Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 NIV
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Ephesus, is providing instruction on how to be prepared to stand against Satan. He uses armor illustration as something they would have been familiar with as the Roman soldiers paraded the streets clad in readiness. Paul also knew much about standing against the devil, having suffered so much in spreading the good news (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). At the time of this writing, he was sitting in prison in Rome.
To understand what Paul means, we first need to look at what is the full armor:
Belt of truth
Breastplate of righteousness
Feet fitted for readiness.
Shield of faith
Helmet of salvation
Sword of the Spirit
Some of the items would have purely as protection (breastplate, helmet, shield). Other things serve a practical purpose (belt to hold the sword, proper foot attire). The shield and blade can be used both to protect but also to attack. Think of the pictures you see of police in riot gear, and you will notice the same items are used today, except for a nightstick replacing the sword.
Paul is making that we need to be prepared in every situation. We can't do that effectively without God’s full armor, whether we are being assaulted by evil in our everyday lives or standing proactively against evil in its many forms of injustice.
God, we give you thanks for the many gifts you give us to stand against the devil. You have given us those necessary items to reject sin -- not just to defend ourselves but also to take action against injustice. Please help us as we suit up in your armor to bring about your Kingdom on earth -- not in the future, but right here and now. We ask this in the name of your Son, our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read Ephesians 6:12-17 and reflect on the following: What parts of the armor that I may be missing or have neglected? How can I use the armor to bring about God’s Kingdom on earth?