This post is all based out of Ephesians 6:10-20. I would suggest having that passage open as you read through this!
As Navy SEAL’s, they are trained to be in physically in top shape, but they also have the best gear. But having good gear means nothing if you don’t know how to use it. The Navy SEAL’s will have a tactical vest, boots, a tactical backpack, a 9mm SIG hand gun, a M4A1 automatic rifles and the AK-47. They have scopes and nigh vision googles. They have to cary water and other supplies. If you threw all this gear, weapons, and armor on me, even though it is the best, I would have no idea how to use it and I actually might do more damage than good. Part of the Navy SEAL’s training is to know how to use the gear that they are given. God gives us gear and He wants us to not just know that we have the gear, but we need to know how to use it.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells them to “put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:13)”. We have talked about it before but we are fighting in a war, but we are not fighting for victory, but we are fighting from victory. Jesus won the battle against sin, death, and Satan when He died on the cross and rose again three days later. Satan thought he had won when they drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, but the joke was on him, because the way that he thought he had the victory over Jesus was the platform Jesus used to vanquish Satan! So we are still in a war. Jesus won the victory on the cross but Satan will have rule over this world until Jesus comes back. So we are fighting in a place from victory!
I want to dig in and help us learn how to use the specific parts of the spiritual armor that we are called to put on. In the Message version, it says “Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than just words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. (Eph: 6:17-18 MSG)”
Belt of truth (v14)
In the time that Paul wrote this, Rome was the occupying Israel. The Roman soldiers would have all of this gear that was apart of their uniform. The belt that they wore was more than just to hold up their pants. This was their equipment belt that all of their weapons would be held on.
The belt of truth is what we need to use to hold all of the weapons and equipment that we have been talking about. We need to use the truth, which is God’s Word, to hold everything together. If we worship, pray, fast, use spiritual gifts, and don’t use it in light of the truth that God gives us, than there is no reason to use them. Hold the gifts and talents that you have in truth!
Breastplate of righteousness (v14)
The breastplate was a huge line of defense in the Roman soldiers armor that would protect vital organs. A breastplate would protect the soldiers heart.
Righteousness is the knowledge that you have right standing with God. When you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over your life and surrender your life to Him, then you are righteous in God’s eyes. Even though we have right standing with God, when we mess up it may not feel like we do. No matter what we do, God sees you at righteous. You can guard your heart with knowing that you are righteous even when your heart feels shame or guilt. Know that you have the breastplate of righteousness guarding your heart!
Shoes of the preparation of the gospel (v15)
You wear shoes everywhere!
How can you share the gospel everywhere you go? I like how Paul says that it the “preparation of the gospel”. This is helpful to see that you don’t have to share the gospel and except everyone to get saved, everywhere you go. Paul is encouraging you to share the gospel and plant seeds of Jesus everywhere you go!
Shield of faith (v16)
The first line of defense that the Roman soldier had. It was their first protections against attacks.
Your faith is the first like of defense against the enemy’s attacks. Shield yourself with the the faith that “God is, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)”. When things are looking bleak or when the enemy is trying to shake you, hold onto your faith in the Lord!
Helmet of salvation (v17)
Your mind is such a battlefield when it comes to the war against the enemy. Use the truth that you have salvation in the blood of Jesus. Guard your mind with the knowledge of the salvation that you have in Jesus.
Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v17)
Swords are a really cool piece in the armor of a Roman soldier. Their swords are shorter than the other swords of that age. They were strong and the were sharp on both sides. They were not just a weapon, but they were also used to block.
Paul gives us an explanation that the Sword of the Spirit is the word of God, or the Bible!
We are told that the Bible is “shaper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and the intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)”. We use the Bible as defense and as offense! When the enemy tells you lies, speak or read scripture into your life to block his attack. Jesus used this when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Satan tried to temp Jesus with earthly things and power, but Jesus only came back with scripture to block Satans temptations. We can also go to battle with scripture. You can proclaim promises and truths over your family, your marriage, your jobs, and yourselves to walk in the victory that is already found in the Lord!
What piece of this armor do you need to learn how to use right now in your life?
What piece have you already learned how to use?
What are ways you have leaned into one or more of these pieces of armor?