Last week we discussed that we are in a spiritual fight against the devil. We also discussed that we need to stand up in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit working within us fight the enemy. Our enemy is the devil, and he is not backing down; the devil wants to overwhelm us. Satan has been fighting against God’s people for thousands of years. The devil is opposing and contending with God’s righteous saints. The devil is a powerful spirit, but praise God, we have more power than the devil through the name of our savior Jesus Christ! When we depend on Jesus, we can defeat the devil in every spiritual battle we face today! This spiritual battle the devil is fighting against us is a battle against sin. The devil is trying to tempt God’s people to sin. He wants to turn them away from God, so they will do wicked things. The devil’s goal is to take you as a young person and destroy your life by leading you down a path of sin, so you are not able to serve God. We need to prepare to fight! This is a fight that we need to prepare for every day, and this preparation includes, as the apostle Paul instructed, putting on the whole armor of God.
“11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Paul was challenging the church in Ephesus to put on the whole armor of God every day. In the scripture, Paul compares the armor of warriors in the Bible times to spiritual truths. In America, the sport of football is very popular. You might have heard about it. Because the sport includes full body hits or tackling members of the opposite team, the players are required to wear protective gear like hard pads and helmets. The two teams are at war with each other, and if they were to play without their protective gear, they could be seriously injured. Our spiritual warfare is much more serious than just a game because this is a war over your soul. In Ephesians chapter 6, we find the apostle Paul is providing instruction to the church. In fact, this is the same place Paul instructs children to obey their parents. Paul was giving instruction to children, he was giving instruction to fathers, he was giving instruction for those who work for others at their jobs, and he was giving instructions to the employer on how they should treat their employees.
Then in Ephesians 6:10 Paul says:
“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
We see in the scripture above, Paul is encouraging the people to be strong in the Lord. Then in Ephesians 6:11, Paul tells the people what they need to do to withstand the enemy:
“11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Paul is challenging the Ephesians to put on the armor of God so they can the defeat the enemy. Here Paul is teaching the devil is sly and wily or he can be very difficult to fight against. We must understand the importance of putting on this armor because the devil is looking at ways to get to our soul. In the King James version of the Bible the word “wiles” means schemes, strategies, or deceits of the devil. We learned before the devil is a liar and his goal is to deceive us.
Now let us look at Ephesians 6:12:
“12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The battle we are fighting is not against each other, more specifically, it is not against your brother or sister. This battle is not against other people or human beings. We are fighting against the spiritual dark forces of this world. The devil wants us to get into battles or arguments with each other, but we need to remember the battle is not against other people.
Now let us move onto Ephesians 6:13:
“13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:13 is teaching us that we need to put on the whole armor of God so we can stand as a good strong Christian warrior. The following four scriptures discuss the armor and how to use it.
“14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;”
Your loins are your midsection or the area around your waistline. So, Paul instructed to put the garment of truth around your waist. This is an important piece of our armor we must wear every day. But what does Paul mean by truth? Thank God, the Bible always answers our questions.
Let us turn to John 14:6:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man cometh unto the father but by me.”
So, to gird your loins with truth means to wrap yourself up in Jesus or in his word. The word that Jesus gave to us — the Bible — is our standard for truth. Now we will look at the next piece of armor in Ephesians 6:14, Paul told the Ephesians to put on:
“…having on the breastplate of righteousness…”.
In Bible times the Romans wore an armor of breastplate to protect themselves from enemy blows. The counterpart I would use to describe this piece for us, is a bullet proof vest, which police persons or military personnel might wear. The wearer of this vest could take a shot to the body and the vest will protect this person from lethal blows to the heart. Paul is instructing the Ephesians to put on righteousness or right living every day. Right living and having a good heart toward God, helps protect us from the blows of the enemy. If our heart is not turned toward God, then it will be toward Satan, and the devil will be able to defeat us. So, Paul wants the Ephesians to have their loins girt about with truth and to put on the breastplate of righteousness.
“15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
Our feet are for taking us places; so, Paul is telling us that we should be ready and prepared to take the gospel of Christ to everybody. This means taking Christ to school, to your neighborhood, where you work, and at home. In America, we have young people that wear shoes with lights and when they walk the shoes will light up. This is how we need to be wherever we go. People should be able to see the light of God within us.
“16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
In Paul’s day the shield was one of the most important pieces of equipment a soldier should carry. The shield was the soldiers’ primary weapon against the flaming missiles or as Paul says the fiery darts. These flaming darts were arrows that were soaked in pitch then set on fire and launched toward the enemy. The large Roman shield was an excellent weapon with which to stave off the attacks of the enemy. Sometimes the fire arrows bounced off and other times they stuck to the surface of the shield and burnt out. The devil is still hurling fiery darts at us today. Satan’s fire arrows may take the form of temptations, lies, insults, persecutions, attitudes, personal setbacks and many more forms he will endeavor to throw at us. Nevertheless, none of these fiery darts can penetrate the shield of faith. The shield of faith is our faith in Jesus Christ, which causes us to stand. This faith is not in our own abilities or our own personality but for us to defeat the enemy our faith must be in Jesus Christ.
“17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Our head is one of the most vulnerable areas of our body. The devil works overtime attacking our minds with evil thoughts and doubts. The helmet of salvation will help protect our minds from the evil works of the enemy. This helmet protects our head, which is where our mind resides. Our mind is where our thought processes take place. In 1Corinthians 2:16, the Bible teaches us we have the mind of Christ.
“16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”
This means if a thought would not be appropriate for Jesus, you and I should reject it. We need to guard what comes into our mind every day, casting out anything that is unlike Jesus Christ. The best way to protect your mind is to put on the helmet of salvation every day.
“17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
The sword of the spirit is the word of God. The sword is not meant to be used as a defensive weapon only but also as an offensive weapon against the devil and his demons. Whenever you find yourself under attack by the devil, I encourage you to start reading the Bible, or remembering scriptures from the word of God. When we read the word of God to the devil, he hates it, and he will become powerless. Did you notice how much the armor of God sounds like characteristics of Jesus? Jesus is the truth He is our righteousness. He is our peace, and our faith is in Him. Jesus is our salvation, and He is the word. In a real sense, when we put on the whole armor of God, we are putting on Jesus every day. We are taking on Christ like characteristics and our life becomes a reflection of Jesus Christ. But we must put on the whole armor of God every day. It must become a habit. So, gird up your loins with truth. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Put on your gospel shoes. Take up the shield of faith. Put on the helmet of salvation. Pick up the sword of the spirit and the word of God and then go out and destroy the devil! Praise God, through the power of God as young people, we can be strong warriors of God!