God equips us with spiritual armor to stand firm in the spiritual battles we face. Explore the meaning of the armor of God in this meditation on Ephesians 6:10-18 that shows why we need to put on the armor of God and how to do it.
As I scroll social media feeds, I am burdened to learn of deep losses of many friends. I know I am not the only one facing hard things, grieved by loss in my life and darkening days around the globe. In the shadow of loss, I feel small, weary, and vulnerable. Maybe you do too.
In my quiet time, I sense the Spirit speak to my soul, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
Today I declare God’s Word rather than give into fear or get lost in grief.
I choose to look beyond appearances. God has both promised and commanded us to trust in his strength and might. I could use more strength and might right now. How about you?
The word might stops me in my tracks. I feel powerless to fix broken lives around me and uncertainty of the future feels scary. Might is God’s ability to do, to manifest his full power and strength. Because he has the power and might to defeat evil, we don’t have to have all the answers or battle it out alone. Our best response is to grab hold of God’s strength by faith and not let go.
God’s strength becomes ours through receiving and trusting.
How counter-intuitive this is to our human instinct to depend on ourselves. We want rush in and do big things that lead to amazing victories. And wrap it all up by dinner time.
When our strategies fail, we say, “Well, there’s nothing left to do now but pray.”
To fight first and resort to prayer if nothing else works is not God’s way. This is not how we experience victory in our spiritual battles and it certainly doesn’t help us put on the armor of God.
The Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18.
As I meditate on Ephesians 6:10-18, the passage the Lord brought to mind, the words seem to come to life.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints. . . (Ephesians 6:10-18 NASB).
What is the armor of God?
Spiritual warfare is part of every-day living this side of heaven.
At times, spiritual warfare comes in ordinary thoughts, misperceptions, irritations, conflicts, and disappointments. But there are times when spiritual attack blasts in hard and heavy. Unexpected trauma knocks us off our feet, leaving us dazed and disoriented. Our souls want to buckle beneath the burdens we bear. How we respond to the darts and arrows of the Enemy makes a powerful difference.The armor of God is a lifestyle rather than a checklist. #armorofgod #standfirminfaith Click To Tweet
In the book The Invisible War, Chip Ingram reminds us “the armor is a description of how we are to live out a dynamic relationship with Jesus. This is a lifestyle, not a checklist. These pieces of protection aren’t things that we can mechanically pray onto ourselves each morning in a step-by-step routine. It is a visual aid to help us understand how to live out a relationship with the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is, of course, important to understand what these things are and how to apply them, but there’s nothing ritualistic about them. Putting them on doesn’t happen merely through a brief morning prayer time. It’s a lifestyle issue – the product of weeks, months, and years of practice and cultivation. This is something we do, not a formula we recite” (84).
Ho there, I’m busted. Um. . . I’ve prayed the armor of God that way. . .a lot.
How many times have I recited the armor of God like a mantra, a good luck charm against evil that might invade my day? There is faith in this kind of armoring up, but it is a quick and get on with it kind of thing.
Today is different. I’ve seen the Enemy march in to kill, steal, and destroy those I love. Repeated bad news has become a deep call to intercessory prayer. The battles are real and the stakes are high.
- Debilitating disease and death claimed my sister as well as two other family members in the past few months.
- Broken relationships have ripped apart two marriages of family members we love deeply.
- Families have fractured and the fall out grieves my soul.
- My heart already misses my daughter who packs her suitcase for her return to her home in Canada.
- Our world cringes in horror at this week’s headlines as war breaks out between Russian and the Ukraine.
Spiritual warfare is real. Really real.
Maybe you sense the spirit of heaviness in the onslaught of strife that rips through our nation. Maybe you are one of the many who have poured your hurt, grief, need, or loss into the echoing chambers of social media feeds. If this is you, friend, you are in my prayers.
It’s time to stand firm in the armor of God.
I pray through the next phrase in this passage, listening for anything God wants to say.
The call to pray in faith resounds as Father draws my attention to words “Put on the FULL armor OF GOD.”
1. Put on the armor of God.
It’s time to put on the armor of God. Right now. Today. Not tomorrow or some other day when it is more convenient or we feel more spiritual.
The FULL armor- this means that there is nothing lacking, nothing that falls short. In this complete protection, we are fully covered…. when we put it on.
Isn’t it easy to leave these spiritual weapons dusty and unused in the pages of our Bibles?
2. Who’s armor is it?
This is His armor, this protection and equipping God provides. As I mull over this passage, the Spirit reveals that this armor is a gift of grace that protects and empowers. I don’t think I have thought much about what a gift from God this armor is. These days, I need God’s covering like my lungs need air.
3. The action of taking up God’s armor.
God reminds me to armor up in the protection He has provided. To “take up” the full armor of God is translated in the KJV as “take unto you” which means to raise, to take up a thing, to use it, to receive, and to take up, in, or unto. There’s something intensely personal about putting on the armor of God.
We take up our gear with faithful intention through prayer and perseverance.
Stand firm in the battle.
Easy to say, right? On our good days when all is right with the world, the deception of the Enemy seems a distant rumble. Standing firm seems a given for the believer. No big deal.
And yet, Ephesians 6 calls us to the priority of standing firm in our daily battles big and small. Putting on the complete armor of God coupled with consistent prayer in the Spirit empowers us to stand firm in the strength of Christ.
Using our armor for defense and offense is the Spirit-empowered condition where spiritual battles are waged and won. In these days, taking up the full armor of God empowers us to stand firm against the “the schemes of the devil”.When battles for souls rage, living in the full armor of God is the path to victory. #armorofgod #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet
As I reflect on this power-packed passage, strength rises in my soul. I feel faith increase with a renewed energy and resolve.
Conviction pulses through my veins with the power of God.
- Stand on the truth of God’s Word no matter where the winds of culture blow.
- Stand in the power of the Gospel when faced with the reality of sin.
- Stand with the grit and tenacity of a bulldog with a bone in his mouth.
- Stand with a soul-deep refusal to doubt the sovereignty of God or the presence of Christ in the fray.
- Stand firm and don’t relinquish ground to the Enemy.
Today and every day, “stand firm.” Don’t give an inch of territory to the Devil.
What helps you to stand firm in the armor of God? Leave a comment and let me know!
Many spiritual battles begin with our thoughts.
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