Our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but spiritual forces that combat us as we live this life. Can we fight against these spiritual forces? Of course! If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, take a few minutes to do that. It will help today’s post make sense.
We looked at Ephesians 6:13-17 in discussing Spiritual warfare and how to be prepared. There was so much there we didn’t get to it all in one post, so this is the next part
- Shod our feet with the gospel of peace – This is the idea of binding something on our feet. Roman soldiers during Paul’s time wore sandals with spikes on the bottom that would hold their footing in the battle. We must have that footing through our assurance of salvation and knowledge of God’s word. (It would be hard to walk life’s journey without the gospel of peace to give me footing!)
- Taking up the shield of faith to extinguish fiery darts – This is not talking about salvation, but daily faith. (Discussed on other posts). It is understanding how to live daily in Christ, as protection against temptation and sinfulness that the enemy sends our way. If we don’t know His Word, we cannot fully obey His Word. This leaves us prone to attacks of the enemy. Knowing the Word is a strong shield against temptation (Matthew 4:1-11).
- Take the helmet of salvation – Protection based on our hope found in salvation. The helmet protects the brain. Without the brain, we cease to live. Without salvation, we have no hope, no eternal life! We also have no spiritual battle! The helmet of salvation protects our soul. We may lose a few battles, but the victory is ultimately ours!
- And the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) – This is our greatest weapon! If we don’t know the Word, we cannot use it to fight the enemy. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Sword, God’s Word, is what brings it all back around for me. It is the foundation of our armor and also our faith! We have to know and obey God’s word. It is how we put on truth, understand sanctification for our breastplate of righteousness, bind our feet for solid foundation and footing in the Word, take up the shield for protection, put on the helmet and wield the sword.
There is also another aspect to the armor of God. Verse 13 is issuing a command to us to “take up” the armor. Just like a real Roman soldier, we are to put it on and keep it on! When we, as believers, fail to remain disciplined (spiritual disciplines) and don’t live daily in faith, we become weak and the armor is too much to bear. Roman soldiers who did not stay “in shape” could not hold the shield and constantly be prepared for battle. If we are not living by faith and remaining grounded in the Word, we become weak. We let down our guard and can get attacked (1 Peter 5:8). We become less and less effective in battle and for the kingdom.
So…put on the armor and remember we are in a spiritual battle, not one against flesh and blood!