“Finally, 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.”Ephesians 6:10-18
You know it’s going to be a blessed day when you walk into the worship center on a Sunday morning and see displayed the armor of God. This past Sunday the Lord had already blessed us with beautiful weather and I was overjoyed by how the morning had been going so far. Even though I had arrived later than I ever had to service, my mood wasn’t deterred. Instead, I grew excited when I walked into the sanctuary and saw the pieces lying on a table upon our platform.
A small dot of concern, however, did take my excitement down about two percent. I will never not want to hear someone preach on the armor. I’m not sure about you, but it seems to raise my morale. Of those in the Bible, Paul is who I relate to the most and I’ve studied his letters a few times. Although I love Ephesians 6, I have yet to completely recall all the pieces without having to look it up (I’m still working on it, though). Thus, having read this passage several times, I was concerned I might not learn much of anything new. I was still excited because I believed someone in the room needed to hear what God had given our youth pastor (our senior pastor was on a much needed vacation). To my joyful surprise, there was still something to learn.
In this post, I would like to share some of the notes taken during the sermon (anything in parenthesis is added thoughts). I pray they inspire you as they have me. May they encourage you in your walk and lift your morale as a prayer warrior. Here we go:
- Paul was probably in a Roman jail when he wrote the letter to the church in Ephesus.
- If we go out in the world without God’s armor, we are relying on our own strength (and we will not survive).
- Roman soldiers wore breastplates to protect their abdomen–mainly their heart–in battle. Put on the breastplate of righteousness so that the devil cannot get to your heart.
- Roman soldiers wore sandals with spikes on the bottom so that when they got to the frontline they would dig in and stand firm.
- Helmets, of course, are worn to protect the head. The number one place the devil attacks is the mind. Put on the helmet of salvation to protect your mind from his attacks.
- When the devil tries to lie to you, speak the truth of God’s word like Jesus did in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11.
- In particular–as in verse 18–we need to pray. When you aren’t in prayer, you cannot put on the armor of God. We move forward in the battle on our knees.
- The battle isn’t between spouses, kids and parents, co-workers, or our fellow church members. As verse 12 states, ‘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’. Do not let the devil be victorious in his attack against you.
While our church enters a season of transition, I pray each of our members who heard this message put on the armor of God every day. As our youth pastor said in closing, when a church faces a transition the devil sends a storm. May we stand firm in the upcoming days. May we not take our eyes off the Lord and His ways. May our faith, hope, and loyalty not be shaken. If the Lord can take a nap in the boat we’re in as the storm churns the waters around us, then we have nothing to fear.
If you are a fellow prayer warrior reading this, please prayer for us. If you or someone you know is going through something similar and needs prayers, please let me know. I’d be happy to prayer for you or them, too. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a blessed and beautiful day.