Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Many times, I have thanked God that I live in a free country, in peace. When I hear a plane or helicopter, I don’t need to run and hide, fearing bullets and bombs, like people in war-torn areas of this world. Though there were no planes or helicopters in Paul’s day, Rome was in control in much of the known world, and they ruled with a heavy hand. Not only was Israel under Roman occupation – soldiers everywhere – but Paul was in a Roman prison – guarded by Roman soldiers – when he wrote this letter. He saw the soldier’s armor up close and personal!
In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, Paul instructs the believers to put on “the full armor of God.” Although originally delivered to Ephesus, the intent was to pass this letter around to all the surrounding churches. It contains some really important teaching. If you haven’t read Ephesians in a while, I highly recommend it.
Paul explained in Ephesians 6:12,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Why do we need spiritual armor? Because we are in a spiritual war! I thought following Jesus was love, peace and joy. Doesn’t Scripture say we are to “love your neighbor as yourself?” (Leviticus 19:18, and Romans 12:18 instructs “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” And Jesus said He was giving us His peace.” What is all this talk about war? I want the “peace”, not war!
Jesus defeated Satan, but that doesn’t mean that Satan stopped fighting. His hatred for Almighty God – and us – drives Him to “steal, kill and destroy” everything and everyone he can.
Spiritual Warfare has been a journey for me, and not one I was originally interested in taking. As a new believer, I ran into circumstances where I needed to learn about it. We had people in the family into the occult, and that scared me. But when I was told I could stand against that, rebuke the evil spirits and fight, I freaked out. “No thanks! Not my job. I’m into peace. I don’t want to know anything about that!” Basically, I was happy sticking my head in the sand and staying away from all that stuff. (Remember, when you stick your head in the sand, you leave another part of your anatomy sticking up in the air waiting to be kicked!) I digress.
Because Papa God loves me, He wouldn’t let me stay there. He put people and circumstances in my path that compelled me to pay attention and learn. That is when I first heard about putting on the Armor of God. I read that Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18.)
I didn’t quite know everything that meant. Something about binding the enemy and loosing the victim??? I learned about “pleading the Blood,” praying the “protection of the Blood of Jesus over … everything.” I had so much fear. Before I’d pray against anything of the devil, I’d “cover” everyone and everything I could think of with the Blood of Jesus – my children, my husband, my extended family, my checkbook, my home, my pets, my appliances, jobs, health, everything! I knew God is All-Powerful, but I had no concept of the authority of the believer, or standing in faith, or… much of anything!
To say I was in fear of the enemy would be an understatement. And needing to put on the armor of God daily just heightened my fears. What if I missed something? What if I forgot? Would that open a door for the enemy to hurt my family?
As I grew, I learned more about the power of God’s Word. I learned that the devil is a liar – even about how much power he has. And I learned more about what the Armor of God actually is. And I put it on.
This begins a series on the Armor of God. I hope it blesses you and sets you free.
As we explore these verses,
Please show us Your Heart.
Teach us to rest in You,
Even as we learn to fight.
We trust You.
We are safe in Jesus,
Surrounded and Protected.
You are with us, in us,
and around us.
You are our Helper,
Our Ever-Present Help in Trouble.