12. Donning His Armour

I’m doing something a little different this time. I’m going to delve into this passage in depth and write what I feel it’s speaking on, and how it’s applicable in our day to day life.

Ephesians 6 10 – 20 The amour of God

‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour 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 armour 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 round 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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.’ [Bold added]

We are constantly in the midst of spiritual battle and lie open to attack when we do not use the weapons and armour that have been freely offered to us by God. When we don His full armour, we stand with His strength and mighty power in the face of the enemy’s schemes. We discern his lies and see through his disguises.

‘He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies‘. John 8:44

‘And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light‘. 2 Corinthians 11:14

We have the armour available to us to wear, so long as we take it up and put it on. Not  quickly scramble to grab it when we are under attack from the father of lies. No. Then we miss a buckle here, and put the shield on backwards, and forget the helmet altogether in our hurry and panic. Paul says, ‘so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…. Stand firm then’.

In other words, be prepared. Put your armour on now and keep putting it on daily, and fit it properly, and don’t get lazy with it. Every step, every day, every moment, every minute. Wear the armour of God in it’s entiretyLeave no area exposed and vulnerable to attack. Have the foundation fixed. Let it be your norm, your baseline. Be someone who is always wearing the armour of God. Let it be your uniform and what you are known for. Not the special occasion suit. And in this way, you will be protected and you will see the blessings of God in fullness, as He intended you to.

Don the armour of God.

Buckle the BELT OF TRUTH around your waist

Live out the Truth. Let this hold you steady in the face of an ever changing world, cultural norms, and social opinion. Hold fast to that which is true. That which is true is what God says to us through His word and through His Spirit. That which is not true is anything that goes against His word. Living out the truth also means using discernment to see when the devil is masquerading as an angel of light. He deceives us often by looking ‘good’, or ‘just’, or ‘true’. My old school’s motto comes to mind. Shout out to Wesley College. ‘Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:21. It goes on to say, ‘reject every kind of evil’. In the context of this verse, it means to test and examine prophecies, to separate what is of the Truth versus what is evil… perhaps the devil masquerading as an angel of light? Buckle the belt of truth around your waist. Use discernment to have that belt full of real Truth and not false truths.

Put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

The breastplate covers your chest, which is the cavity for your heart and lungs. We all know these are important organs for survival. The breastplate of righteousness. What exactly is righteousness? It’s being virtuous, moral, right, ethical, good, full of integrity. It’s very hard to be righteous, without it being the very heart of who you are. Because righteousness isn’t a shallow quality. It’s deep. It’s foundational. It’s the very essence of one’s character. When put to the test or when in a challenge, being righteous is often the hard decision. The unpopular route. The toughest journey. It goes against the grain. It doesn’t take shortcuts. It stands for what is right, no matter the opposition. It is not easily swayed. It stands firm in its integrity. It is a foundational, character based quality that is only cultivated through daily sacrifice, grind and determination, to be more like Jesus and less like this temporary world. Pursue righteousness, and He will richly bless you. ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ – Matthew 6:33

‘Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor’ – Proverbs 21:21

Fit your feet with the readiness that comes from the GOSPEL OF PEACE

‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ – Philippians 4:7

The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds. Guard. Because it’s part of your armour. The evil one can try to attack your thoughts, your mind, and your emotions. He can try to attack your heart – your passions, your dreams, your most vulnerable and tender treasures. Pray for this peace, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord to fill you with His peace. Because no matter the turmoil of the world around you, when you feel His peace within you, everything is still. Everything is manageable. There is always hope and an anchor to cling to. It really does surpass all understanding. Fix your eyes on Jesus in every situation, keep talking to Him, praying to Him. In every mundane tough moment or situation. A simple sentence – ‘Jesus help me’., ‘Holy Spirit, your peace’. This will bring help to bring you that peace.

And exercise His peace. Be seen to be different from the world, in this way.Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many’ – Hebrews 12: 14-15. Show people His grace, show them His peace. In this way you are being a witness for Him and He will richly bless you. 

Take up the SHIELD OF FAITH

This is one of the hardest ones. Faith. Faith is easy when life is fine and dandy. It’s not so easy in life’s darkest and most apparently hopeless moments. It’s not so easy when you’ve been having faith for something for years, and still no signs of God hearing you. But faith goes beyond that. ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ – Hebrew 11:1

Faith is realising that this world is so, so temporary and fleeting. And that we will not be able to see the big picture or understand everything, because God is so much bigger than the tiny, minuscule perspective we have. Faith is having confidence in God and trusting His ways and plans, without being able to see around the corner or understand his methods and ways fully, sometimes not seeing answers in this lifetime.

‘All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.’ – Hebrews 11:13-16

Put on the HELMET OF SALVATION

If you have accepted Jesus as Lord, repented of your sins, and decided to follow Him, you are saved. You are saved by His grace. Accept this grace daily. When you sincerely ask for forgiveness, He forgives you immediately and it is done. Over. No penances required. Guilt is taken away. The slate is wiped clean. As Christians, we forget this so often. And we hold ourselves in the bondage of guilt and don’t forgive ourselves. Who are we to be so proud so as not to deem our sins worthy of forgiveness when God Himself has already wiped the slate clean? He is the God of second, third, fourth, fifth, countless chances. We can’t not sin as we are not God. All we can do is strive not to sin and to become more and more like Jesus. But when we do sin, and we sincerely say sorry and ask forgiveness, He sees our heart, and we are forgiven.

The devil thrives on our own doubts of the grace of God and whether we are worthy of it or not. Everyone and anyone is worthy of God’s grace! He gives it freely and abundantly to all. Read that again. FREELY. And ABUNDANTLY. That means OVERFLOWING GRACE. The devil loves for us to self destruct and drown in our own guilt, self-loathing and feelings of unworthiness. Remember, he is the father of lies. Put on the helmet of salvation. Wear it with assurance. Know that you are forgiven. Believe it. You are pardoned. You are free. He pours out his grace upon you, time and time again. Because He’s a good, good Father and He loves you unconditionally.

'Lord, I've been broken
Although I'm not worthy
You fixed me, I'm blinded
By your grace
You came and saved me' 

Blinded By Your Grace - Stormzy

And finally,

Take the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, otherwise known as the WORD OF GOD

It can be difficult to motivate oneself to read the Bible. But it truly does still speak to us today in a supernatural way. God uses it to speak to us personally. I find it so hard to motivate myself to read the Bible. And yet, when I do it regularly, I can really see the difference in my approach to life, my spiritual strength for tackling every day problems, and suddenly I start hearing God’s voice much more acutely. It really is a powerful way He speaks to us, He uses it. I would advise really asking Him for the desire to want to read the Bible more, and for Him to speak to you personally through it and that you will be able to discern His voice. Don’t be fooled into thinking you know it all already, particularly if you grew up in a Christian home. I’ve fallen into that trap a few times. You really can hear different and powerful new things from God each time you read it, even if it’s a passage you already know quite well.

‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ – Hebrews 4:12

Take up the full armour of God. In it’s entirety. Use the resources He has given you and you will be richly blessed.

Abbie x

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