"Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." Ephesians 6:11
The Ephesians 6:10ff passage is so powerful and insightful on how we, the church, the body of Christ, and as individuals, can withstand attacks against evil. Evil is strong and powerful, but let us note, evil is not flesh-and-blood, as it states in verse 12, it is Satan himself. He is the dark force in this world. But we can praise God, our Heavenly Father, that he has overcome this world and through the Cross Satan was defeated.
In this passage, Paul drew a powerful comparison between the Roman Soldiers' armor, which was known to give them a very distinct advantage over their enemies, and the Spiritual armor of God. He reminds us, as warriors for Christ, of the tools God has given us to Stand Firm against the devil and hold tight to the grace and mercy of Christ.
The Belt of truth – The belt was the first thing a Roman soldier put on and it held many necessities and defenses for the soldier. As Christians, we should cloth ourselves with the word of God in the morning to build our foundation for battle that day. The word of God allows us to stand firm and grounded in truth and not the lies that the devil will try and fight us with.
The Breastplate of Righteousness – The devil often attacks our heart, telling us we are not worthy but just as the breastplate protected the heart, we are to protect our heart and stand firm in God’s righteousness. We are made right in God’s sight because of what Jesus did. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus.
The Shoes of peace that comes from the Good news – Romans had special footwear that provided an advantage. They were strong in their stance and balance. We are to be strong and rooted in the word of God and the peace that it provides us when tough situations come our way.
The Shield of Faith – The Romans had a much larger shield that allows them to kneel behind or form together from the fiery arrows. Our faith in God and his promises protects us from the devil’s fiery arrows. Our faith rests in God fighting our battles for us and this faith allows us to see past these trials and into a hope of ultimate victory.
The Helmet of Salvation – The greatest battlefield is in our mind. The devil makes us doubt our salvation but Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 that we are to focus our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. We are to be with God in thought and prayer, for when we are, he will give us a clear mind and a mind full of peace to stand firm against the evil one.
The Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) – our offensive weapon that we can use to defeat the devil. For no power in the universe can stand against the word of God. Scripture memorization can be our biggest attack weapon when we feel negative and unworthy thoughts creep in.
Clothe yourself, build your armor, and get battle ready. For you are a warrior of Christ.