“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.”Ephesians 6:13/NIV
As you watch full-contact sporting events, you will notice in most cases that players are covered with protective gear from head to toe. Obviously, the protective gear will minimize risk of sustaining serious injuries from the opponent and help ensure a long career in their sport. On the playing field, each team is dressed in different uniforms, and it is easy to know who the opponent is and be prepared for battle. In the “spiritual realm,” it is not always easy to know who the adversary is and who you will battle. If you are not certain who the opponent is, how would you begin to protect yourself from evil attacks? Let’s turn to the Bible for guidance!
In the Bible, the book of Ephesians (6:10-17) encourages us to be “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” and that we should “put on the full armor of God” so that we can take a stand against the “devil’s schemes.” The Bible teaches us that our struggle is not against “flesh and blood” but “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Initially, I discussed how teams in the sporting world know who the opponent is, and they are ready for battle. Teams must play by rules and guidelines to keep the event fair and as equitable as possible in sporting events. The Bible indicates the opponents that mankind faces are “spiritual forces of evil” who are from the “dark world” who don’t fight fairly! What choices do believers in God and followers of Jesus Christ have? Let’s see what the Bible says!
When the Bible speaks about the full armor of God, what is that? Let’s explore further. When you read about the “full armor,” you realize each piece serves a purpose and is an important aspect of our Christian qualities and walk (Ephesians 6:14-17): “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.”
Each piece of the armament represents qualities that we should have that will help us stand against the “devil’s schemes:” belt of truth; breastplate of righteousness; feet fitted with the gospel of Jesus Christ; shield of faith; helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit.” By our own accord, we will most likely fail with our attempts to fight off satanic attacks, but we can be successful if we are dressed in the “full armor of God.” We can know “truth” through reading the Bible and applying the passages to our lives. As we know God and His Son Jesus Christ and have the Spirit within us, and follow the instruction provided by the Bible, we can make good decisions that will assist us with a “righteous” lifestyle.
As we know Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we may have the “gospel of peace” and Christ-like qualities within us. “Faith” in God and knowing that He loves us can protect us from the “devil’s schemes.” The “helmet of salvation” relates to knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal savior and the protection this provides through growing with Him. The sword of the Spirit is God’s Holy Word which we should read daily and incorporate passages into our memory that will provide us with wisdom and guidance.
Life is not a fair fight, and as we head out the door each day, we face many challenges and difficulties. Sometimes the adversity we face is not due to any wrongdoing on our part but may be secondary to the “devil’s schemes.” To stand a chance against the “powers of the dark world,” put on the full armor of God daily!
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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