The Armor of God

 

What is “Armor?” Why do we want armor and how can we use it? Armor is generally thought of as a protective or defensive device. However, armor also has a place as part of an attack or offense. So if you are subject to attack and want to protect yourself, armor is a good thing to have. Armor comes in many different configurations for a wide range of possible attacks.

 

What works for bows and arrows will probably be of little use against bullets. What works for bullets will probably be of little use against fire or water.

 

Likewise, what protects the head may do little to protect the heart. What protects the heart may do little to protect the arms or legs.

 

Armor not only must protect it must also allow for attack. Therefore if a piece of armor is too restrictive the battle may not be won. If it’s too heavy the armor may become useless. The trick then is to use the right armor for the job.

 

 

(Eph 6:10-17 NIV)  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. {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.

 

(1 Th 5:5-11 NIV)  You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. {6} So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. {7} For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. {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. {9} For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. {10} He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. {11} Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

1.      Self-controlled. The successful fighter will not let anger and other emotions get in the way of good judgment. Without self-control we are inclined to do things that are not smart. This armor protects the entire body.

*   (Gal 5:22-23 NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

*   (2 Tim 3:1-5 NIV)  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. {2} People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, {3} without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, {4} treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

*   (1 Pet 1:13-16 NIV)  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. {14} As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. {15} But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; {16} for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

*   (1 Pet 4:7-10 NIV)  The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. {8} Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. {9} Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. {10} Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

*   (1 Pet 5:8 NIV)  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

*   (2 Pet 1:4-9 NIV)  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. {5} For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; {6} and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; {7} and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. {8} For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. {9} But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

*   (Prov 25:28 NIV)  Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

2.      Belt of Truth. The belt is an important piece of armor. It not only protects the mid-section of the body but also provides a means to keep other items of warfare close at hand and ready to use. Notice in professional fighting how the belt place a symbolic role. A black belt for instance.

*   (2 Sam 18:11 NIV)  Joab said to the man who had told him this, "What! You saw him? Why didn't you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior's belt."

*   (Isa 11:5 NIV)  Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. (Speaking of Jesus)

*   (Jer 13:1-11 NIV)  This is what the LORD said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water." {2} So I bought a belt, as the LORD directed, and put it around my waist. {3} Then the word of the LORD came to me a second time: {4} "Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks." {5} So I went and hid it at Perath, as the LORD told me. {6} Many days later the LORD said to me, "Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there." {7} So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless. {8} Then the word of the LORD came to me: {9} "This is what the LORD says: 'In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. {10} These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt--completely useless! {11} For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.'

3.      Breastplate of Righteousness, Faith and Love. How appropriate that the breastplate is associated with love. Obviously the breast plate protects the heart from which righteousness must come. But it also protects the lungs from which breath and words proceed.

*   Isaiah 59

4.      Feet fitted with Readiness. Although feet may seem not much in the way of armor they are in fact one of the more important items in terms of the battle. Whether the response is fight or flight, “Feet don’t fail me now.” It is interesting how the Bible correctly ties feet to readiness. One of the tricks to returning a tennis serve is to be on the balls of your feet and moving at the ball comes to you. It is no accident that we often hear the phrase, “Be on your toes.”

5.      Shield of Faith. Faith is indeed a shield. When we are attacked by temptation and the false philosophies of this world faith is our best answer. You may not know everything but you can know this always, “God is the answer.” Faith is not simply belief, it is acting on the Word of God even when we don’t understand why things are as they are. Faith in God is not unreasonable. Is there some other “Expert” that knows everything? God has stood the test of time. Come to think of it God created that too!

*   (Prov 30:5 NIV)  "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

*   (Gen 15:1 NIV)  After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

6.      Helmet of Salvation. The head directs most of the conscious actions involved in warfare. If the head is damaged then the battle is pretty much lost. It is the promise of salvation that sorts things out in critical situations. Am I interested in short term or long term?

*   Isaiah 59

7.      Sword of the Spirit. The sword is a personal weapon and attacks as easily as it protects. Much like the Word of god

*   (Heb 4:12 NIV)  For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

 

(Isa 59 NIV)  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. {2} But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. {3} For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. {4} No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. {5} They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. {6} Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. {7} Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. {8} The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace. {9} So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. {10} Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead. {11} We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away. {12} For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: {13} rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. {14} So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. {15} Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. {16} He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. {17} He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. (God acts with heart and mind){18} According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. {19} From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along. {20} "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. {21} "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.

 

In conclusion: We are not able to fight our own battles and win consistently. We need armor and weapons. God is our provider. Although seven items are listed in the scriptures we started with many more items could be added. Don’t we often speak of “Prayer warriors?” How about meekness and humility? How about slow to anger? How about Bible study? How about … You name it.

 

Bottom line is this, (Rom 8:31 NIV)  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

(Eph 6:10-17 NIV)  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. {11} Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.