What is the Armor of God?
The Apostle Paul refers to several parts of armor that a soldier might wear. As he describes each piece of equipment, he relates it to a spiritual item that the believer can use to stand against the attacks of the Devil. The belt of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, the sandals of the Gospel, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God…(Eph. 6:10).
In prison at the time of writing this letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul looks for a way to effectively communicate spiritual principles to the church he has left behind.
His desire is to encourage the church to keep on doing what they have been doing. We know from the book of Acts that God was doing some amazing work among the believers.
Acts 19 tells us that God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul and that This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.” (Acts 19:11).
Even Jesus noticed, as the book of Revelation states. ‘I know your deeds and your toil and [b]perseverance, … and have not grown weary. (Rev. 2:3)
Paul sees the Roman soldier stationed near him, always on guard, and he uses the soldier’s equipment as an illustration of the tools every believer needs.
The Armor of God Scripture
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:14-18).
The Belt of Truth
Paul refers to girding our waist with truth. In the days of Rome, a sturdy belt held his sword, and other items that he might need. Basically, without a belt, the soldier would not be able to work effectively, because his armor would keep falling.
Imagine how hard it would be for a soldier to have to continually hold his pants up and you can see the importance of a good belt around the waist. Paul refers to God’s truth as what holds everything together. Truth is constant. Truth does not change. Truth is a Person, not necessarily a principle. (John 14:6).
The Breastplate of Righteousness
A breastplate would have been worn by a Roman solider to protect the heart. In close battles, as the enemy was thrusting a sword or spear, trying to land a death blow, the breastplate could deflect the lunge of adversary.
So, the righteousness of Christ guards our hearts. A believer knows that a heart filled with the Holy Spirit will often be the very protection he or she needs. Christ imparts his righteousness to our hearts which can help us deflect the deathblow Satan, our accuser, wants to deliver.
The Sandals of the Gospel
Just as a belt held everything together, good shoes help protect the feet. Often a Roman soldier was required to march long distances. Without covering the feet and wrapping the ankles tightly so that the shoe did not slip, the warrior would stand on shaky ground, not ever able to trust his footing.
Paul refers to evangelism, the gospel of peace as the item believers walk on as they move from day to day.
The Shield of Faith
A Roman Soldier would carry a shield as protection against the blows of the enemy. Paul tells us that our faith is like a shield, enabling us to “be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Eph.6:16).
Perhaps Paul was looking at the shield of the soldiers near him and saw the burnt pockets of extinguished arrows from unknown enemies. A Christians faith may show signs of numerous battles.
Scarred and bruised moments when our faith protected us from the fiery trials that the enemy tried to hurt us with. A believer’s faith can be the shield needed to guard and preserve our spiritual lives.
The Helmet of Salvation
Every soldier had to wear a helmet to protect the most fragile part of the body, his head. This mind is a fragile place at times. A firm knowledge of salvation can go a long way to helping the believer’s thinking when trying to resist the enemy.
If we know whose we are, God uses our salvation experience to keep us steady even when the battle is raging all around us.
The Sword of the Spirit
Paul refers to the Word of God as a sword. We find this thought confirmed in scripture when we read, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).
The scripture can be used as an offensive weapon to slay the advances of the enemy or as a defensive weapon to keep the blows of the Devil from striking us.
The Power of Prayer
Paul tells the believers to pray always in the Spirit, knowing that prayer is a key to defeating the Devils plans. Every believer should exercise a strong and robust prayer life, but many believers struggle in this area.
One day, Christians will gather in heaven, and many will be disappointed to see what miraculous events could have occurred in their lives and the lives of those they loved, because as the book of James says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
The Victory is Ours
It can seem daunting to realize that the Devil’s primary purpose is to ruin our Christian experience, and that he fights an unseen battle against us. But half of the battle is knowing that there is one.
A recognition of the ways of the enemy can make us more alert and vigilant against the times when the Devil seeks to hurt us. God has provided every resource a believer needs to win the victory.
Through a steadfast faith, and a constant renewing of our minds through scripture and prayer, the child of God can live a joyous and abundant life. The enemy cannot invade a heart and mind dedicated to the constant influence of our Most High God.
As God’s word reminds us, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (I John 5:4).
James McMechan is a retired freelance writer with over 40 years of experience in ministry and management. His book The Inspired Salesperson, is a practical book of devotions told in a “down to earth” style. Aimed at helping people in sales and other professions draw closer to God, the desire is that each reader might deepen their walk with the Lord as they work each day. James makes his home in Mississippi with his wife, special needs son, and a dog named Quinn. He can be reached at email@example.com