You wouldn’t dream of going out of the house without clothes, but too often we aren’t as serious or purposeful about suiting up for the spiritual battles we face each day. And believe me, we will face them, ready or not – dressed to fight or not.
To put this thought in context, the Apostle Paul in his letters to the Ephesians said we had to first “put off” the old clothes, like corruption and deceit before we could “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:21-24). He’s the one who said we need to get dressed each day for the spiritual battle ahead.
It’s toward the end of his letter that he lists which specific armor we’ll need to put on in order to stand a chance against our enemy. Paul readily agrees with Peter that our enemy is mighty, a roaring lion seeking believers to devour (1 Peter 5:8). But he also knows, like John, that we have an even greater power within us (1 John 4:4).
It was Jesus who revealed the “secret” of what Sunday school children learn as the Armor of God. He inspired each of these men to write about getting dressed for the battle so they could be in it and win it.
Put These on Daily
Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil dayEphesians 6:13
We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. It’s time we understood that. No person on this earth is our enemy. Our enemy is the ruler of darkness, Satan.
I hope that made you quiver a bit. No sane person would think they could take on this powerful archangel and defeat him. Even the battle general, Michael, had to struggle to defeat him when Moses died. And this powerful foe waylaid the archangel Gabriel when he delivered God’s message to Daniel.
There’s not a garment in our physical closet that can outfit us for the spiritual battle we’re facing today. But God has given us armor to put on.
Each day, we need to don:
- Truth – “have your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 5:14). Often called the belt of truth, this is the item a Roman soldier hung tools of war on, sure, but more than that it’s where he stuffed his tunic when he went into battle so he wouldn’t trip over it. Truth stabilizes us and keeps thing in their proper order. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and we’ll need it because our enemy is the father of lies. He’s had millennia to practice the art of telling lies that sound so close to the truth, people fall for them.
- Righteousness – The breastplate of righteousness protects your heart and vital organs. Righteousness is simply “being or doing what is right.” In this case, the standard of right is God’s Word and commandments, but we are in right standing with God as long as we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Satan knows he can’t touch our eternal righteousness, so he works hard to trip us up regarding daily obedience. Put on the righteousness of Christ by confessing your sins to him regularly (1 John 1:9).
- Peace – Sandals for a Roman soldier were studded with hobnails implanted in the soles of the shoe (think football cleats). This kept him from slipping and sliding and made it difficult for someone to knock him off balance. Peace refers to inner calm and stability. As the scripture said, this peace comes from knowing, believing and trusting the Gospel, that Jesus died and rose for us and lives to intercede for us and will fight for us.
Think of these three spiritual attributes as the undergarments for your spiritual self. Put them on first thing each day. Check on them regularly when the battle heats up.
The most essential tool is listed in verst 18 of Ephesians six. Make sure you’re always in touch with headquarters because you can be sure God is waiting to send reinforcements when things get hard.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the SpiritEphesians 6:18a
Wear These as Needed
The other three items of armor should be worn as needed. Two of them are defensive, so you’ll probably want to keep them close at hand and when in doubt, go ahead and snatch them up.
- Faith– Paul calls it a shield. He says it’s thick and strong enough to quench all the darts and fires Satan throws our way. Our faith in Christ is exactly what each battle tests.
- Salvation – Okay, once we’re saved, we’re always saved. So this salvation speaks more to the continual process of protecting our mind by renewal with an infusion of God’s Word. However, we don’t need a helmet for every activity, but we’d never go rock climbing without one. And we shouldn’t try to face down Satan without protecting our thoughts from attack by filling them with the promises of God.
There is only one item in this armor that can be used for offense. It’s listed sixth, the sword of the Spirit. Swords are used to ward off blows from an enemy as well as to cut down an opponent. Our Bible is the greatest single weapon God has given us. While we might only need to pick it up occasionally to fend off an attack from Satan or fight against his onslaught, we should read, study, meditate on, and memorize it daily.
Where are you headed today? Have you suited up? Are you wearing the foundational pieces of truth, righteousness and peace? You can win the spiritual battle today if you dress the part and rely on the Holy Spirit to fight for (and with) you.