Meditations of a Father: (f) The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:13‑18  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
First Piece of Armor: Loins Girded
“Loins girt about with truth.” Nothing strengthens a person like the truth. How important is the daily reading and meditating on the Word of God. Lies are so common in our culture, and while at times from our limited perspective they may appear convenient, it always and only complicates and weakens us. The enemy well knows it and tries all he can to get us from the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus. Cultivate love of the truth—it will strengthen you.
Girding it on simply means making it practical in life. Don’t just talk about it; do it. If you find you have been ensnared in some area by a lie, be truthful about that too—don’t cover it up. Set your face toward the Lord Jesus, for He is the truth. How wonderful to have the Word in our hands written in black and white for us to read. The Lord Jesus said to His Father, “Thy Word is truth.” In this way truth is completely objective and absolute. Remember, our experiences and feelings are not the norm.
Second Piece of Armor: Breastplate
“Having on the breastplate of righteousness.” This is simply keeping a good conscience. You know well that, when your conscience accuses you of something wrong in your life, you are in no shape to face the enemy. Paul said in Acts 24:1616And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. (Acts 24:16), “Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.” He did not make a blanket statement, “I have a good conscience,” but rather, “I exercise myself, to have.” That is a continual exercise. Even in Hebrews 1316But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16) he says, “We trust we have a good conscience.” Conscience is not a good guide—the Word of God and the Spirit of God guide—but it is a good policeman, so don’t ignore its voice. Face things squarely in the light of God’s presence. You only hinder yourself, if you refuse to judge yourself there.
Third Piece of Armor: Feet Shod
“Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The feet speak of our walk. It is important to walk what we talk, if there is to be power in our testimony. If we walk in the peace of God, it will be evident in our demeanor, and people will listen when we give them the gospel of peace with God. The storm may be raging around us, but that cannot disturb the peace that surrounds God’s throne and our own souls, as we walk with God.
Fourth Piece of Armor: Shield
The fourth piece of armor is very important: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” It is, simply put, implicit and entire confidence in God. When every outward circumstance seems to indicate otherwise, but we have a positive word from God, we choose to believe God.
Paul in the midst of the storm in Acts 27 was told by an angel of God that “God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” Based on that word from God, he could further say, “Be of good cheer: for I believe God.” You might have said to him, “Be reasonable, Paul; look at where we are!” But God had spoken and therefore the storm had ceased in his soul even though it yet raged around the ship.
Fiery darts are doubts that the enemy hurls to knock us down. We should mistrust ourselves and may have reason to mistrust others. But we should never allow mistrust of God. Hang on to His infallible Word. He will always be true to it. We need to let Him fulfill His promises as only He can and will. Sometimes we get our ideas on how He should come through, based on His Word. But His thoughts are greater than ours and His way far better all around.
Fifth Piece of Armor: Helmet
This is “the helmet of salvation.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:88But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8), it says, “For an helmet, the hope of salvation.” Here it is broader. It simply means that when we enter the battle armed with this, we know (it covers the head) that whatever may happen, we will come out victorious in the end. We are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” This gives confidence and liberates us from fear.
Hymn 16 in the appendix of the Little Flock Hymnbook puts it well:
For every tribulation,
For every sore distress,
In Christ I’ve full salvation,
Sure help and quiet rest.
No fear of foes prevailing!
I triumph, Lord, in Thee!
O Jesus! Friend unfailing,
How dear art Thou to me!
Sixth Piece of Armor: Sword
This piece is the only offensive piece (not defensive as the first five)—“the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” It is not our sword, but the Spirit’s sword. When we learn to use it under the direction of the Spirit of God, it is effective. The Lord Jesus used it in that way when being tempted forty days of the devil. Even though as the very Son of God He could have used His reasoning power to defeat the enemy, He, as a dependent Man, only and always simply said, “It is written.” The devil could not stand before the piercings of that sword and left Him for a time.
It shows the extreme importance of not only reading the Word daily, but also of letting the Word of God abide in us. It is what gives strength to the young men in 1 John 2:1313I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (1 John 2:13) so that they can overcome. If we are walking in the power of an ungrieved Spirit, He can bring the right Scripture at the right moment to give us the victory.
Seventh Piece of Armor: Prayer
The seventh and final matter concerning the armor of God is “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” In the warfare that we are in each and every day, we only advance in the spirit of continual dependence on God. Someone has said we advance on our knees. It is so important that nothing should take precedence over this. Martin Luther was known to say, “I have so much to do each day, I dare not spend any less than three hours in prayer.” No wonder God used him as a mighty instrument during the Reformation.
R. Thonney (adapted)