Are you ready for the spiritual battles to come?
In the previous article, we looked at the details and meaning of each of the six armor pieces of God. In this article, we will dive deeper into purpose for each of the six pieces of the armor of God, and how to put on the full armor of God in practical ways. It is essential as a follower of Jesus Christ, that you would put on the full armor of God, so that each day you can fight the good fight and keep the faith until our Lord’s return (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Once more, Let’s go back to the main passage of this discussion, Ephesians 6:10-18, and reflect on how we can put on the full armor of God:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” ~ Ephesians 6:10-18
How to put on the full armor of God
1. Belt of Truth
Jesus himself said to his disciples (and speaking to us as well) in John 8:31-32,
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus was even more direct when He declared in John 14:6,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Since Jesus himself is the truth, without Jesus in your life and hearing His words, you would not have the truth that you need on a daily basis to protect yourself from the lies of the devil and this world. If you are allowing yourself to be fed lies everyday by what you see on your smartphone, internet and TV, you will not be able to stand firm against Satan, who heavily influences a lot of the evil we see in the world today. Thus, as believers, putting on the belt of truth means that you are actively reading and meditating on the Bible, and praying to God based on what you have read. You can be confident that God’s word is true, as all of the words contained within it are inspired by God himself, leading around 40 different authors to write over a span of almost two millennia, all inspired by the Holy Spirit. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we clearly read that
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
Apart from the belt of truth, how do we put on the breastplate of righteousness? The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21,
“for our sake he (God the Father) made him (Jesus the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.”
If you have had your eyes open to the truth of the word of God, these words should amaze you and leave you in awe. God himself, Jesus Christ, came and died the death of a sinner, taking our place on the cross when He himself never sinned. His sacrifice on the cross is what makes us righteous in God’s eyes, because we cannot be in God’s presence without the blood sacrifice of His son Jesus. Since we have no righteousness of our own, To put on the breastplate of righteousness means that we need to literally
“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).
How do we put on Jesus Christ, and what does that mean practically? There are entire sermons dedicated to what putting on Jesus looks like. You know that you are putting on Jesus in your daily life when you can admit and proclaim for your own life, what the apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20-21,
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
The word of God is so rich and so deep that we need the Holy Spirit’s help to understand what God is trying to tell us. Putting on Jesus means that you have to actively fight against the sin in your life, and
Only through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is it possible to fight against sin and win the battle.
3. Shoes of the Gospel
Putting on the shoes of the gospel means that as a follower of Jesus, you are actively moving and sharing the gospel (the good news of salvation from sins through Jesus Christ). God has given us a grand privilege to share His promise of salvation with the rest of the world, making us His earthly ambassadors to share and proclaim His word (2 Corinthians 5:20). If we don’t share the gospel,
“How then will they (the unbelievers) call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15
4. Shield of Faith
Doubt, worry, uncertainty, and fear are some of the main “flaming darts” that the evil one can throw against you in your Christian walk and harm your relationship with God in the present, so it is essential to have a strong faith in God. This faith found in the shield of faith not only involves the saving faith that we obtain by grace as found in Ephesians 2:8-9, but it is also the kind of faith that we need daily to stand firm against the attacks of Satan and the world. The twelve disciples of Jesus Christ were afraid when they were caught in a storm, and Jesus ended up calming that storm (Matthew 8:23-27). During the storm, Jesus asked them “
Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Are you worried, have anxiety, or are afraid of the future on a regular basis? Jesus tells us to not worry about this life (Matthew 6:25-34), Since God is able to provide for all of our needs. Even if God chooses not to provide for you in this life, to heal your sickness, take away your pain or worry, you can rejoice knowing that you are saved for eternity if you have placed faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and obey his commandments (James 2:14-26). If you end up manifesting doubt, worry, uncertainty, or fear in your own life on a regular basis, you are not taking up the shield of faith and are lacking faith in God and his promises. If you are lacking faith in the present but do have faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross, this does not mean that you are not saved, but you must remember that you are fighting a constant spiritual battle which requires the shield of faith to stand firm. There may be moments were we lack faith in God, as in the example of the twelve disciples’ lack of faith in Matthew 8:23-27. However, if you read on in the book of Acts, you will find that Jesus’ disciples, especially Simon Peter, who we mentioned before in the previous article lacked faith on numerous occasions and had denied Jesus three times during his arrest, was able to grow a very strong faith in God.
5. Helmet of Salvation
If salvation is not something that we can obtain all on our own, how can we then put on this spiritual helmet of salvation? That is the beauty of what God did for us around 2000 years ago when Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth and died for us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” ~ Romans 5:8-10.
We are able to protect our mind from Satan, the world, and our own sinful nature by remembering and clinging to the promise of salvation. This promise of salvation in Romans 5:8-10 states that we are ultimately saved not from sin itself, but from God’s wrath because of the sins we have committed against Him, and that we are saved through Jesus’ life. Therefore, we must place our hope in God and His word, taking on the attitude of king David from the book of Psalms, where he says
“my soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word” ~ Psalm 119:81.
6. Sword of the Holy Spirit
You or someone may have told you before that the Bible is just a collection of stories from thousands of years ago. From this passage, we clearly see that God’s word, the Bible, is alive, and it can pierce our hearts and minds unlike the words of any other book on earth. This means that we need God’s word in order to fight against the spiritual evil of the world. When Jesus Christ returns back to earth, He will defeat all of those who are against Him with the “sword of His mouth,” which is God’s word (Revelation 19:15). To successfully put on the full armor of God, you must thus take the sword of the Holy Spirit in your hands. In a practical way, you need to have the thoughts of your mind saturated with God’s words on a daily basis (Philippians 4:8), so that you could effectively fight back against the sin and evil of this world. You need to be meditating on God’s word day and night (Psalm 1), in order to stand firm as a follower of Jesus. Ultimately, we must abide in Jesus and His word, because we cannot do anything without Him (John 15:1-17).
Putting on the whole armor of God in practice:
Thus far, we have examined how to put on the full armor of God in practical ways. If these words have encouraged you so far, please be sure to share them with your friends, family, neighbors, and even people you may not know, to equip them for the invisible, spiritual warfare that we face on a daily basis. The next time you pray or read God’s word, never hesitate to ask God directly about putting on the full armor of God, because He listens to His children (1 John 5:14-15),
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” ~ Matthew 21:22.