“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
A friend of mine once joined us in a paintball match wearing shorts and a t-shirt. We warned him of the consequences, but he ignored our advice and paid the price. His bruises were visible for days! The next time he came to play, he wore more layers of clothing than any of us! He came prepared for battle.
The fact that the Bible says we need to put on spiritual armor tells us some very important things about life. First, we’re in a spiritual battle. Second, we have a spiritual enemy! This is pretty important stuff don’t you think? Just as my friend was foolish to join in a paintball match in shorts and a t-shirt, we’re foolish to think we can take a stand against our spiritual enemy without God’s armor to defend and attack with.
“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.” Ephesians 6:12
Our spiritual fight is against an unseen enemy who is very real, very powerful, and more dangerous than any physical threat in the physical world. The devil’s strategy is to conquer and rule territory that belongs to God: our hearts, minds, and souls. What’s crucial to understand is that even though this is a spiritual battle, against a spiritual enemy…the casualties from this war affect us in very real, physical ways: alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual abuse, abortion, murder, depression, broken families. Losing the spiritual battle destroys the physical life.
“Stand firm then, with the BELT of TRUTH buckled around your waist, the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS in place, and your feet fitted with the SHOES of READINESS that come from the gospel of peace. In addition to 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.” Ephesians 6:15-17
The Bible describes six different pieces of spiritual armor that we must wear every day. This armor can’t be seen, but it can be “put on” by BELIEVING that God has made it available to us and by ASKING Him daily to dress us up. This armor is to be used both for defending our position as well as attacking the enemy and gaining new ground or regaining ground once lost. Dressed in God’s armor, the devil can’t stand against us. Without it, we won’t stand against him.
“GOD OF PROTECTION AND VICTORY! THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME ALL THE ARMOR AND WEAPONS I NEED TO STAND FIRM AGAINST THE DEVIL'S ATTACKS. I KNOW THAT ONLY IN YOU I AM COMPLETELY SAFE. I THANK YOU JESUS, FOR ALREADY WINNING THE WAR OVER SIN AND DEATH ONCE AND FOR ALL THROUGH YOUR DEATH ON THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION. I AM FULLY AWARE OF THE COSTLY AND ETERNAL CASUALTIES OF SIN THAT STILL EXIST IN THE WORLD TODAY SO HELP ME PUT ON ALL OF MY ARMOR TODAY AND EVERY DAY, AND THEN TAKE MY STAND AND FIGHT FOR THE SPIRITUAL LIVES OF THOSE AROUND ME AND FOR YOUR GLORY! AMEN."