“Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace, and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit always…”
The Full Armor
- Truth: We never know when a battle may be upon us, so we must be prepared ahead of time. We must be girded with the truth of God’s Word. To “gird,” according to the dictionary, is “to encircle or bind with a belt or band, to surround; enclose; hem in, to prepare (oneself) for action.” Our waist is our physical middle. The center of our beings needs to be enclosed and bound tight in the truth of God’s Word and promises, which gives us courage and prepares us for action.
- Righteousness: The breastplate guards the heart, and understanding the gift to us of His righteousness, placing us in right standing with God, indeed does guard our hearts, giving us the confidence to go on in Him. Our own self-righteousness is worthless, but we have His. As we seek Him first, and His Kingdom, and His righteousness, we overcome in every area of life. Focused on the knowledge of His righteousness within us, we have all we need.
- The Good News: We stand on our feet, and we stand fitted with, like shoes, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News, which makes us steady and speaks of the peace Jesus provided between God and man. Having the assurance of the Good News makes us steadfast in battle. Like David, I know who I am in Him, and can overcome any Goliath.
- Faith: “Above all,” or in front of all, we have our shield of faith. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that we are to be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Our faith must not be self-reliance, but relying on and trusting in Jesus. Our shield of faith in Jesus will quench, put out, “all” the fiery darts or arrows the enemy sends to consume us. It will stop “all” those darts. “No weapon formed against us shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17).
Many otherwise strong Christians live defeated lives in fear of the circumstances of life and the oppression of the devil because they don't use the faith the Lord has placed within them. But, with that shield of faith, we have peace and composure and overcome all fear, and instead pray with gratitude for the victory. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Salvation: Then comes the “helmet of salvation.” Like a breastplate or a shield, it is a piece of armor, and it protects the head. Understanding, putting on, our all encompassing salvation, working it out from our spirits to our souls, where our minds reside, protects our minds, the key place of battle. The salvation that Jesus won for us, “sozo,” means not only our redemption, but all that we need, healing, prosperity, deliverance and more. We take it up, focused on that truth, and our minds are protected.
God has Prepared us for Offense against the Enemy
- Word of God: God’s Word in the Spirit is our great offensive weapon. The devil is out to steal the truth of God’s Word from our hearts, we read in the Parable of the Sower, because with it we defeat him. Without our sword, we get worn down and are prone to give up. It isn’t the letter of the Word, but the Word seen through the revealing eyes of the Spirit, with which we overcome the enemy. We resist the devil, speak the Word in faith, in Jesus name, and he has to flee.
And, how wonderful it is. That Word, God's truth, is written upon our hearts when we are Born Again, and is draw out, like a sword from its sheath, when we read and study the Word with our spiritual eyes, and wield that sword in faith with the words of our mouths. "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Hebrews 8:10, quoting the prophetic promise of Jeremiah 31:33).
- Prayer in the Spirit: And, let us not forget to “Pray in the Spirit always.” That is the great facilitator of our faith and power, bringing to remembrance the Word in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, giving us the strength and power to wield that sword mightily.
As we pray in the Spirit, not only are we built up in love for our Lord, our Commander yet brother, and our fellow foot soldiers, the door is opened to other great spiritual gifts, more offensive weapons against the enemy that are taught in and accompany God's Word: like prophecy, tongues with interpretation, words of knowledge and of wisdom, spiritual discernment to see the enemy coming and what he is doing, and even healing (great for when we inadvertently let our shield down), special faith and miracles as needed.