The apostle Paul used the armor of the Roman soldiers assigned to guard him to illustrate a spiritual truth: the followers of Jesus do not battle “against flesh and blood” but “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm”. As a follower of Christ I’m to put on my battle dress uniform. But when was the last time I made sure my BDU was combat ready? Would I pass inspection?
The Belt of Truth: The foundation that holds my weaponry. In this spiritual battle, Jesus is ‘the way and the truth’. To win the battle, I need to be anchored in the truth found in God’s Word. Have I fallen victim to any of Satan’s lies? God can’t use someone like you. Is my belt a little loose? Your dream is impossible. Cinching the belt one notch tighter.
The Breastplate of Righteousness: Protection for my vital organs in close combat. The breastplate guards my heart. I’m pure and holy protected under the blood of Christ. Hmmm, my breastplate is in need of polishing so my actions will be pleasing to my Heavenly Father.
The Shoes of Readiness and Peace. Uh-0h. My boot lace is untied. Not exactly ready am I. The peace of Christ isn’t the first thing folks notice about me when I’m hurried and harried and my attention isn’t centered on the Good News of the Gospel. Back to basics – boots laces tied and giving God control of the battle.
Shield of Faith: My only protection from flaming arrows. My shield, dinged and slightly bent, is too heavy for me to hold up. I’ve tried. Wasn’t pretty. Spiritual defeat never is. I need Jesus’ strength to fend off Satan’s fiery darts of deceit, denial and doubt. Am I willing to trust Jesus to be my Shield? He’s patiently waiting for me to decide…
Helmet of Salvation: Essential protection for my survival. It skews to the side now and then when the world offers a distraction and Satan fights for a stronghold in my thoughts. Focusing on the total deliverance that Jesus offers keeps my helmet strapped in place.
Sword of the Spirit: My weapon used for both defense and offense — the Living Word of God. My sword is a little dull. I remember some memory verses from childhood, but I haven’t been faithful in learning more as an adult. Fending off Satan’s razor-sharp dagger with my blunt sword makes the battle one-sided in the favor of the enemy. Time for sword drills with the verses I know and adding others to my arsenal.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:14-17