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. (Ephesians 6:10-11)
Yesterday, we explored the struggle that Paul discusses in Ephesians. We identified what that struggle is, the need to take a stand against it, and where to find the strength to do just that. Today, let’s talk about the specific armor that Paul gives us to enter into the battle against the enemy. How do we fight in hand to hand combat against the enemy?
God has given us the complete armor to fight every single battle the enemy will bring our way. Paul broke down the armor very specifically according to how the Romans wore it in their day for battle. Then he applied the scriptural meaning to it. The reason he did this is because he knew that in that day the fight was against something bigger than this world. The same is for us today! Here are Paul’s words:
“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.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
The battles that you fight daily will take the strength of God. Each morning you should begin your day by putting on the full armor of God. I will walk you through each piece of armor and it’s spiritual meaning. Please take the time to physically put it on in your mind and watch what God will do in your life when you are armed with the gear He has given you to fight with.
1. Belt of Truth ~ buckled around your waist (vs. 14)
*When you study the Romans uniform, you will learn how important the belt is. It was a very secure piece of leather around the waist that held one main function; to be the foundation where the sword and dagger could hang securely.
Applying Truth: the belt is needed around the waist to hold the weapons of war securely. It is the belt of Truth like Jesus Christ is the foundation of Truth for our lives. Jesus is the way, the Truth, and the life…(John 14:6). Without the foundation of Christ in our lives, we have nothing to place the rest of our weapons of war on.
2. Breastplate of Righteousness (vs. 14)
*The Romans often fought in hand to hand combat. They were in close contact, so they needed to be in comfortable armor. But at the same time it needed to be sturdy. The breastplate was sometimes made of leather and other times made of bronze. The bronze would be softened by a woolen scarf worn around the neck. The breastplate was very important because it protected all the vital organs. A trained soldier would never fight without knowing that it could put his life in jeopardy.
Applying Righteousness: Do you want to enter the work place without protecting your heart from the enemy? Remember, our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Righteousness comes through Jesus alone and the moment we believe that we have earned it, we are living free from the Breastplate of Righteousness. We need the protection of Jesus. It is His Righteousness that protects us, heals us, keeps us, and saves us! This is a critical piece of armor, as it reminds us to do the right thing.
3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (vs. 15)
*The Roman sandals came up over the ankles and were held together by leather straps. The Romans were prepared for whatever weather they faced in and out of battle.
Applying Readiness and Peace: We as Christians cannot enter a battle without having the proper attitude. The soldiers took time to prepare there sandals for whatever the weather would be like in the battles they faced. Jesus came to earth, lived a life for us, died, and was resurrected again to show us what real peace looks like. He has done that to prepare us for the battle ahead. He walked in real sandals on this earth and He wants us to walk forward in boldness, peace, and assurance of the victory we have in Him!
4. Shield of Faith – take it up to extinguish the flaming arrows from the enemy. (vs. 16)
*The Roman shield was 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It was enough to cover a man from the flaming arrows of the armies he faced. And when the Roman soldiers put the shields together they were like a brick wall that no arrow could pass through.
Applying Faith: Take up your shield! It’s time to start extinguishing some fiery arrows. Keep your shield in your hand, never drop it. In this, I mean keep your eyes on Jesus. “The enemy knows how to frighten us with arrows of fear and doubt. Yet it is safer to trust in Christ in the heat of the battle than to hide in bomb shelters of our own making (Mart De Haan, Been Thinking About).”
5. Helmet of Salvation (vs. 17)
*For the most part, the Roman helmet was made of bronze. There were some that were made of iron and leather. They covered the face and even most of the neck. They were very necessary for survival in war.
Applying Salvation: Jesus is our covering. He is the helmet, the deliverer for our souls through the blood He shed. We cannot deliver ourselves. We need to depend on Jesus for everything! He is our source for salvation, our deliverance for every situation whether spiritual, physical, or emotional. He is our hope for a future unseen. Our redeemer! We have to entrust ourselves to God and place our hope in Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
6. The Sword of the Spirit ~ which is the Word of God (vs. 17)
*The Roman soldier carried a small dagger and a double-edged sword. The sword was 24 inches long and 2 inches wide. Both of these weapons were attached to the belt and used during war. The dagger was used in close combat, while the sword was used in close-quarter combat and in a skilled soldiers hands it was a deadly weapon.
Applying the Word of God: The one active piece of armor. This piece of armor needs to be sharpened daily. The Word of God needs to be hidden in your heart so you can pierce into the darkness with it.
I promise you that if you put all this armor on every day and use it against the battles you face, you will notice a difference. You can win the battles you face in the armor God has provided. Defeat the enemy, victory is yours and always will be in the hands of the Lord!
Dear Father God, I take up the belt of Truth around my waist, the breastplate of Righteousness to cover my heart, I prepare my feet to carry out the gospel of your peace, I take up my shield of faith to extinguish the enemies fiery arrows, I put on my helmet of salvation which reminds me to be grateful for all Your Son did for me on the Cross, and I continue to sharpen my Sword in the Spirit. My armor is on Lord! Here I am, ready for battle!
Fully Armed and Dangerous,