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What is the Full Armor of God? How can I be prepared for spiritual battle?

Maybe you once sang about it in Sunday School or have heard it in a sermon: "Put on the full armor of God." We find the phrase "full armor of God" in Ephesians 6:10-20. The armor is explained in depth in verses 13-17:

"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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

A Spiritual Battle

More than any physical danger you may be able to see with your eyes, the schemes of the devil are a Christian's greatest source of conflict. Satan and his minions hate everything that a Christian is about and will stop at nothing to defeat anyone bent on serving the Lord. The devil has declared war on the Christ follower. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "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."

Satan's arsenal, metaphorically described as flaming arrows in Ephesians 6:16, are actually implements of spiritual warfare. Therefore, a Christian's defense is a spiritual armor designed to deflect Satan's attacks.

Just as a knight in a medieval army would want full protection from his enemy's weapons, Christians, too, must put on the full armor of God for complete protection. Any vulnerable area left open is a prime target for the evil one's dastardly plans.

Your Spiritual Protection

What are the pieces of the Armor of God, and how do Christians ensure they are protecting themselves? How can YOU stand your ground when the enemy attacks? By putting on God's armor! Here's how...

Belt of truth (v. 14): If you believe that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), then you can be sure of two things: 1. Satan will lie to you to throw you off course. You must be on guard for his lies. 2. You must be the opposite of the devil and live a life of truth by spreading the truth about Jesus and be a truth-teller with dependable honesty.

Breastplate of Righteousness (v. 14): A knight's breastplate was positioned over his heart and protected his vital organs from a fatal attack. The wage of sin is death (Romans 6:23), therefore the breastplate of righteousness has nothing to do with your own good acts. It is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that saves you. You must have Christ's salvation to protect your life. Satan may accuse you of sin, but you can have the assurance of salvation to ward off this attack.

Sandals of Peace (v. 15): You must be willing to take God's message wherever He leads you—even if it means entering enemy territory. To have "feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" means that you'll be prepared for traps and snares when the devil throws obstacles in your path to thwart God's plan and your efforts. Your feet can be ready to dodge and jog around any obstacle in your way peacefully—without having to engage in fighting.

Shield of Faith (v. 16): Your shield counters the flaming darts of doubt the devil loves to shoot toward believers. Your faith will be strongest when you read the Bible regularly and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Growing in faith consistently is a part of upkeeping your armor on the journey. When doubts sneak into your mind, combat them with God's word of His promises and love for His people.

Helmet of Salvation (v. 17): Your mind is a vital aspect of your faith in God. With your mind, you can understand God's plan for salvation. Use your mind to distinguish truth from lies. Without your mind, you are unable to discern between spiritual truth and spiritual deception. Protect your mind and preserve your way of thinking about God.

Sword of the Spirit (v. 17): This is the Word of God—the Bible. While all other elements of our armor are defensive in nature, the sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. Think words are a useless weapon? During Jesus' 40-day temptation in the desert, the Word of God was always His overpowering response to Satan's attacks. Jesus crushed the devil's evil schemes with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). You can be equipped with the very same weapon as Jesus and be assured that you can overpower the devil too!

Prayer (Ephesians 6:18): If the armor of God is your defensive gear and offensive weapons, prayer is your source of true power. God strengthens you when you pray in the Spirit (that is, with the mind of Christ and His heart and priorities). You can try to fight Satan in your own power, but you just can't. No one has enough strength for that—except God. You need God's power, protection, salvation, and Word to defeat Satan's attacks against you—and you can access all of those through constant prayer with God.

The Christian life is not for the faint of heart. To whom much is given, much more will be required (Luke 12:48). Fulfilling your godly purpose will require going into battle, often directly into the enemy's territory. Scary as that sounds, God never asks us to go it alone. He equips us with His finest armor, His Word, and strengthens us through our prayers so that we may be victorious in every battle.

Regardless of your age, it is imperative that you put on the full armor of God each and every day. You must gird your body, heart, and mind against the attacks of the devil. We have a message to spread and a mission to accomplish. With God's armor, you can face the devil's schemes—and win.

TL;DR

The phrase "full armor of God" is found in Ephesians 6:13-17 and refers to the spiritual armor we must wear to fight the spiritual battle between Satan and followers of Christ. The Armor of God consists of six pieces: the belt of truth (God's truth + your honesty), breastplate of righteousness (your righteousness through Christ), sandals of peace (readiness to dodge traps), shield of faith (doubtless security in your relationship with God), helmet of salvation (your eternal security), and the sword of the Spirit (God's Word, which you can use to fight the enemy). Prayer is your power source, a direct connection to God's strength (v. 18). Regardless of your age, it is imperative that you put on the full armor of God each and every day so you can fight the enemy—and win.

By: Rhonda Maydwell

Rhonda is an author, wife, mother, and mentor. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English and Religious studies. She loves studying God’s Word for truth and wisdom and uses it as a compass and roadmap for her own spiritual journey. Rhonda believes in sharing the Good News and the hope found in Biblical truths with others. She uses her writing and mentoring opportunities (often with a pinch of humor) to do just that.

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