Ephesians 6:11-18 serves as a beautiful and powerful reminder that as believers, we are not left defenseless in our spiritual battles.
Imagine that you are standing on an unfamiliar battlefield. Your heart beats too quickly, each deafening thump echoing the uncertainty of what lies ahead. But then, your breathing eases and your mind clears, for you are not defenseless. You are equipped in the finest armor, each piece designed not for physical warfare, but for the spiritual battles we face. This is the vibrant imagery offered in Ephesians 6:11-18, where we are introduced to the Armor of God.
The Armor of God describes the spiritual weapons and defenses Christians need to withstand evil. Paul urges believers to “put on the whole armor of God” to protect themselves from spiritual warfare. Though written nearly 2,000 years ago, these verses contain wisdom relevant for Christians today.
Unpacking the Scripture
Paul uses the Roman soldier’s armor as a metaphor for the spiritual protection required to overcome evil forces. Like soldiers gearing up for battle, Christians must be proactive in utilizing God’s armor including living in God’s truth, embracing Christ’s righteousness, spreading the gospel, utilizing strong faith, grasping salvation, wielding scripture, and maintaining communication with God.
Each piece of this armor represents a spiritual counterpart, a virtue or a practice, that equips believers for the spiritual struggles they face.
The belt of truth wraps around us, holding everything together. This truth is not just sincerity or honesty. It refers to the ultimate truth—God’s word and His promises.
The breastplate of righteousness shields our hearts. Righteousness refers to the moral correctness of character and action, the state of being in the right relationship with God.
Our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, suggesting that wherever we go, we should bring the good news of Jesus Christ to spread peace and not discord.
The shield of faith defends us against the doubts and fears hurled at us, affirming our trust in God’s promises.
The helmet of salvation protects our minds, keeping us focused on our salvation – the promise of eternal life offered by the Lord.
Lastly, the “sword of the Spirit,” which is the word of God, is our only offensive weapon. It signifies the power of God’s word to defeat spiritual enemies and withstand their falsehoods.
Applying the Armor of God Today
In our modern lives we encounter spiritual, moral, and emotional conflicts. People often grapple with self-doubt, fear, dishonesty, temptation, or despair. There are some practical ways to apply the Armor of God in daily life:
Belt of truth: Be honest in all you do and reject lies and distortions. Study God’s Word to know the truth. When confronted with lies or confusion, we can gird ourselves with the truth of God’s word.
Breastplate of righteousness: Strive to do the right thing in every situation and ask God to protect your heart. When faced with immorality or unrighteousness, we can protect our hearts with righteousness, doing what is pleasing to God.
Shoes of gospel of peace: Be ready to share the gospel and God’s peace with others. In situations of conflict or division, we can strive to bring the gospel of peace.
Shield of faith: Trust God completely to protect and lead you. Faith deflects the enemy’s attacks. When doubts or fears assail us, we can raise our shield of faith, relying on God’s promises.
Helmet of salvation: Renew your mind daily in the knowledge of your salvation in Christ. hen our minds are clouded with worldly concerns, we can don the helmet of salvation, remembering our eternal hope in Christ.
Sword of the Spirit: Know God’s Word well and claim scriptural promises in the face of spiritual attack. When falsehoods or spiritual enemies threaten us, we can wield the sword of the Spirit, standing firmly on God’s word.
Prayer: Pray throughout your day. Ask God for discernment and protection. Pray against specific schemes of the enemy. We are called to pray at all times and be watchful, both for ourselves and for other believers.
Put on the full armor by starting each day with intentionality, just as a soldier would. Wake up praying, get into God’s Word, put on worship music, and make a conscious decision to be aware of spiritual realities. Invite God into every aspect of your day. The armor is not just for big spiritual battles but for the little daily ones too. Walking in the full armor of God is an intentional lifestyle that leads to victory over sin and temptation.
Ephesians 6:11-18 serves as a beautiful and powerful reminder that as believers, we are not left defenseless in our spiritual battles. God equips us with His armor, providing the tools we need to stand firm. As we put on the whole armor of God, we can walk confidently into spiritual battle knowing that God will fight for us and ultimately win the war.