The Bible tells us we are in a spiritual war, and our adversary (Satan) is bent on trying to destroy us. The apostle Paul warns us to beware of Satan’s devices and tactics.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices,” 2 Corinthians 2:11.
How can we defend ourselves from his stealthy and deadly attacks?
Paul addressed this to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 6:10-20, where he talks about putting on the whole armor of God. Ephesians was one of Paul’s letters written from prison. During Paul’s time in prison he obviously became well acquainted with the armor worn and carried by his captors in the Roman army. Paul drew a powerful comparison between a soldier’s armor and the spiritual armor of God.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power if His might,” Ephesians 6: 10.
We don’t have to be discouraged by Satan’s devices or by his power and stealth. We aren’t in this battle alone. We have access to the greatest power in the world, and that is the power of Jesus Christ.
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you will be my witnesses,” Acts 1:8.
Being ‘dressed for battle’ is the comprehensive defense strategy that we have against Satan’s attacks.
Paul continued in Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
What does it mean, ‘to stand’?
Paul is emphasizing that with God’s help, we will be able to hold the line, to not retreat, and to not give up an inch of God’s territory.
We are God’s ‘territory.’
Paul starts to list the individual elements of the spiritual armor that we must put on.
- The ‘belt’: Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth. Truth should surround us like a belt. Knowing God’s truth is the surefire antidote to Satan’s lies and deception. We must be completely truthful to ourselves in our inner being each day.
- The ‘breastplate’: Put on the breastplate of righteousness. To be righteous is first of all to repent and be forgiven of our sins, and then to do what is right in God’s eyes. To be righteous is to obey God’s laws of love.
- ‘Spiritual footwear’: Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, we are to be eager to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of God is sent to announce the good news of God’s Kingdom, which will spread His way of peace around the whole world. Having our spiritual shoes on, we will be ready to spread the good news to others.
- The ‘shield’: Above all, take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. God’s power and love is strong. It is impossible for Satan to break through our shield. Faith means more than just believing that God exists. It includes a firm belief that everything that God does is true for our good. Also, faith is the absolute confidence that God will always do what He has promised. The shield of faith is not just a personal protection, it’s the strength we have in God through faith.
- The ‘helmet’: take the helmet of salvation. As believers we receive tremendous hope and confidence by focusing on the incredible sacrifices Jesus Christ gave to save us, and the wonderful Kingdom that is the goal of our salvation. The helmet of salvation keeps our mind focused on the saving grace of God.
- The ‘sword’: The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. For the word of God is living, powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword—piercing even to the division of soul, spirit, joints and marrow discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Ephesians 4:12). The sword will not stay sharp on its own. We must continuously sharpen it with regular and focused Bible study each day.
- The power of prayer, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Paul ends this section encouraging us to pray fervently for others and for the work of the Church. Pray always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit. Be watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:20).
When you are dressed for battle, Satan is defeated in your life at all times. By putting on the proper armor, you are now dressed for battle!