The Whole Armor of God

April 8, 2021 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying an orange background with a silhouetted man in a warrior pose. The Armor of God written as words in the shape of their description. For example, Shield of Faith words styled into the shape of a shield.

Have you ever read through Ephesians 6:10-18 on the whole armor of God and thought, “That seems like a lot of work to put on” and maybe feels impossible to do every day? Let’s break it down a bit because it really is an important part of our life and not one that we’re expected to do on our own.

Before we look at the details of the armor, it’s important to remember these two things written in verses 10-12:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full 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 rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

  1. We are told to be strong in the LORD and in the strength of HIS might. I think sometimes I tend to give myself too much credit in my mind as if because I’m saved, I am somehow in and of myself better able to handle things in this life. However, we can’t handle much, if anything, on our own and we aren’t just being told to be strong, but to be strong IN THE LORD and in HIS MIGHT. We do that by putting on the full armor OF GOD in order to stand. So really, step one is ridding ourselves of self-reliance and being dependent on what God gives us in order to be strong and stand against the schemes of the devil.
  2. We have to remember that this battle isn’t physical at all, it’s all in the spiritual realm. This may seem a bit unfair to us because it’s not like we’re angels that can see into the spiritual realm like it’s the physical. However, the odds are completely loaded in our favor because greater is He who is in us than he who is the world (1 John 4:4), so we’re able to fight successfully with the equipment and equipping God gives us. If we lose focus of this fact though, we can be left spiritually naked in battle and end up fighting the very people whom we’re supposed to be showing God’s love to. It’s a spiritual battle that needs spiritual armor and spiritual weapons.

The Whole Armor of God
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand 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 sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication (v.13-18a).

God gives us this armor freely, but we are required to take it up and use it in order to be effective in standing firm.

  • We have the belt of truth that holds up our pants so to speak. When the soldiers back in the day used to go to battle, they would gird up their loins (which let’s just be real, the tunics were like dresses). So they had to belt these tunics in order to fight and it would keep them from tripping. Truth keeps us focused so that we are not deceived and tripping, or falling into deception and sin. When we hear something that’s not true, we’ll be girded and ready with the truth, who is also the way and the life, Jesus.
  • We have the breastplate of righteousness, that covers our major internal organs, namely our heart. Our heart is deceitful in itself and our emotions can often mess with us, reminding us of our past failures that turns our stomach in knots and makes us want to curl into a ball of shame. As new creations in Christ, we don’t wear our own righteousness though, we are robed in Christ’s righteousness. We can stand tall in His righteousness in our battle position knowing that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
  • We have our feet with shoes of readiness given by the gospel of peace. We are ready to march into any battle knowing our shoes will not wear thin, because the gospel is for us the same yesterday as it is today as it will be tomorrow. We have a hope and are ready to give a reason for that hope to everyone we come in contact with. And as we go throughout battles, it’s our God of peace who gives us His peace.
  • We have the shield of faith in which we can extinguish ALL the flaming darts of the evil one, that we are told to take up in ALL circumstances. If you’ve ever seen movies of old Roman soldiers, they used to carry full body shields that they could stop, plant down, and take cover under as enemy archers would send over a sea of arrows at them. We too have a shield, our faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen, and with which it is impossible to please God without (Hebrews 11:1,6). Our faith is powerful and even with only as much as of a mustard seed, could we move mountains, then how effective it is against the lies the enemy shoots our way (Matthew 17:20).
  • We have the helmet of salvation. Our minds can often lead us into trouble if we over think and try to rationalize everything to death. The enemy is an excellent liar, mixing the perfect amount of truth with lies that it becomes a concoction of possibly an undetected deceit. We can know that we know that our salvation is 100% secure in Christ. No one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand and the Holy Spirit is our guarantee Who has sealed us (John 10:28-29; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
  • We have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. If you’re in a battle, would you ever put down your sword? Me either! I’d be gripping that thing so tightly and taking it with me everywhere. The same should hold true for our spiritual sword, which is both an offensive and defensive weapon. We have to realize too, that the devil tries to use the word of God against us sometimes, but it’s done in deceit. Satan will twist and add to and take out things from God’s word in an attempt to sword fight with us, and when he’s that close it’s often very personal, just like it was with Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Being a Berean, actively seeking the truth and testing every spirit, being prudent in attention to using your armor in conjunction together is essential (1 John 4). This sword is sharper than any two-edged, and can not only fight against the enemy, but God uses it to do surgery on our hearts, cutting away sin from us on the battle field (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
  • We have prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT. Prayer is often times regarded as a last resort option, but it is a powerful weapon that we should use in conjunction with our swords. Prayer for ourselves, prayer for the saints, prayers for others. The really cool thing about prayer too is that you can help fight spiritual battles all over the world. We can pray anywhere at any time. Prayers are like targeted missiles that the enemy can’t do anything about. We can be paralyzed or unable to talk and still offer up prayer and supplication in our hearts to God.

This section ends with a final word of instruction. “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (v.18b) We can’t dig a hole and stick out heads in it or just wear our armor and chill at home forever, we have to keep alert with all perseverance. Not to mention, we have a promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, but since when do gates move? That means we, the church, can’t be stuck in a building all the time, we have to get out and storm those gates, knowing we will be victorious if we get out there and fight. (Matthew 16:18)

My dear friend, the harvest is so plentiful, but the laborers are few and God is calling, “Whom shall I send?” Will you respond like Isaiah with, “Here I am, send me!”?

I encourage you to pray for the saints, keep alert, persevere by moving beyond the walls of the church building and fulfill your ministry of reconciliation, and always wear the full armor of God that you may be able to stand strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.