Take unto you the whole armour of God! – Eph. 6:13
Paul provides some good advice for us which would be beneficial for us to remember in order to be fully equipped to withstand the devil’s many attacks. We are the ones who are responsible for taking on the whole armor of God, and if we do we will be victorious in each battle against us. God will certainly not force us to take on his armor against our will, but due to his love for us he has made these powerful tools available for us.
The reason why we need the armor of God is so that we will be prepared also on the day of evil and able to stand upright on the last day. If we choose to live our Christian lives without parts of this armor, or if we choose to put on the armor only occasionally, we automatically give Satan more power to overcome us. Satan knows our Achilles heals and where we are most vulnerable in the event of an attack. This means that it is not wise to stand partly unprotected when his attacks are coming.
Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (KJV)
Here are all the six pieces of advice (NKJV). We can read about ingredients such as truth, righteousness, gospel, faith, salvation, Spirit and God’s word.
- 14 Stand therefore, having GIRDED your waist with TRUTH
- … having put on the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS
- 15 having SHOD YOUR FEET with the preparation of the GOSPEL of peace
- 16 taking the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one
- 17 Take the HELMET of SALVATION,
- … and the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD OF GOD.
1) It is essential that we stick to the truth and avoid lying, which includes spreading false rumors and slander. It is also a lie to purposely ascribe views to people that they might not have, which means that we must be careful how we express ourselves in order to be good examples to others.
2) We have to live righteous lives, which means that we must obey God’s commandments and keep ourselves from sin. Remember no one will save your soul by living a righteous life for you and instead of you so that you will not have to do it yourself – not even Jesus. The Bible says that it is the one who DOES righteousness who is righteous and will inherit the kingdom of God (1 John 3:7, Hebr. 5:9). Moreover, it is not legalism to be totally faithful to God and his commandments which he expects us to follow. We will not be transferred another person’s righteousness (Jesus righteousness) into us and be regarded as righteous even though we live unrighteous lives. We cannot fool God. Titus 2:11-12 tells us that the grace of God helps us to live righteous lives here and now. and we can do this by the help of the holy Spirit. Fortunately, we get more than once chance!
3) We must always be ready to spread the word of God, answer people’s queries about why we have chosen to be believers in Jesus Christ and help them overcome their hurdles which might prevent them from taking the step to become Christians themselves. Apologetics are often very helpful. We can be fishers of men in numerous ways and we can be blessed and encouraged when we take on the shoes of evangelizing through spreading the Christian faith to others. This is essentially what our brief life on earth is all about, because our real home is the permanent one in the new Jerusalem. We can learn to tune in to God’s voice in order to hear and understand how he wants to lead us in our daily lives in order to become useful tools in his hands.
4) We can move mountains with the help of our faith. If we obey the above mentioned points, it will be easier for us to believe and even expect signs and wonders in our every day life. We can see in the Bible that people’s faith is often strongly connected to their chances of getting healed from various illnesses when others place their hands on them and pray for them. (Naturally all people do not get healed from illnesses at all times, or else they would be immortal and live forever.) We can make our faith increase by living near God and communicate with him, and we are risking to become lukewarm if we seldom or never spend time with prayers, songs and Bible reading.
5) The helmet protects the head as well as the brain which contains our thoughts and dreams. Spiritually speaking, we are able to protect the brain from being exposed to bad influences and various temptations which might request our attention. We can avoid harmful TV programs (and actually avoid the TV all together if necessary), and we can also avoid having destructive music ringing in our ears through headphones. We can also avoid various environments and situations which we know are far from being uplifting for our souls. Sometimes we are not the ones who decide which circumstances to live in, but at other times we can control our intake of bad influences. What we see and hear might affect what we feel and how we express ourselves to others, which means that it is a good idea to control our thoughts by not welcoming all sorts of rubbish into our brains.
6) Jesus won the battle against the devil in the desert by leaning on the word of God in its proper context. Satan can quote the Bible alright, but if one ignores certain verses and highlight others, he/she might end up with all sorts of heresies. The devil finally gave up when he realized that Jesus was fully equipped to withstand his temptations. We have to train ourselves to be corrected by the word of God and to not be too proud to change our course if we realize that we have misunderstood the Bible text. Heresies can be avoided by being faithful to the word of God rather than automatically following the crowd (that may or may not be on the right track). Satan will get a smaller area to attack if we show him that we prefer to obey the true word of God rather than Satan’s twisted interpretations. Unfortunately, there are Christians who end up following traditions of men because they are impressed by their grandeur.
Last but not least, Paul tells us to do all this during continuous praying and supplication in the Spirit. We should always pray in the Spirit, and watching out for all the saints (Christians) who keep spreading the gospel to the lost hearts. It is also a good way to a personal relationship with the Master.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (KJV)
The gifts of the holy Spirit are for today. Do not be fooled by those who claim the gifts have ceased and are no longer in use. This is exactly what Satan wants us to believe, because he wants to disarm us the best way he can!