August 30 - Ephesians 6:10-18

Friday, August 30, 2013

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

This passage is so familiar to Christians, it is difficult to find anything new to say about it.  However, as I read it, one phrase stuck out and it occurred to me that the ‘full armor of God’ is something I miss out on because I get all caught up in dealing with just part of the Christian life.

The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness – gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit – word of God.

Let’s say we believe that we are always truthful and righteous (I know … it’s a tough sell for me, too … but let’s just begin with that as our foundation).  I think that the helmet of salvation might possibly be a given for most of us who call ourselves Christians, but it never hurts to re-examine that commitment.

That leaves us with the shoes of readiness which come from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is God’s word. And while we’re at it, Paul tells us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

These four (along with the three foundational attributes) are to be in place all at the same time.  One of the things I run into is that I run out of time. I pray and don’t have time to read Scripture. Or I read scripture and pray, but my faith is so weak. I don’t trust God with everything. I try to do things myself.

And to top it off, I’m supposed to be ready for whatever God sends my way because Jesus Christ has brought peace into the world.

This just plain exhausts me when I think about it – and yet when these are combined, they offer us protection from so much the natural and supernatural throws at us.  When one of these is missing, we have an empty place … a chink in our armor.

If that were true on the battlefield, the enemy would find your weakness and exploit it, bringing you to ruin.  When it is true in our personal lives, the enemy will dig into that weakness and exploit us … bringing us to ruin.

Put on the full armor of God.