Last week, as I concluded talking about personal holiness I mentioned the need to be determined to keep pushing through. This determination is vital in order for us to continue on our journey of personal holiness. I finished my last blog with the very famous passage on the armour of God, from Ephesians 6:10-18.
I now want to look at the armour of God in more detail, focussing on a different aspect each week and looking in more depth at what each part does.
The bible is filled with warfare and battles, especially in the Old Testament. As God moved His people into the promised land, the Israelites were very rarely at rest. As we move into the New Testament, even though there were fewer wars, the evidences of Roman occupation surrounded New Testament believers everywhere. The apostle Paul may well have been chained to a Roman soldier as he wrote his letter to the Ephesians and I wonder if while he sat there, God inspired Paul through each part of the soldier’s armour.
Who are we fighting?
It is important to start with the fact that we are not fighting other people, no matter how evil they may appear. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us and it is all too real. It says in Ephesians 6:12: “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.”
Even though we cannot see our enemy, we certainly see the effects that his attacks can have. Even in recent times I have seen first hand the devastation that has happened in people’s lives as they have let their guard down and allowed the enemy to get a foothold. My old pastor used to say on a number of occasions “it’s not like a war, it is a war”. The description of the various pieces of armour may be a metaphor but the battle certainly is not. It would be obvious if we were experiencing physical attack by another person. However, the enemy is very adept at disguising his attacks, so we either blame other people or just think we are going through some tough times. We need to be aware of his schemes and putting on this armour will help us.
I don’t wish to scare you, but rather urge you to be aware. We are on the winning side and we follow the Lord of hosts who has given us this wonderful armour to protect us. We need to be confident that when we have our armour on we are a powerful adversary to our enemy. The weapons we have are strong:
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds”. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
It goes without saying that we need to put the full armour on. We are commanded twice in the Ephesians 6 passage to do so. Our mentality should be that of soldiers, not of civilians:
“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer”. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
Join me again next week as we start to unpack each piece of armour one by one, discovering the power and protection that our Champion has provided for us.