By putting on the full armor of God, we can declare the good news with boldness and fearlessness.
The Christian life is a life of spiritual battle. Such reality results from a fallen world overcome by sin as seen in the Bible and the present day we live in. One way we experience this warfare is through the many trials and difficulties we have in our lives. But we can overcome temptation and submit to God’s truth by standing firm in His righteousness and putting on God’s armor.
What is the Armor of God?
In the Christian life, we do not necessarily have to fight in the flesh and shed blood. We battle against rulers and the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by the devil, who is a vicious fighter (1 Peter 5:8). To withstand these spiritual forces from the dark world, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His protection. All the Lord’s people need to be armed and stand firm in truth in His righteousness.
We face a powerful army from the dark world whose goal is to defeat Christ Jesus’ church. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns because Satan is constantly trying every device to turn us away from the Lord. To defeat Satan, Jesus responded with a supernatural power by giving us His Holy Spirit within us and His full armor surrounding us.
The book of Ephesians explains the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Paul used this as imagery to describe the effective weapon and defense a Christian has in spiritual warfare. The full spiritual armor of protection, as written in Scripture, encompasses several parts that the Lord’s people put on.
What Comprises the Full Armor of God According to the Bible?
Belt of truth
The enemy in this spiritual battle is the father of lies (John 8:44). One way Satan wages war against evil forces is to shake up our identity in Christ by hammering lies in our minds. These lies eventually result in sin and suffering. The belt of truth buckled around your waist is the truth of the gospel that tells us our place before the Heavenly Father. A practical way we can put on the belt of truth is by reading God’s word and memorizing scriptures.
Breastplate of righteousness
We tend to be caught up by worldly desires and sinful pursuits. But through God’s righteousness and the example of Jesus, we can turn away from temptation and submit to God’s mighty power. The breastplate of righteousness with your feet fitted postures you into obedience.
Gospel of peace
We worry about anything. This worry steals us from being at peace in God’s grace. We are to anchor our lives to the gospel of peace of the Lord. Reading the Bible is the quickest way to do this. In this way, our peace is unshakable and unfaltering. It will demolish strongholds of fear and doubt from our hearts and minds.
Shield of faith – To quench all the flaming arrows
The shield of faith protects us from the assault of the devil’s schemes. This faith is not something that comes from within us. It is God’s gift to us. As Christians, we are to go on the path of God by faith and not by our perceptions and circumstances (2 Corinthians 5:7). With that, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of evil one.
Helmet of salvation
Salvation is a gift of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). This salvation is available to us because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Because of Jesus, we can put on this helmet of salvation through His grace. We can be fearless in an environment of terror and uncertainty because the helmet protects us from the real enemy.
Sword of the Spirit against Spiritual Forces
In Christian spiritual warfare, our sword is the Bible, and it is our only weapon. Just like Jesus, we too are tempted by the enemy. The devil tempts us to disobey God and step out of our standing before Him. Therefore as followers of the Word, we are to arm ourselves with the sword of salvation and the sword of spirit by reading God’s Word. We should not take for granted reading the word of God and living it out so that we can wield the sword of the spirit against all the fiery darts and devil’s schemes.
Prayers to Our Lord Jesus Christ
Our physical strength has no use in the war in the heavenly realms. It is why prayers are an essential element in putting on the full armor of God. Praying is a means to lay down our cares to the Lord. It is also a way by which we submit to His sovereignty, unconditional love, and authority over our lives. We declare our worship to the God who has won the victory over sin and death by constantly praying.
Reasons to Put on the Full Armor of God
To stand firm in the faith
The enemy in the dark world of spiritual warfare recognizes when to throw punches. These evil attacks feel more crippling during times we are at our frailest. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12, we cannot war in the heavenly realms on our strength. Putting on the whole spiritual defense and resting our faith in Him allows us to be unwavering. It gives us the courage to take a stand for the Lord and not stumble. It fuels us with truth buckled around the waist so that we could stand in truth until we reach the finish line.
The evil assault of Satan comes in varied tactics. Some may be apparent such as illnesses. We may be healthy now, but our flesh and blood could only do so much to keep diseases from weakening us. Others are more subtle such as deception through television and social media, which often makes us question our self-worth.
The protection of God shields us from the evil one. Of course, the Lord’s shield does not always mean that we will not suffer. We will experience loss, grief, affliction, and persecution. The Lord’s protection means that even amid tribulation, God is with us. He is good and faithful. God is mighty to deliver us from trouble. He is our refuge, our peace, and our help (Psalm 46:1)
Submission and obedience to God
Acceptance of Jesus guarantees eternal life for those who believe and the strength to obey and follow God. Jesus modeled the perfect example of submission and obedience. We do not obey Him by manufactured strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit. And with obedience should come feet fitted with readiness to do what is required of us. The full protection of God transforms our minds and hearts to be in submission to Him.
How Can We Put on the Armor of God in Our Lives?
Immerse yourself in Scripture
Regularly reading God’s word is a spiritual discipline a Christian cannot afford to take for granted. We can pray to God to plant in our hearts the desire to know Him more through Scripture reading. It may be helpful for us to allot a specific time during the day to read the Bible. Some prefer reading first thing in the morning. On the other hand, others choose to read before they sleep at night. Find a schedule and habit that works for you. Lastly, we must make sure that we live out the message of the Scripture and stand firm in the word of God.
Turn away from temptation
Temptation is common to everyone; our powers and strength are nothing compared to resisting them. One person may be struggling with the temptations of lust, while another is not. But no matter the temptation we face, the word of God says that the Lord will provide us an escape to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). The protection of God strengthens our conviction against temptation and sin. Though we are given powers to stand against temptation, it will do us well to stay out of circumstances.
Share the gospel and minister to others
God calls and uses different people to share in the work of Christ. The requirements of being a follower of the Way are not the same as the requirements of the world. Putting on this special armor equips us with kingdom-building. Sharing the gospel and ministering to others is a command of God and not a mere option for a Christian (Matthew 28:19).
As we draw closer to God, we transform in a way where our lives become a stage for His glory to show. Wearing the whole armor of God gives us the boldness to share the gospel even if others persecute us for it. Witnessing for Christ is living in Christlikeness. We can do this by journeying with others in both joy and pain (Romans 12:15) and extending compassion to those in need.
Remember God’s faithfulness
When we are going through suffering, we tend to think that God has forsaken us. It becomes difficult to believe that God is good and faithful. It will be helpful for us to remember how God worked in and through us, especially during trying times. An easy way to do this is to have a journal to write your spiritual breakthroughs. Memories of the times God has come through for us serve as a reminder of who He is.
Live out your salvation
The Word says that our salvation is to be worked out (Philippians 2:12). These works are an indication of a life transformed from death to life. Living out our salvation means that we allow God to be the ruler of our lives. We relinquish our control and surrender to His authority. We act by His will, focus on Jesus in all seasons, and be steadfast through His armor.
Be committed to prayer
Most Christians stagnate in their prayer life at some point in their walk in Christ. Some of us feel bored when we pray. We occupy our minds with many worries and don’t have space for devotion. Other times, maybe we don’t know what to say. Because of the finished work of Jesus in Calvary, we can come before God in prayer. As Christians, we know that prayers can move mountains.
One way we can ensure that we do not neglect to pray is to find a consistent meditation time. Make devotion an indispensable part of your day. Our Scripture reading can accompany this prayer time. When we are at a loss for words, we can always pray Scripture verses. We also pray with a heart that expects and watches for God’s answers (Colossians 4:2).
The spiritual battle is not a made-up scheme. The enemy wages war on believers – from deception to chaos, from fear to illness. The full armor of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, and prayers – gear us up for this warfare. We put on the armor God gave us to anchor ourselves to Him.
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