We are familiar with the verse that urges us to “put on the full armour of God” [Ephesians 6:10-17 British spelling throughout] but I got new light on those verses when I realised the obvious fact that all this armour isn’t ours – by striving, effort, mental/spirit achievement, or anything else that is human.
God does not need you to defeat the devil today. Jesus has already done it and given you the victory. (Colossians 2:15, Romans 8:37) … In Ephesians 6:10-18, the passage on spiritual warfare, the word “wrestle” appears only once (verse 12), while the word “stand” appears four times-“stand against the wiles of the devil”, “withstand in the evil day”, “having done all, to stand”, “Stand therefore”. (Verses 11, 13-14) Four times the Holy Spirit tells us to stand. Yet, many Christians are focusing on wrestling their way to victory! [Source]
The armour Paul describes is that of the Roman soldier.
Consider this, when the soldier enlists, he does not have to create or provide his own set of armour and weaponry – it’s GIVEN to him as part of his commitment to fight. This provision belongs to the Roman army, not the individual soldier!
And when we commit to God’s Kingdom, when we enlist in God’s “army” we are freely given all that we need, that has already been provided by the work of Jesus on our behalf.
Let’s look at each piece of this armour:
The Belt Of Truth
It hardly needs saying that all truth is of God, who IS Truth (John 14:6) This girdle of truth holds together everything else, and makes sure we are properly clothed. All is hinged upon and held together by truths that God has shown us, truths that make sense of every attack of the enemy and refute every voice raised against us. In and by ourselves we misunderstand, miss the target, depend on truth only as we see it in our limited human minds. God’s truth needs to overwhelm and overthrow our human reasoning. Nothing else will defeat the enemy.
The Word of God is the power that overcomes the devil. So it was with Jesus in the wilderness. To every temptation thrown at him by the devil, he quoted Scripture (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). [Source]
The Breastplate Of Righteousness
This righteousness is nothing to do with our activities or decisions, but is a GIFT given to us by God, made possible through the cross of Jesus. We have no ability to achieve righteousness in and of ourselves. But Christians possess the righteousness of Christ, because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God“ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The Shoes Of The Gospel
What compels us to share the good news of salvation with others is not our human nature or some kind of perverse cultic desire to win converts for our beliefs, but a commission of God, and we go empowered and inspired only by that.
The Shield Of Faith
Faith is a GIFT. Many seem to think they have achieved something grand by developing or exercising faith, but in fact the bible says we have been GIVEN the ability to trust and believe in Jesus. This too is not natural to us, but comes from God. Ephesians 2:8–9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; [and] that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.”
The Helmet Of Salvation
Clearly, what covers us and keeps us, like a protective helmet over our minds and senses, is the salvation that Jesus won for us by his initiative and sacrifice. He died for us while we were still sinners! (Romans 5:8) There is no salvation apart from the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Sword Of The Spirit
Apart from protective armour, the soldier is armed with a defensive (and sometimes offensive) weapon. This too is not our own. It is the sword OF THE SPIRIT, wielded by God alone.
When Peter mistakenly used his sword to attack the arresting officers who came to take Jesus, he told Peter to put down his sword and submit to the will of God. So the opportunities as well as the ability to use the scriptures in spreading the gospel and defeating the lies of the devil are ALL at the behest and prompting of God! Even though we know the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, we do not use it in our own strength, but at God’s bidding and in his inspiration.
There is a time to speak, and a time to stay silent, and only God can lead us to choose the right course of action, because sometimes speaking out will do more harm than good at that moment.
Rest in God’s Power and Stand
We are given all that we need to refute the enemy and drive him back to the hole he came from. All we need to do is appropriate each piece of the protection God has provided, to “put it on” as the bible says, and to STAND.
The well-equipped soldier does not turn tail and run when the enemy approaches, but in the confident knowledge of his provision he makes his stand.
That is how we are commanded to resist the devil, and as Jesus did, use the words of scripture, the truth of God, as our weapon.
- The Full Armour of God – https://itisbygrace2.com/putonthewholearmorofgod.html
- God’s Gift – https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/gods-free-gift-of-righteousness
- What is the Armour? – https://www.christianity.com/wiki/christian-terms/what-is-the-full-armor-of-god-how-can-i-put-on-the-whole-armor-of-god.html