Understanding the Armor of God

The Armor of God is a common part of scripture among Christians. Many Christians are acquainted with it and can probably recall the six pieces of armor, spoken about in Ephesians 6:10-18, with little effort. Although it is good to be aware of the Armor of God, just knowing it will not be enough to see its full effect and purpose in your life.

The Armor of God is obviously not a physical armor which you put on nor was it created to protect you against physical attacks. The Armor of God was created to protect you spiritually. Each individual parts of the Armor has a specific purpose and protects certain parts of your being. If you look at the six pieces of armor i.e. the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. Each are very fundamental to the life of a Christian and Paul compares it to the dress code of the Roman soldiers during the time of the early church. As each part of the physical armor protects certain parts of the physical body of a soldier, so does each part of the Armor of God, which is spiritual, protect certain parts of your spirituality.

The Armor of God is related to the Good Fight of Faith. God gives us His Armor not to look good spiritually, but because we are fighting against spiritual enemies and because we need to win this fight and be prosperous Christians. There is no use in fighting the good fight of faith if you’re not planning on winning it. Why would you fight against the sin in your life if you’re not planning on getting rid of it? We are fighting the good fight of faith, because we want to win the good fight of faith. Simply put, the good fight of faith is what you do to be a Christian. Meaning that as a Christian we need to fight against all the sinful desires within us and all the sinful things we encounter everyday in this world so that we can live a righteous sanctified life, not just hanging on to the grace of God but also wanting to be a spotless bride. This is the fight every Christian partakes in and according to the Bible, this fight ends the day you leave this earth. Look at the following scripture:

James 1:13-15 NLT

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

As long as you are in a physical body, you will always have desires that tempt you to sin. The Bible says that we are not tempted by God, but by our own sinful desires. We don’t only have desires within us that wants us to sin, but the world around us and the people we encounter very often influences us to sin or even to want to sin and we, as Christians, need to fight against these influences and desires not physically, but spiritually and this is the good fight of faith.

We must understand the manner in which Paul writes about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. Before he describes the pieces of God’s Armor he first addresses fundamental elements to understand about the spiritual warfare we participate in as Christians and how we should use the Armor of God.

Ephesians 6:10 NLT

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Paul starts this part of Ephesians 6, dealing with the Armor of God, with this verse. It is fundamental to understand that the Armor of God is God’s Armor. We didn’t create or form it. It’s not our Armor. The reason why I’m writing this is because you need to understand that first of all it is God’s Armor, and God’s Armor together with your strength is worth nothing and will not win you the good fight of faith. You need to find your strength in God. Seek Him and don’t try to stand strong on your own feet for it won’t last long. God’s Armor was created to be used with God’s strength. Only when this happens the Armor can serve its full purpose.

Ephesians 6:11 NLT

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

As a Christian you need to know that you are visible on satan’s radar. Non-Christians aren’t a threat for satan, but Christians who strive to do the work of God makes satan feel very uncomfortable. He is always trying to find ways to tempt you in your weakness and trying to get you to focus on the pleasures of this world rather than the eternal treasure we have in Christ.

1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us that we need the Armor of God in order to stand strong against satan’s attacks on us and be assured there will surely be attacks on you. We need the Armor of God not to seek a life where attacks no longer come our way, but where these inevitable attacks don’t knock us off course, but we stand strong in the midst of these attacks.

Ephesians 6:12 NLT

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Like I wrote before, the Armor of God is not created to help us against physical opposition, but rather against spiritual opposition. Verse twelve indicates to us who our opposition is and who we have to fight against as Christians. Note that Paul describes these powers of the dark world as mighty. This is also why Paul uses words like “resist”, “be alert”, “stand firm” and “be prepared” throughout this particular text. We shouldn’t expect to have an easy fight or to easily be all that God has called us to be, because our opposition is mighty. Not mightier than God who lives within us, but we’ll need to give everything we are in order to walk worthy of the call that God has placed within us.

Ephesians 6:13 NLT

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Moving on to verse thirteen, the last verse of this post, we need to grasp the detail hidden within the sentence. Paul says we must put on EVERY piece of God’s Armor. Not just those pieces that we might desperately need or those that we have already mastered. It’s important to put on every piece. If you don’t put on certain pieces than those areas of your spirituality that is left exposed will be targeted by satan. You might think you’ll be fine without the Helmet of Salvation, but satan will be aware that you’re not covering your head and will find ways to corrupt your thoughts and mindset. We shouldn’t be naive and think that we are strong enough to defeat satan with our own strength, because satan will knock us out. He will tempt you in areas which he knows you struggle with and it will discourage you immensely if you think that you can defeat satan, because you will fail almost every time. This is why satan don’t want us to grow closer to God or to have a more intimate relationship with God, because as we grow closer to God we draw strength from Him and so we become victorious in our battles against satan.

God has given us authority over evil i.e. authority over satan and sin, but we have this authority in Jesus through our faith in Him. Satan is not intimidated by your self-made methods to live pure, because most of our methods don’t last long nor does it really cleanse us from sin. But he is so terrified of what God can do through us that he has committed his entire existence, after being thrown out of heaven, to stop us from following God.

Sometimes we realize how anointed we are not necessarily by the heights we have conquered but by the resistance we have to endure to reach those heights.

In verse thirteen, Paul also says that you will have to face a time of evil. You are going to have to war against yourself and against these evil spirits in high places to be a self-controlled Christians. Paul insinuates here that we will have opposition, but also that we need the Armor of God to be victorious over this opposition and still be close to God. “Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

This is what we need to understand if we want to get the fullness out of the Armor of God and be victorious in our good fight of faith.

A description of each piece of the Armor of God is still to be posted individually in the category titled: The Armor of God

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