godâ€™s armor. Each of these items takes something very important from the gospel Paul teaches and tells you to make it part of what you think and believe, but also of how you act. Iâ€™m not trying to emphasize action over prayer, but I do think we all need to emphasize both action and prayer.
Think about these things:
- Belt of truth
Is being truthful with others and with yourself your paramount consideration? It is so easy for us to get into self-deception. It is even easier to be careless with the truth. Do you live truthfully?
- Breastplate of righteousness
Are you trusting in Christâ€™s righteousness? There is something else that happens when you truly put your trust in Christâ€”he begins to change you, to make you new. Christâ€™s righteousness needs to be something that you donâ€™t just think of during your morning devotions. You need to think of it all day long.
- Shoes of the proclamation of peace
Sometimes we misread this as â€œshoes of us being peaceful.â€ But these those are to take us out proclaiming the gospel of peace to the whole world. Do you see your mission each day as one of evangelismâ€”proclaiming good news?
- Shield of faith
When trouble assails you is your first thought how you must deal with everything, or is your first thought about what you can do? Now Iâ€™m not saying you donâ€™t have to do thingsâ€”you do! But if prayer came first, and you put the problem in Godâ€™s hands, it will work much better. This is one I especially need to work on!
- Helmet of salvation
Salvation is something God does. Do you ever verbally â€œput onâ€ the helmet of salvation and then wonder about your relationship to God during the day? Do you think he did a lousy job of saving you? Do you think heâ€™s going to let you slip accidentally? This is one of the enemyâ€™s greatest forms of attack. The enemy must first separate you from God before he can do the rest of his work.
- The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God
This is near and dear to my heart. I think we frequently decide weâ€™re taking up the sword of the Spirit when we are really just holding bits and pieces of metal. Why? Because we havenâ€™t spent time taking in Godâ€™s Word. Donâ€™t announce that youâ€™re taking up the Sword of the Spirit when you havenâ€™t even opened the book that day or meditated on something God has said.
Each of these things is very important and all go back to the gospel. Paul wants you to put your trust in Jesus as your savior and then to trust his leading. Jesus Christ is the armor of God in a sense. Put on Christ (Romans 13:14).