“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6.14-17
As children attending Vocational Bible School, we often learned about the armor of God. Most of us experienced lessons in which we would see one of the leaders dress up in each element of this armor. They would put on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes for taking the gospel of peace. They would then add the shield of faith, helmet of salvation and finally draw from its scabbard the sword of the Spirit. It was a cute lesson and one in which we were all intrigued.
A part of me wants it to remain a happy, go-lucky children’s lesson. Jesus did say to come to him as a child with child-like faith. And yet, the fight is real. The amor is necessary for spiritual protection. The enemy isn’t playing games and our VBS lessons only touch on the importance of arming ourselves mostly with defensive gear but also with the offensive Word of God – the sword of the Spirit.
It goes without saying that each and every day when we awake, we should pray a pray in which we intentionally arm ourselves and others. We should take note of every piece of armor for our “soul” protection and we remember God’s Word, hiding it in our heart, so that when attacks come we can send the enemy back to the place where he belongs.
When Paul is writing these words they are emphatic instructions for the people of God. Stand firm, he says, buckle up, prepare yourself for the battle. Don’t just think you’ve got it covered, arm up as if your very souls depended upon it (my interpretation.)
And so my friends, let’s pray this armor upon ourselves first, then our family, then friends and neighbors. Let’s gear up for the battle which is surely to come our way. The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come so that you might have life today and life to come.
“O Lord God, protect me with your love! Shield me with your faith. Arm me with your goodness. Wrap your soul protection around me so I might thrive and spread your gospel to the world. Help me soak up your Word so it might ever be on my lips. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen