Put on the Armor of God
The metaphor "Armor of God" comes from Ephesians 6:11. "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." This phrase may have various interpretations, but the main idea revolves around our spiritual battles with evil. The Bible tells us that we are in a constant war against the devil, and God has provided us with armor to fight and protect us against it.
The armor of God consists of six pieces. The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. Each piece serves a different purpose, but to be protected, you must put on the full armor and wear it all the time. Spiritual warfare is real, and we can't ignore it. Luckily God provided us with what we need to stand against anything that comes our way.
All the doubts, fears, guilt, confusion, and maybe even attacks against your faith and other life challenges you may encounter can be all defeated when you're protected by the armor of God. Putting on the full armor of God will bring you strength and encouragement to receive everything that God has for you.
Here's how we can use each of the elements of the armor of God to fight the battles and claim victory.
The Belt of Truth holds everything together; it secures all the other pieces of the armor. Putting on the belt of truth means that you have to trust and value the word of God. You have to put your full trust in His truth and not the lies of your enemies. Some say that the belt represents integrity, which makes good sense because we have to live our lives with honesty and truthfulness to follow God's laws and stay true to our beliefs.
The Breastplate of righteousness is what protects you at the heart level from spiritual attacks. It keeps your heart pure because the enemy will not only attack with lies but with impure things and tempt you to engage in acts that go against what you stand for. When that happens, we need to repent to be forgiven for our sins and do with is right in God's eyes.
The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace is an essential piece of the Armor of God; it reminds us that we must stand firm and be ready for anything that stands against us. It also tells us to spread God's message of peace and love to everyone around us. It gives us encouragement when things get tough, so we are ready to go where God takes us.
The Shield of Faith. Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16) When our faith in God is strong, there is nothing that can break through our shield. Faith is believing in God and believing that everything that God does is for our own good. Trusting with absolute conviction that God will always do what he has promised. If we wear our shield of faith, we will be protected from physical dangers and spiritual ones. If we have any doubts about our faith, we cannot win the battle. Our faith is our shield.
The Helmet of Salvation is our sanity. It protects our head; it helps us think clearly in moments of confusion. It also helps us focus on the great sacrifice Jesus made to save us so we could have eternal life. We must wear our helmet of salvation and surrender every thought that doesn't line up with God's word. Without salvation, there is no victory.
The Sword of the Spirit. None of the other pieces of the armor are weapons, except for this one. They all protect us from attacks, but we can fight and defeat the enemy with this one. The sword is a deadly weapon, and it can pierce through anything. In this case, the sword is God's Word. We can defeat evil as Jesus defeated Satan when he was tempted in the desert. He has given us the sword not only to protect us but to be able to fight and conquer. But, to defeat and not be defeated, we must read the scripture with intention. Immerse yourself in His word, and you will not be defeated.
We may forget sometimes, but we face battles every day; let us not be silenced by our fears and day to day challenges and us all the armor elements to fight everything that comes our way. The forces of evil are ruthless; we have to stay vigilant.