Hanging in the entryway of my family home was a large picture of a man wearing a full suit of armor. The armor was even complete with chainmail around the face. Hanging as an adornment behind the large picture were two fairly large brass battle axe’s with a spear on the end of each one. I didn’t figure it out until I was older, but the man in the picture was the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce. Even though it took me a while to learn who Robert the Bruce was, it didn’t take me long to figure out how to use a pair of battle axes hanging on the wall.
I for sure remember the time my friend Andy and I decided to have an old fashion sword fight around the house. Everything was going well until I ran our couch straight through. I did my best to hide the evidence, but the stuffing of the couch peaking through the seat cushion made it a little obvious. Come to think of it, I’m thankful the couch was the only thing that got run through.
One of the most quintessential analogies of all of Paul’s letters is found in Ephesians 6, The Armor of God. These are the last recorded words of Paul to the church in Ephesus, the culmination of his entire letter to a people striving to live out the Christian life in a pagan nation. Three different times in this chapter, Paul instructs the Ephesians to “stand firm (v. 11, 13. 14).” His instruction isn’t for an arbitrary reason, but because, “our battle is not against flesh-and-blood (v. 12).”
The Armor of God
Here’s the thing about the armor of God: God gives it you, but we’re instructed to put it on (v. 13). In fact, many of you may have the armor of God, but it’s useless because you, not God, haven’t put it on. You gotta know: A pile of armor sitting in the corner of your room will do nothing to ensure your safety against the attacks of the devil! God gives it, but you have to put it on!
Here’s the other thing about the armor of God: You don’t get to choose what pieces. The scripture doesn’t say to put on pieces of the armor, it says, “put on every piece of God’s armor (v. 13).” Notice who’s armor it is? It’s God’s armor, not yours. Your armor stinks! Your armor is what got you into this mess. We are in need of God’s armor.
- (v. 14) Belt of Truth
- (v. 14) Breastplate of Righteousness
- (v. 15) Shoes Ready to Share the Gospel
- (v. 16) Shield of Faith
- (v. 17) Helmet of Salvation
- (v. 17) Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word)
Here’s the last thing about the armor of God: We tend to forget that Prayer is a part of the armor.
The last weapon might not seem like a weapon at all, but it is! We’re told in God’s word to pray with the Spirit’s power. We may ask, well how powerful is the Spirit of God? Well, Paul uses the word “boldly” or dunamis in the Greek. Like you’ve read before, this word is where we get our English word “dynamite.” Let me ask you this: Would it be helpful if you walked into every battle knowing the you had a stick of dynamite in your pocket you could use at any time? We’re told by Paul to, “pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (v. 18).”
Know that you have been given power and authority over the evil of this world. We fight this battle in the heavenly realms wearing the armor that God gave us. The only trick is that YOU have to put it on.