Ephesians 6 Says:
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 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.
I have read this many many times and have heard many sermons on it too.
My memory of most of these sermons is that they focused on V 14 – to stand our ground, firm in our faith and to use our shield to withstand all that the enemy tries to throw at us.
Recently though, I had a “penny drop” moment.
I had downloaded a short free e-book by Stormie Omartian; an extract from her Prayer Warrior Book.
While reading some of the introduction it finally dawned on me that not only is all the armour designed to protect us from the enemy attack and all the things that life throws at us, but it is also used for attack.
No army would get anywhere if they just stood there defending themselves all the time. They have to move forward too to push the enemy back.
The belt of truth and the sword of the spirit also refer to God’s word. His word is our weapon against the Devil’s lies and Jesus himself used it when in the wilderness. I remember at Sunday school we used to do “Sword Drill” where we would be given a scripture reference and then race to be the first to find it and read out. We had to know our Bibles quite well to be able to be among the quickest so learned to read it for ourselves as well as learning memory verses.
In our history lessons, we learned about the shields used by Roman soldiers. They were huge and big enough for them to stand behind and protect the whole body. They would form a cube with their shields where the soldiers in the rows behind the front would hold them above their heads forming a solid block that nothing could get through. They would then march forward pushing through everything in the way as a united unit. Not only were they protecting themselves individually, but each soldier was working hard as a team to protect each other.
We were asked to help out at the churches’ youth group for young teens with teaching them a couple of Worship songs. My husband gave me the list of song’s that he can play and asked my opinion as to which one’s we should do.
As far as we know, most of the group don’t attend church regularly and so I was thinking of choosing songs which had some message to it that they would have fun singing but was not “deep” worship in that we would be asking them to sing words that did not have a lot of meaning to them yet.
On the list was “We want to see Jesus listed high” and so I chose this. The day before we were due to go to the group, hubby said to me about getting the group to join in with some clapping or stomping of feet during the first couple of lines of the chorus;
“We want to see; (clap, clap, clap,)We want to see; (clap, clap, clap) We want to see Jesus lifted high”
I then remembered that the chorus continues;
“Step by step we’re moving forward, little by little we’re taking ground
Every Prayer a powerful weapon, strongholds come tumbling down and down and down and down.”
Again, I realised that this is something I had sung on many occasions, but hadn’t quite made the connection with the “armour”.
This I think is one of the keys to a church being able to grow both spiritually and numerically; being united in our goals and working together as a team, using the armour to work with and help and protect our brothers and sisters so that we can move forward defeating the enemy.
A Roman soldier would not have survived for very long if he tried to fight the battle on his own, but working as part of a united army achieved much and pushed forward, taking over the land and pushing back the enemy. Similarly we cannot fight our battles on our own. We need the support and prayers of our Church Family as well as our natural families.
Stormie Omarian says in her book:
We all— even unbelievers— have faith in something or someone. We have faith that the pharmacist won’t poison us when we have our prescription from the doctor…. when we put our faith in God, we start out with a small faith and it grows.
God said to Abraham in Genesis 15 v1
Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward
Psalm 84 v 11:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield
Psalm 28 v 7
The Lord is my strength and my shield
Not only are we putting our trust in God, he is putting his trust in us and within us and around us. He is our protection and shield.
We are given the helmet of salvation which protects our heads and therefore also protects our minds from the enemy’s lies and it is also our crown.
Psalm 140 v7
O sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle”
1 Thessalonians 5 v 8
But since we belong to the day, let us be self controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet
We know that when Satan tried to temp Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus used God’s word as his shield and also his sword as his weapon to protect himself from the lies that Satan tried to deceive him with.
Hebrews 4 v 12;
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than and double edged sword.
So clearly, we need to not only know what our armour is, but learn how to use it and apply it.
What do you think?
Omartian, Stormie (2013-09-01). The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience (Free One-Week Devotional) (Kindle Location 224). Harvest House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.