Following last week’s post on the armour of God, I began to realize that every piece of God’s armour is important, and without each one, the Christian is not ready for battle. This verse from Ephesians 6 highlights the importance of every piece:
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (NLT)
According to this verse, to resist the devil, you and I must have all the pieces of the armour intact. Last week, we talked about the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and ‘gospel shoes’. In today’s post, we will look at the other three pieces of the armour of God. Let’s take a look!
A. The Shield of Faith
Ephesians 6:16 “In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” (NLT)
There’s that word again – faith! What is faith, anyway? Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen – faith gives us an assurance of what we are yet to see. Now – faith in God comes from knowing that he is completely trustworthy, both true to himself and true to his word. When you face a battle against the enemy, therefore, make sure your shield has a secure covering (lining) of faith in God all around it. As those fiery arrows come towards you, lift up the shield of faith indicating your complete trust in God, and these missiles will not cause you any harm.
From time to time, we all face situations where our faith is tested, and we are left thinking twice about our trust in God. In fact, for most of us, when trouble comes, our first instinct is to figure out how to get out using our own strength. God, however, longs for us to call on him and trust in him when things get bad. Once you put your trust in him, your heart will be shielded by faith, your fears will disappear, and you can confidently face the enemy. I definitely need to carry around my shield of faith more often! How about you?
B. The Helmet of Salvation
Ephesians 6:17a “Put on salvation as your helmet…” (NLT)
Bikers have interesting helmets with unique slogans, don’t they? Look closely at a biker’s helmet the next time you see one… some read, “King of the road”, “watch me fly”, “nearer my God to thee”, etc. Did you know, also, that every king has a unique inscription on his crown? This inscription on this crown, right near the forehead, says who he is, which kingdom he belongs to, and who his subjects are.
Which helmet should the Christian wear, therefore? Simple – the salvation helmet – a helmet that indicates whose army the Christian belongs to, who he fights for, and what he stands for!
So, then, what should the salvation helmet indicate? First, it should indicate that you belong to God, having been bought with a price, and redeemed by his blood. Second, it should be made of a pure material, indicating that you are a new creation, i.e. no longer a slave to sin, but a servant of Christ. Lastly, it should stand out among all other ‘helmets’ around, the same way a Christian should stand out when in the presence of other people.
Friend, how often do you wear your salvation helmet? Does it show that you are a redeemed child of God, purified by his blood, one who stands out as a Christ follower in a crowd? Is your helmet shiny enough to draw people to take a closer look at it, and ask where the glow comes from?
C. The Sword of the Spirit
Ephesians 6:17b “and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (NLT)
What comes to mind when you think of a sword? A tool of defence, right? The sword of the Spirit, i.e. your spiritual sword, is God’s word! Any battle strategist will tell you that the best way is to prepare for a battle is to know your enemy’s weaknesses, and meet them head-on with your strengths!
Where else but the Bible can you learn about how the enemy operates, and where and how to get the strength to defeat him? Once you arm yourself with the Word of God through consistent study and meditation, you will be ready to face the enemy!
Friends, without the word of God planted deep in your heart, you cannot face the challenges around. The world has lots of helpful, inspirational and comforting ‘words’ that it is working hard to place in your mind and heart, aiming to completely replace the Word, causing you to begin to trust in someone or something other than God. To keep your heart free from any intrusions, infections and false doctrines, stick to the Word.
Finally, dear friends, as you strive to put on the armour of God daily, I would urge you to keep God at the centre of your lives and at the heart of your battles. Remember, you need to first put on the armour, and then call on the one who gave you this armour to give you the victory!
Ephesians 6:10 “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.” (AMP)