Imagine waking up late, rushing to get dressed and running out of the house… to get to work or school, and discover that you’ve forgotten your pants! Well, we would never forget our pants because we are intentional about covering our body. Or, maybe you can imagine that you’re a firefighter, nurse, builder or solider… you wouldn’t go to work with out your full uniform on. If you accidentally left your name badge at home, you would feel strange with just one small thing missing! Or what about if you are attending a wedding or fancy dinner? You would make sure that you are dressed for the occasion! So why is it that we are okay with neglecting the full armor of God? Why aren’t we intentional about spending time learning his Word so that we are covered? Living life without your pants on isn’t an option, unless you want to get caught exposed and thrown in jail/fined for indecent exposure! So why is it that we are ok with our guard being down, armor missing/ improperly dressed for the occasion, and think that we won’t be subject to the attack of the enemy? We are like a target in plain sight, saying “HERE I AM! SHOOT ME!!”
In Ephesians, God gives us detailed instructions, thru Paul, on what we are supposed to wear each day.Now, I don’t mean what color shirt & skirt. But, what we need to have on to fight as children in His army! We have to understand that as a child of God, we are in a fight with Satan & his army. We MUST be prepared for battle; I don’t think the military would show up unprepared for war. So why do we?
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” Ephesians 6:11-18 KJV
[The Scripture above is KJV, but I will also reference the NLT and NKJV throughout this post.]
Now, when I first began writing this blog, I wanted to change up the order and go from head to toe. But, as I began researching the Roman soldier’s apparel, I began to see how it was best to keep the Scripture in it’s original order.
When getting dressed, the first item we should put on are the “lions of truth,” which can also be called the “belt of truth.” While it may seem strange to put on your belt first, we have to dig a little deeper. The Scripture says to have your lions “girt about with truth.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what it meant to girt anything! So, I looked it up. The word gird, is a verb! It means to secure on the body with a belt, and also to SURROUND OR ENCIRCLE. So this Scripture is telling us to secure ourselves in truth, to surround ourselves with it, and wrap ourselves in it. To “gird your lions” was a phrase also used in the military to say PREPARE oneself for a military confrontation! Gosh, right off the bat, Paul is telling us to get ready for a dangerous situation. We have to put on our belt first because it holds on all the other pieces of armor!
The next thing we are putting on is the breastplate of righteousness. Now, I don’t know about you, but I imagine the big silver (or gold) breastplate that you see in those medieval war movies! It’s a pretty large piece, so I think it’s really important! A breastplate is worn over the ENTIRE torso to protect it from injury. Ya’ll know I’m a nurse, so I’m thinking of all the injuries that somebody could sustain in war, that could potentially be fatal if the torso isn’t protected! Think of all the organs that are included in your torso! Your HEART, your LUNGS, ABDOMEN, LIVER… etc. All of this is covered by this ONE piece of armor! How long do you think someone would last on the battlefield if they left this at home in the closet? So why do we compromise our righteousness? Why do we leave it at home? We have to take off sin, and put on holiness. Every. Single. Day.
The third part of the Scripture tells us to put on the “shoes of peace, that comes from the Good News, so that we will be fully prepared!” Now, I looked up the shoes that roman soldiers wore, and they looked nothing like what our military wears today. They were designed to prevent blisters, foot conditions and even had hobnails in the bottom that really hurt if they stepped on the enemy that was fallen! A lot of preparation and thought went into making these shoes! We should also prepare for battle, by walking in peace! If we are fully prepared, we have nothing to fear; and we can stand firm in the midst of any battle. We must know God’s Word and his promises. We will be unshakeable and our footwork will be perfect & quick enough to dodge our opponent! Our peace should be found in God, not in our circumstances.
Fourthly, we are to pick up our Shield! Now, I was really excited about this because I knew what a shield was! Lol, but I still looked up the definition. A Shield is a “type of personal armor ment to INTERCEPT attacks.” YA’LL. Can we just address how that dictionary.com definition will preach? Let’s see what it said about faith…faith is “CONFIDENCE or TRUST in a person or thing/a strong belief.” Come on Saints, this is speaking to my SOUL! So, we are picking up our SHIELD OF FAITH. We are picking up our PERSONAL armor with CONFIDENCE and TRUST in God that our FAITH will intercept and block any attacks coming at us! A shield can stop an arrow, and block a hit from the enemy’s sword. We can redirect it back to the enemy, confidently and without fear! But if we look a little closer, it said the shield was PERSONAL. Your own PERSONAL armor… I’m believing that your shield grows a little bigger, the more you build up your PRIVATE relationship with God. You can’t depend on grandma’s prayers to get you a shield, you have to have your own faith! My shield isn’t your shield, but we all are covered! How amazing is that? We are protected! What are we protected from? The Bible says, “the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna get hit by an arrow because I woke up late day after day, didn’t spend anytime with God, didn’t develop a shield and went to war unprepared!
The next piece is pretty much self explanatory! We have to put on our headgear! We don’t want a head injury, nor do we want the enemy “getting in our head,” so we put on a helmet. We have to put on our helmet of salvation for two purposes.
- Salvation = being saved and protected from harm. Simple enough.
- The helmets they wore would often have plumes sticking out the top, which looked really funny, but provided a way of identification on the battlefield in the midst of chaos. The type of helmet you have on determines who identifies with you! I want salvation to be all over my helmet, so the winning team knows who I am!
I know it’s long ya’ll, but we are on our last piece and this is important! We have to “take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD.” We all know what a Sword looks like, it’s a weapon used for cutting. The definition says that it can be the CAUSE OF DEATH. I, surly, want to know how to
kill the enemy, because he’s coming to kill us! We have to study the Word, so that we KNOW the Word. I mean, you need to know more than the 23rd Psalm! We must make sure our sword is sharp when it is battle time. Don’t be caught with a dull sword! When you know the Word of God, you can fight back and WIN!
After getting dressed, verse 18 gives us some specific instructions on what to do next. This is long enough, so I’ll let you read that on your own. Please don’t write this blog off, as just another blog! Paul was in chains for preaching this message BOLDLY. Don’t let that all be for nothing! I love digging into the Word & how to war in the Spirit.