Paul points out our equipping from the Holy Spirit for the battle ahead. We are in a spiritual battle and God provides the “armor.”
Paul starts out with a warning. He plainly explains that we are in a spiritual battle that is raging all around us. But we don’t have to be afraid. We live in a fallen world but Jesus has redeemed us from it through the cross, but until His final return this world is a battleground for souls. Satan will use every weapon in his arsenal. But his weapons CANNOT defeat God’s.
God has given us protection from Satan’s weapons. It is His armor, tested and tried in all circumstances. And it is powered by the Holy Spirit. When worn properly, nothing Satan can do can defeat us. Yes, we will probably have a few “battle scars” but our life is safe and secure.
The first piece of armor mentioned is the belt of truth. This is worn around your waist and covers your reproductive parts. The “truth” is the truth of Jesus’ substitution work on the cross for us. When we take this truth into our innermost being we “bear fruit” in the form of spiritual children for God. We birth others in the faith.
The second piece identified is the breastplate of righteousness. Our right standing with God lodges in the heart. You can hear all the scripture imaginable about God’s love for you, but until it makes it into your heart you still don’t have that assurance that you are His. Your heart has to be open to Him. His breastplate of righteousness is your assurance that your heart is sealed in Him. His breastplate protects your heart from the tricks of the enemy.
Next comes the shoes of the gospel of peace. Our feet are to be the vehicles He uses to spread His word. We carry that gospel from one place to another. We do His work as we walk His path. He provides the resources and the understanding to walk the paths He laid out for us.
The next piece is the shield of faith. This shield is expertly made and when wielded properly has amazing protective power. Paul says it can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. It takes training to become expert at this wielding but even the novice can expect excellent protection from this piece of armor. This is faith in Jesus’ claim.
The helmet of salvation comes next. I truly appreciate this piece of armor. My mind needs His protection at all times. I have a tendency to ruminate and take in much more than I should. When I let the Holy Spirit guard my mind Satan can’t get a stronghold. And what enters the mind and begins to dwell in there eventually makes it into the heart. It is MUCH easier to stop the seeds of doubt in the mind than to dig them out of the soil once they sprout in the heart.
The last item is the only offensive piece of our armor; the sword of the Spirit. This is Jesus’ sword. This is the word of God. It is not a club to beat people over the head with but a sword to divide good and evil. The more you train with it the more accurate you become.
It is important to put on ALL the armor. Leaving even one piece off opens you up to attack. More than anything else though is to stay connected to the One who provides the armor. You will NEVER be able to defeat Satan on your own, with or without some kind of armor. You need to stay connected to the Holy Spirit through power as He is the one who powers that armor. It is useless without Him. Without Him you will be cowering in the corner covering your head. With Him you can charge into the battle, knowing He holds the victory.
Holy Spirit, thank You for Your protection. Thank You that I don’t have to always stand on the defensive line but that sometimes You send me on the offense too. The armor Your provide serves me well in both roles so long as I stay plugged into You through prayer. I have seen mighty things happen in my own life that prove out Your hands holding mine as I go into battle. Thank You that I don’t fight alone, EVER. Remind me to put on Your armor more often. Sometimes I leave it “in the closet” not expecting to need it for “today’s activities.” I NEED it EVERY day.