Saturday, February 16, 2013

How to Put on the Armor of God

Only with the whole armor of God can we adequately protect ourselves from the roaring lion on the prowl, the one they call Satan. His evil plans have many layers and if we are foolish we will end up believing silly things like the reason we're in the middle east is to spread democracy. Let us not be fooled by any group of evil doers, and let us not find ourselves on the wrong side of epic struggles. We must put on the full armor of God to protect ourselves completely. So what is the armor of God? In Ephesians 6:10-19 we see the full description:

{6:10} Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in
the power of his might. {6:11} Put on the whole armour of
God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil. {6:12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
high [places. ]{6:13} Wherefore take unto you the whole
armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all, to stand. {6:14} Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the
breastplate of righteousness; {6:15} And your feet shod
with the preparation of the gospel of peace; {6:16} Above
all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. {6:17} And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God: {6:18} Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints; {6:19} And for
me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open
my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.

Let's break it down verse by verse and see how we can apply this to our lives. At the beginning of chapter six of Ephesians we are told to put on the whole armor of God. By doing this we will be able to withstand the temptations offered to us by wicked people in a wicked world. We are told to wear this armor so that we may stand in the dark days in which we live. Here are the pieces of the armor.
{6:14} Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the
breastplate of righteousness;

Girt is past tense for gird which means to hem in, loins refers to clothing. Truth is what should remember to have in our metaphorical clothing here. Truth is important, because without the truth what do we have? Always seek out the truth in all things. Ask for the truth to be revealed, and it will. Prayer is our communication to God and our acknowledgement of God. It's our way of showing our love for God. So below the armor as clothing we should wear truth!

The other piece of the suit here is the breast plate. We are told we are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness comes to us through the word of God. We are changed through it, and by that path we wear righteousness daily. How does this protect us? Wearing the honorable feeling of righteousness acts as a secondary line of defense to sin and desire based in flesh.

{6:15} And your feet shod
with the preparation of the gospel of peace

This part of the passage reminds us to have our feet shod. What does shod mean? It's a past tense of shoe! So on our feet, metaphorically, we should be prepared for our journey through the gospel. This is a gospel of peace we are reminded. How does this help us? It guides our steps to remain within the will of God.

{6:16} Above
all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Above all take the shield of faith! This we are told is the most important part of the armor of God. We must take the shield of faith! Faith protects us from the wicked. Faith is what holds our entire armor together. We hold our faith and trust in God that he will protect us. God is the shield, God protects us from all evil. The more faith we have in our prayers, in our God, and in our Bible the more we are protected as a result. Our trust and faith in God increases our love of God. This is powerful beyond our wildest comprehension. As you study the scripture and spend time in Christ your love and faith will increase long term!

{6:17} And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God:

These are the last two pieces of the armor. The helmet of salvation is the representation of Christ in the armor. He saved us from damnation and condemnation. This is the incredible gift of God. His grace is mounted on our heads and will protect us from ourselves and our enemies. The last part of the armor is the sword of the spirit, which we are told plainly is the word of God! This is how we defend ourselves outwardly from condemnation. This is how we spread the good news. The sword, through Christ is the Bible applied to spoken terms. It is our weapon against the wicked.

Alright so now we know what all the pieces of armor are, how do we put it on? Some believe that the armor of God is simply an overview of our spiritual roles, but I believe it to be actual armor we can wear. I pray for the armor, one piece at a time and thank God for his protection. Then I know I have it on, before entering situations that I feel are evil or dangerous. This is the prayer I pray:

"Dear God of creation,

Please stand with me. Grant me the full armor of God. Fill me with the truth, grant me the breastplate of righteousness, let me recall the gospels, wrap in the shield of faith in you, Plant the salvation of Christ upon my head. Arm me with the sword of your word, and make my voice true.

Through Christ, Amen."

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