Put on the Armor of God

A great war is taking place in the spiritual world. A direct assault on the Kingdom of God, is taking place as we sit here now. Every action you and me do, can throw the battle in either direction. We can help the Kingdom of God or we can hinder It. The choice is yours.

In the Old Testament when Israel went into battle they would call their people together with a trumpet call. Today God is sounding that very same trumpet for Christians to assemble and prepare for war.

On the other hand the devil is very good at what he does. He has a plan, he is well organized at keeping you from living a godly life. His attacks are specific, direct, and relentless. They are always timed perfectly, and seemed to be tailor made for us. And more than we like to admit it he is often successful in his attacks.

To fight any battle you need armor. In all wars ever fought both sides had some kind of armor, whether primitive as a stone to hide behind or as modern as a bullet proof vest, we in battle need armor. Just as from the beginning of time, God has provided every thing for what he has asked us to do. Paul, in Ephesians 6:10-20, uses the armor of a Roman soldier to illustrate how spiritual defenses take place. Lets take a look at this armor. Lets read Ephesians 6:10-20.

The first piece of armor is the thick leather apron the Roman soldier wore around his waist. This apron served as a belt as well as protection for the abdominal area. It was the first piece of armor that was put on.

Gird your loins with the truth. Truth protects us in two ways. First, it offers knowledge and understanding . If we know the truth about a specific instance we can avoid falling into bondage or sin. Second, it keeps us out of bondage. Once we tell a lie we are in bondage to that lie, it has our very lives in its hands. If you ever told a lie you can understand what I mean.

Truth frees us from bondage through obedience to Christ. John 8:31-32 says "....If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Notice that freedom from bondage is directly associated to obedience to the teachings of Christ. The only way to know the truth is to abide in His word.

Satan tells us that truth is relative, different to different people. Well that's not truth at all. The Bible says in John 14:6 Jesus says "...I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man comes to the father, but through me." You see, Jesus is the truth that we are to Gird our Loins with. We are to know Jesus and then we will know the truth. The truth is Jesus.

The breastplate of the Roman soldier was made of leather and metal. It protected the chest area where many of the vital organs are located. This breastplate was also marked with an insignia to tell what army the soldier belonged to.

The Breastplate of Righteousness. We in todays society often associate righteousness with perfection. That's not always the case, even though there are some similarities in the two. When we try to be perfect it often leads to self-righteousness. This says that Christ's sacrifice means nothing to us, and often leads to a false convictions. But as for our righteousness, it can only come from God. And if our righteousness comes from God then we will do things the way God meant them to be done, through Jesus. The Bible say's in 1 Corinthians 1:30 "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." Our breastplate comes from allowing Jesus to be our righteousness for us.

The foot covering of the Roman soldier was a thick leather sandal. It covered both the foot and the ankle. The bottom was often covered with spikes or nails to ensure strong footing in hand to hand combat.

Shod Your Feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. This foot covering helps us to stand firm in our convictions and share the good news of the gospel. A major part of our defense against the enemy is to verbalize our faith. By making our position clear we draw an imaginary line between us and those who would tempt us to sin with them. We need to prepare ourselves in the gospel so that we can stand in the face of adversity.

Next we are instructed to take up the shield of faith. This is not the little round shield that we see in movies of the time frame. But it is a full body shield, that was used to protect the body from advancing spears. These shield were constructed with an iron frame with thick leather stretched over it. Some even had metal coverings. Sometimes the soldiers would soak there shield in water so that when a flaming dart would hit them they would be extinguished.

The Shield of Faith. Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Faith can only be recognized in the deepest part of our being-our spirit. We can not truly describe it by reason or define it to an exact. But it is as real as anything we can touch. God doesn't expect us to analyze it only to use it, by accepting it from God.

Some ways of building our faith is:

1. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17

2. Act on your faith. Romans 1:17

3. Faith comes from seeking God. Hebrews 12:2

4. We need to learn to live by His faith. Galations 2:20

**Think of some ways you can put some of these practices into your life to increase your faith.**

Here is some more help.

Faith has- Surety and certainty. Heb.11:1

Size. Matt 7:20

Measure. Romans 12:3

Faith is not- Assumption. 1Cor. 2:4

Presumption. You don't believe or accept with out reasonable evidence.

Mental assent. It is not a gathering of facts that we believe to be true. Nor is it trying to believe something of which we are not sure of.

This was the most expensive piece of a soldiers armor. Also, it was the most decorative. The helmet was designed to protect the head.

The Helmet of Salvation. This is the Mind of Christ. It is used to protect our minds from the attack of Satan. Ever start doing something for God or to glorify God and your mind just starts to wonder or even think of sinful things. Well thats Satans tool to hinder Gods people when they are doing His will. We need to protect our minds from the kind of thinking that causes Bondage. No we are not to be ignorant of the things that go on around us, but we can not let our minds ponder on these things to the point that we want to do them. To keep our mind protected we must monitor what comes into it.

We must:

1. Guard against negativity. It is not always bad to be negative. Matter of fact, God wants us to be negative against sin and rebellion. But the kind of negativity that can destroy us involves feeling such as bitterness, jealousy, hatred, anxiety, worry, and fear. These are some of the very things that will destroy a Christian

2. Guard against criticism. There is nothing wrong with evaluating what someone has done. It becomes critical when we have the wrong motives behind us. Like to make somebody look bad.

3. Guard against anything that makes sin acceptable. In todays world society sets the standard, not the Bible, as it should. We see right and wrong as relative to the situation, but thats not what God says. If the Bible says its a sin it is a sin.

4. Guard against fantasizing sin. Daydreaming is wonderful and an awesome way to relax, as well as a way to perceive new ideas, but keep your mind away from sinful things. Such as the one who says I can look as long as I don't touch. Well that's a sin. Proverbs 23:7 says " For as he thinks within himself, so he is...." You become what your mind dwells on.

5. Guard against anything that seeks to control your mind. God does not control us and doesn't want us to be controlled by anything else. He wants us to make free choices. Choices to follow Him.

The last piece of armor is the sword of the spirit, the Word of God. The sword of the Roman soldier was more like a large dagger than a sword. It was used for close combat with the enemy.

The Sword of The Spirit. This is the only part of the Armor that can be used in an offensive attack as well as a defensive posture. The sword is the Word of God. in Heb. 4:12 the word is described as living and active , sharper than any two edged sword, it can pierce the division between the soul and spirit, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. To use the sword effectively we must strike it in the place that will cut the enemy down. If you suffer from fear 2 Timothy 1:7 would be good to use. Worrying Matthew 6:25-34, financial trouble Philippians 4:19, temptation strikes Romans 8:37, when unhappy Nehemiah 8:10 and so on the Word has a scripture for every problem. Search it and find one you can use.

Paul ends the description of the Armor of God with a petition of prayer. This is not part of the Armor but is vital to the effectability of our Armor. Without it our armor will be ineffective.

A Roman soldier would not dream of going into battle without his armor secured and ready for battle. To have done this would have meant certain death. In the same way, you have no business going into this evil world with out putting on the whole armor of God.

Pray to put on the Armor.