As a soldier preparing to go into battle, you would be foolish not to prepare yourself as much as possible. You may not know the enemy’s strategy or plan of attack but that doesn’t mean you enter the fight without protection. You have a helmet for your head, a bullet proof vest to cover your upper body and several other pieces of equipment to protect other parts of your body.
If your body armor gets hit during battle, it might still hurt, but the plates take the blunt of the force, thus saving you. In order to stay safe in the next battle you need to swap out broken pieces of armor and most importantly, put all of it back on of course.
The same goes for your spiritual armor (see Ephesians 6:10-18). You need to put it on daily and on some days, when the attacks just keep on coming, you may even need to put it on again and again and again.
It helps me to actually go through the motions of picking up piece by piece and putting it on, as I make declarations over myself and get ready for my day before I leave my house in the morning.
So what exactly is the Armor of God?
You start with the Belt of Truth that is buckled around your waist (Ephesians 6:14). The Truth is the Word of God so this belt protects you against the lies of the enemy. Think of a boxer and the belt they wear underneath their shorts in order to cover their loins. Those hits are considered cheap shots and the same goes for spiritual low blows. They come out of nowhere and sting pretty bad. They are the unfair ones, but then again when did the devil ever play fair?
In the amplified Bible the Belt of Truth, or Band of Truth, is also referenced to personal integrity and moral courage. Think about that when the enemy is trying to deal you a low blow. Don’t loose your personal integrity because of a lie the devil is telling you or telling on you.
Next is your Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) for an upright heart. In the midst of the battle we can sometimes loose sight of what is right. We may want to get even and sometimes we are about to loose heart when the fight goes on and on and on. So remember that this breastplate is covering and protecting your heart!
A soldier also needs boots, right? So, the armor God has given you covers your feet as well as they get fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15) so that you can face the enemy with firm-footed stability. Stand your ground. Don’t let the attacks of the enemy move you. Also, remember to walk in peace! No matter what the devil throws at you, what your coworker might do or say today or what your spouse did or didn’t do, you can make a decision right now that you will walk in peace and not be moved!
When you think about a medieval knight, a main piece of armor they carried into battle was a shield. Some shields were very small and only protected portions of the knight’s body. Other shields were pretty large, covering almost the entire upper body and even parts of the legs.
Ephesians 6:16 tells us that we have been given a “[protective] Shield of Faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (AMP). Did you catch that? It says ALL the flaming arrows, not just some but every single one!
Now think back to the different sizes of shields the knights carried. When it comes to how big your Shield of Faith is, think about how much faith you have. We all have been given a measure of faith (see Romans 12:3) by God, but it is up to us what we do with it.
Faith is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger and bigger it gets. And there is really no way around it. I can’t go to the gym for your and lift weights so you can gain strength and get in shape (wouldn’t that be great though?). Usually the people with a strong faith have been through their share of trials and tribulations and have overcome one attack of the enemy after another.
So the more you grow your faith, the bigger your Shield of Faith will be.
One very important (maybe the most important) body part is still left unprotected at this point so take the Helmet of Salvation to cover your head and protect your mind (see Ephesians 6:17). The devil loves to dump his lies and his garbage into our heads and next thing you know you ponder and dwell on all the junk he just unloaded on you. A lot of times we can be our own worst enemy because of the way we think.
Because this is so important plenty of books have been written on this subject alone, like “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer.
I told you earlier that I physically go through the motions of putting my armor on in the mornings and as I do I make declarations over myself. When I put on my Helmet of Salvation I also declare over myself that I have been given a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7), that I am not led by my emotions but by God, and that I take every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
Up until now every piece of armor you put on was to protect you. You are covered from head to toe against the attacks of the enemy so you can see how important the defense is when it comes to spiritual warfare.
However, you have also been given a weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (see Ephesians 6:17).
When the devil comes at you with lies, use your sword, the Word of God, to cut right through those attacks with the truth. Whatever he tries to tell you or show you, if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, it is not true.
The Bible is filled with promises from God that you can stand on. These are your weapons.
For example, when the devil tells you that you will always be struggling financially, tell him that your Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and that God will open the “windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Malachi 3:10).
The Word of God is more powerful than anything else, which is why Jesus quoted scripture to the devil when he tempted Jesus in the desert. Each time Satan tried to test him Jesus answered “it is written” (see Mathew 4:4) and the devil finally stopped because he knew he couldn’t win this one.
So now that you have your full armor on, you can “stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
You are not helpless. The enemy will not defeat you. You are a mighty warrior called for a time as this. Stay alert. You got this!