Written by Marti Soenen
This passage in Ephesians 6 is one I need to read daily. I need to “put on the armor of God…” I need to put it on. Some days I greet the day with less than that– feeling the heat of the battle and feeling so powerless to fight it. The truth is, I am powerless. On my own, there is no hope. Vs 10: The amplified version is so good here– “be strong in the Lord– be empowered through your union with Him, draw your strength from Him- that strength which His [boundless] might provides…” I can only be strong with His power. Not my own. I get into trouble when I try to do it on my own.
“Put on God’s whole armor- the armor of a heavy-armed soldier, which God supplies…” I daily forget that I’m in a war. I am a soldier in a war. I have a son who is in the Army, training to be a “heavily armed soldier.” Each day he starts with routine, every day he starts his day with purpose. He doesn’t wake up, stretch, yawn, (well maybe for the first two minutes), and wonder what he’s going to do for the day. He has a plan, he has a focus, he knows what is required to be prepared for battle. He knows if he goes onto the battle field without his armor, without his weapons, without knowing how to use those weapons, he is a sitting duck. He will be easily overtaken, it would be like stepping out on the battle field with a big target on his back. He will be trained to know his enemy. He will know how he operates, he will know where his weaknesses are.
I need to be that purposeful about my life, each day. I should not step out into the day without realizing my enemy is laying in wait for me. I’ve heard some people (and pastors!) mock the idea that “there’s a demon behind every bush.” Yes, actually, I do believe that . Because I’ve experienced it in my own life. If we are not careful in what we engage in, if we lay our armor to the side and not even glance at it, we’re goin’ down. And the fall can be so devastating. Vs 12 confirms the demon behind the bush. “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood- contending only with physical opponents- but against the depotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of the present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” The darkness surrounds us. We need to be aware. Not in fear, because greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world. But God tells us to put on our armor so we need to take it seriously.
Vs 13 & 14 “Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore- hold your ground…” I think thats the favorite part for me– “stand, firmly in your place…hold your ground...”
Sometimes I feel that’s all I can do. To stand. Stand steady, hold my ground. I feel the storm swirling and churning all around me, I feel like that “house built upon the rock, the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7: 24 & 25.
I am given the armor, I am supplied with the foundation, I just need to choose it. “Put it on.” Put it on. Put it on. My son cannot get onto the battlefield and then start to put on his armor when the first shot grazes his head. He needs to have it on securely in place before he steps out to meet the enemy. He cannot pull out his rifle and try and figure out how to load it when his enemy has skillfully come prepared for the battle and sees an easy prey. He cannot have his equipment in ill repair. It has to function for him, be at the ready for when he needs to call on it.
The scripture goes on to explain the armor, ”the belt of truth, the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God; shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace; the shield of saving faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God….”
And finally, Vs 18 “Pray at all times- on every occasion, in every season- in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”
Glancing back to chapter 5 and seeing vs 15 “Be careful then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise-sensible, intelligent people…”
The commands are there. God wants me to succeed, but I need to cooperate with His word. And after doing all this– to stand. Just stand. Hold my ground. And God will fight for me. His armor is what protects me. His truth, His righteousness, His salvation, His peace. Against all these the enemy cannot stand, he cannot penetrate.
Each day, before my toe hits the floor, I need to say “yes Lord, Your truth, Your righteousness, Your salvation, Your peace, all these things, I put on today.
I choose You.