Every day I get dressed. Of course. I should get dressed twice, if I really think about it. One outfit I wear every day is the one that is noticeable to anyone who sees me. The other one is invisible. But it’s there.
The problem with the second outfit is that I have to remember to put it on each day. And some days I have trouble remembering it. Other days, I only wear part of the outfit. I seem to have trouble getting the full outfit on. It shouldn’t be that way. Because the full outfit is required if I am to get any real use out of it.
Perhaps the remedy to my problem is that I should put it on first. Before my visible outfit.
The thing is. I wouldn’t be caught dead without the clothes that are visible. I wouldn’t want anyone to see me in a state of undress. It would be embarrassing and humiliating. It would be unthinkable.
So why do I feel that it’s ok to be in a state of undress when it comes to the invisible outfit? I should feel embarrassed and humiliated by not wearing it. Oh. That outfit is a little beat up. It’s been in battles. It’s been on the front lines of spiritual warfare. It’s no longer shiny and new. There are dings and dents. But it’s holding its own. It’s one of a kind. Built just for me. So there’s no trading it in for a newer shinier model. It’s built to last for a lifetime.
The armor of God is tailor made just for me. How can I ever forget to suit up each day? Each piece of the suit has a specific use. Without each piece, I’m not fully protected from evil or temptation. I’m putting myself at risk by not taking the time to get dressed properly. Why do I do that?
Oh. I know why I need to wear this armor. I know why I need to get suited up. It’s been made clear to me. There’s no other way to fight the advances of the evil one. I must wear this armor every day. Every piece of it.
Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:13
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:14-17
Each piece of the armor has a specific purpose. It’s made for a custom fit. Perfectly designed with me in mind.
The belt of truth. Stand your ground and put on the belt of truth. If you’ve ever worn a belt, you know it tells the truth. It tells the truth of the size of the waist it surrounds. There’s no fooling it. The belt does not lie. It either goes all the way around the waist. Or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t fit, there’s a different truth to tell.
But the belt that a Roman soldier wore had a sheath for the soldier’s weapon. A sword. The sword was tucked into the sheath attached to the belt. When I put on the spiritual belt, I add truth to my wardrobe. And that’s what matters the most. I must be wrapped in truth at all times.
The breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is a shield that protects the vital organs of a soldier’s body. If a soldier didn’t use this shield, any injury would most likely be fatal. Just the same, if I don’t use my shield of righteousness, any attack from the enemy of my soul could prove fatal. The shield is strong. It’s made of the best material to combat strikes from the enemy.
Some may ask what righteousness is. Righteousness is doing what is right in God’s eyes. So if I’m doing what’s right in God’s eyes, I am shielded with the strength of God’s protection. If I choose lawlessness, then God’s protection falls away. I am at risk of receiving a fatal blow. Righteousness guards me against the attacks of Satan. His attacks of sin can’t penetrate through the strength of the breastplate if I’m following God’s instructions.
The gospel of peace. For shoes, I am to put on the peace that comes from the Good News. Because I must be fully prepared. If I am walking in God’s peace, I won’t be so easily tripped up on the bumpy and difficult path of life that I’m walking. Because that path takes me through the enemy’s territory, and I have no idea where the traps and potholes will be placed. They are put in place by Satan’s army to divert me from the path of peace and truth. I must avoid the obstacles at all costs. If my feet can be shaken loose from the path of peace, then I will stumble and fall prey to his advances.
When God summons me down the road of obedience, he doesn’t clear the path so I can walk along with ease. He allows those obstacles and bumps, so the shoes of peace I wear will steady my travels and keep me close to him. But I must wear these peace coverings as a means of protection. They allow me to move freely, without fear of what lies ahead on the path.
The shield of faith. A shield is raised up by the soldier to protect him from being hit by the enemy’s arrows. Faith is the shield that I must raise to block the advances of the enemy. My faith must be strong. The strength of my faith determines how long I stay in battle. If I lower or drop the shield of faith, then I might as well surrender. I’ve lost the battle. This fight requires a strong faith. Even faith the size of a mustard seed can win battles.
I must block fear with the shield of faith. I am fighting a spiritual war. With the shield of faith, I can deflect the fiery arrows that the enemy is shooting at me. My faith shield is my first line of defense. Without it, I am lost and defeated. Satan will be free to swoop in and capture my soul. Faith is my weapon of strength.
The helmet of salvation. The helmet is a vital piece of equipment in a battle. It protects the head. Any injury to the head would most certainly prove fatal. This piece of a soldier’s equipment cannot be forgotten. It is a life saver.
When I place the helmet of salvation on my head, I am guarding against the weapons of the mind. Because the mind is its own battlefield. My thoughts and desires. My dreams and goals. My fears and beliefs. They all start in my mind. My mind must be centered on my Heavenly Father. I must think on things that are true and honest, just and pure, lovely and of good report, virtue and praise. These are the thoughts that must fill my mind. Otherwise, the enemy of my soul will wreak havoc on my thoughts. My salvation depends on my mind staying pure and centered on the Host of heaven’s armies. I am fighting for my salvation, and it begins with my mind.
The sword of the spirit. Actually, I must carry only one offensive weapon as I wear this outfit. I am to carry a sword that is tucked into the belt of truth around my waist. The Word of God is the sword stored securely in my belt. It is my only offense against the attacks of the evil one. Sure. I can be all suited up to protect myself. But when I fight, I fight with the Word of God. I can’t leave home without it.
All the other parts of my armor are meant to protect me. To shield me from the attacks. But the sword of the Spirit is my weapon of choice. It’s the only weapon that I can use to fight fairly and truthfully. None other can compare. Oh. Some may say that it’s a poor choice of weapon. But if they’ve never studied this weapon, they don’t know the extent of good it can do. We can be destroyed if we don’t know God. And this sword is so powerful, it can cut through every defense the enemy throws in its path. If a child of God is wielding this weapon, nothing can stand against it. God’s word will prevail.
So, the weapons I am given to fight this spiritual battle are truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God. These are my weapons of choice. I better get dressed.
Buckle up. Here. We. Go.