The Armor is God’s provision for the protection of His children. As believers, we need to grow in faith and hold firm to Jesus’ teachings. Our lives do not become easy just because we are now saved. We know we will go to heaven, but our life does not become some peaceful utopia that we imagine will be in heaven. On the contrary, the more we grow in faith, walk our journey and gain wisdom, the more of a target we are.
The Armor of God is meant to defend against attacks that would jeopardize our ability to walk out our faith. Spiritual Warfare is battle on a grand scale. We cannot see this enemy, but Satan is there. The further we go in our Christian journey and the more Christ-like we become, the bigger threat we are to what Satan hopes to achieve. He wants to create doubt, destroy faith and prevent us from bringing others to the same saving knowledge that we have in Christ. He will attack your faith, your marriage, your health and your children.
In today’s culture, it is easy for Satan to accomplish his dirty deeds even by infiltrating the Church. Many church leaders are teaching a watered down version of the truth. They choose political correctness and re-evaluate the bible based on their own philosophies or popular opinions, which are often tainted to accommodate today’s moral relativism. They pick and choose what to believe. “What’s true for you may not be true for me”, although common belief in congregations today, is a grossly inaccurate evaluation because there is only one truth. This leaves the door wide open to attack. The Word of God is our only standard for the Truth. We need to stand firm in our faith and be prepared for warfare.
It is not a matter of “If”, but “when” we are attacked. Satan WILL attack and God tells us to be ready. Without the Armor of God, we are vulnerable to the deceitful and clever manipulations of Satan. He will try to cause doubt. He WILL try to get you to budge, but you need to Stand Your Ground! We are NOT defenseless if we “Put On” the Armor, a permanent solution. Awareness that we will be attacked enables us to prepare, be strong in the Lord and NOT rely upon our own, impotent strength to prepare for spiritual battle. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 God will always win.
We know the enemy is Satan, but his soldiers are the demons that are present among us every day. There is a hierarchy in Satan’s army of ungodly people, the occult, immoral human beings; those that are still captive by their sins. God’s armor protects us when we call upon the power that we have been given; the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead. We are victorious at the end of each battle because we believed that we could “Stand Firm” in the full armor.
Paul describes six specific pieces of armor:
- The Belt of Truth – Truth is the Word of God. If you know what the Word of God says, it is a weapon again the attacks of Satan. Just like a soldier puts on his weapon belt to make himself ready for battle, we put on the Belt of Truth to make us ready to stand our ground. Satan cannot trick you or manipulate you. His deception tactics will not work on you because you will recognize his methods. God’s Word, written on your heart, gives you an immediate, credible defense.
- The Breastplate of Righteousness – This protects your heart, the source of life. It is the source of your emotions, your love and your joy. Leaving your heart vulnerable to seduction by Satan is a great risk. He wants to harden your heart, change the parameters of acceptable behaviors, move your personal boundaries and pervert your beliefs toward sin so that it can be rationalized. Righteousness of Jesus is what God sees in your heart and obedience and humility will keep the Breastplate in place.
- The Shoes of the Gospel – Your Christian walk in obedience to fulfill God’s purpose for your life will be long and sometimes difficult. The terrain might be rough but can be handled with proper gear. The shoes are in preparation of a difficult journey. Would you attempt a difficult journey across jagged mountains with bare feet? Of course not! In this same way, you need to put on the undisputed, without a doubt, confidence in your salvation, Shoes of the Gospel. Know that grace is sufficient and that you are loved. The unsaved person will doubt this and be helpless against attack.
- The Shield of Faith – Unshakeable faith is my spiritual gift. It doesn’t matter what the devil throws at me, I believe … and it’s not difficult for me. I know that God loves me and cares for me. I know that He protects me and that He is always in control. I know that He makes beauty from ashes because I’ve witnessed all of this over and over and over again. The more trials or storms I encounter, the more my faith grows. I must have one strong shield of steel with thousands of little knicks where arrows have made their mark. Without my faith, I would be a hateful, fearful and prideful unbeliever.
- The Helmet of Salvation – Satan lies to us and wants us to doubt our salvation through attacking our head and our thoughts. He will try at anything to come between you and God with discouragement and self-defeating “self-talk”. An unbeliever could easily feel depressed and worthless, without purpose or anything to look forward to if they are not confident in their salvation. Protecting your mind with the Helmet of Salvation guards our minds and provides endless hope. We know that nothing could ever change what Jesus has done for us and that nothing will ever separate us from God’s love. We are saved.
- The Sword of the Spirit – All pieces of armor are for defense and protection, including the Sword of the Spirit. The ONLY way to win a battle in the spiritual realm is with the Spirit. We cannot fight these battles with our flesh as we will be defeated in our own strength. Paul says that the Sword of the Spirit is The Word of God. Use of the Word to deflect an attack at close range and the Spirit gives us the Words to use. But the Sword is also for the offensive battle. We need to not only protect ourselves against Satan’s attacks but we need to fight back. Scripture says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The power of the Word can take people from a sinful life to a righteous life and every time a person is lead to salvation, it is a demonstration of its power over Satan and this world. The Sword of the Spirit can manifest itself as the fruits: change hate to love; change self-pity to joy, change anxiety to peace, change intolerance to patience, change selfishness to kindness, change immorality to goodness, change disloyalty to faithfulness, change hardness to gentleness and change instability to self control. It can create hope where there is none, and it can attack from any angle.
For a minister, spiritual warfare is a daily affair.
A minister needs to be spiritually mature enough to understand that he/she sets the ground rules for spiritual battle. God will enforce the boundaries. Demons know about authority and will submit to the highest authority that addresses them. Therefore, it is important for us to understand the authority that has been delegated to us by God. If the demons see this as a weakness, it opens the door to needless attack.
In ministry is it also important to understand that no war was ever won on the defensive. In order to win a war, we must go on the offensive, learn to attack Satan’s kingdom, battle the demons and bring God’s people out of the darkness and into the light all the while using the Armor of God. Aside from the scripture in Ephesians 6:10-20 describing the Armor, there are many scriptures in God’s Word that lead us and help us in Spiritual Warfare. Below is the popular Rhema Scroll that includes them. These Words encourage us, equip us and define who believers are. We are the nemesis of Satan.