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Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 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. 19 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
When we are confident in God’s eternal love for us, we are ready to face the daily battles in this life. The most important passage in the entire Bible on this are the famous “armor of God” verses from Ephesians 6. Notice in v. 10 & 13 that the goal is the same as in 1 Cor. 15:58, to ‘take your stand’ or ‘stand your ground’. This is the idea: as long as we hold our ground and hang on to our faith, we have won. We don’t need to defeat Satan (that’s God’s job). As long as we keep our faith in God, we have defeated Satan’s purposes. When we hold on to our faith during the trials and torments Satan sends us, it infuriates him! Just by surviving, we have won! That’s why nearly all of the ‘armor’ God gives us is defensive. Even the sword of the word (the only offensive weapon) is meant to be used primarily defensively. Indeed, Christians often get into trouble because they get so eager to attack unbelievers, they forget to put on their defensive armor and the Enemy skewers them. Which of the items of God’s armor have you been neglecting? What would it take to refurbish it?