Ephesians 6: 10-18 New International Version
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
What is the full armor of God?
The armor of God is described in Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage we are told that our primary battles are of a spiritual nature and that we need spiritual armor to be able to stand firm in the midst of these battles. The armor includes the following pieces:
Belt of truth: The belt of truth is the first item in our arsenal. A belt holds the other pieces of clothing and armor together. It secures the outfit and allows a soldier to move freely. Truth both secures us and gives us freedom (John 8:32). One of Satan’s greatest offensive tactics is to deceive us; he is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). With the belt of truth around our waists, we are prepared to defend against this. This truth also applies to the way we live our lives. When we live with honesty and integrity, the other pieces of our armor – what could be considered our spiritual selves – stay intact. A life of integrity is not easily torn asunder.
Breastplate of righteousness: The breastplate of righteousness covers our hearts and other vital organs. In a sense, the breastplate covers the most vulnerable areas of a warrior. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” The righteousness that guards a believer’s heart is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Footwear of the readiness of the gospel: Our feet are to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15 NIV). Because we know the good news of Christ and by that knowledge experience peace in Him (John 14:27), our feet are willing to move. In obedience to Christ, we will flee temptations (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22) and walk into whatever He has called us to (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 30:21; John 15:10).
Shield of faith: The shield of faith is used to “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). When Satan attacks us, our faith in Christ lessens the blow. We are able to withstand the attack because we know whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).
Helmet of salvation: A helmet protects the brain, basically our minds. It is because of salvation that our minds can be sound. We are assured of our eternities, and made righteous recipients of peace, practitioners of faith, and knowers of truth. Our minds are protected because of Jesus’ work on the cross; we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). A helmet can also serve as a signifier. When the enemy looks at us, he sees that we belong to Christ. We carry with us the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Sword of the Spirit: The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. This includes God’s written Word (the Bible), God’s incarnate Word (Jesus as Logos), and God’s spoken Word (the Holy Spirit within us). The sword is the one offensive weapon in the list. We are told, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Second Timothy 3:16 (NIV) speaks of Scripture as being “God-breathed.” When God spoke creation came into existence. He breathed life into man. There is power in the Word of God; this is why it is our best offense.
Prayer: Prayer is an often forgotten part of the armor of God, but is essential to using the armor of God well. Prayer is the way we draw strength from God and rely on Him. In essence, it is what “activates” the armor. Apart from God, and reliance on Him through prayer, our efforts in spiritual battle are ultimately futile. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.”
The full armor of God is a way to describe some of the blessings of God in the life of a Christian and the tools with which He has equipped us to stand firm against the evil one and have spiritual victory over the enemy.
Today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the LORD, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one defensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.
We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armor every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware.
In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Prayer by Debbie McDaniel