The full armor.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (NIV)
We want to think of Christianity as a utopia where all is bliss. We need the full armor of God because Christianity is a battle, not rainbows and teddy bears. It’s an all-out war. On top of this, we have a formidable foe. The Holy Spirit describes our enemy as a lion who prowls around looking to devour. In Revelation, our enemy is a powerful dragon set to kill a baby upon birth. This is our enemy. He was a great angel with immense power before rebelling against God. We are reminded that our battle is not against people, but against the forces of evil in the spiritual realm. One-third of all angels followed Satan in rebellion. They are fallen angels fueled with supernatural anger toward God. They cannot defeat God, so they are coming after us. We must put on the full armor of God.
God is our armor. He is the truth. He gifts us faith. The Spirit provides the sword. Salvation is our helmet. God is our armor. Most of us understand this. He has given us the weapons and we must put them to use. Our problem is that we neglect some pieces of the armor leaving areas vulnerable to an attack like Achilles heel.
We must become well-rounded warriors trained for battle. We must be certain of our salvation, strong in our faith, proficient with the sword, which is the Word of God, with our feet fitted with a readiness to share our testimony. Yes, your testimony is part of the armor. Operating in truth holds it all together. We need the whole body of armor.
Finally, this is not a traditional war. This is guerilla warfare. The devil schemes. He does not appear in plain sight. He is covert, hidden in places we would not expect. The apostle Paul spends much of his time writing to churches about evil spirits moving in the people even within their congregation. So we cannot be lax, but vigilant ready for battle all the time.
Imagine a soldier walking into a battlefield saying to himself, “If I see the enemy, I’ll run back to camp to gear up and grab my weapons.” How foolish, yet we do this too often. We wait until we are under attack and then we are not ready for battle. Start today, read this chapter, and become proficient in every piece of the armor.
Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to the spiritual battle and train me to be proficient in the whole armor. Amen.