My women’s Bible study just finished studying the book of Ephesians. In the last section, Ephesians 6:10-20, deals with what the apostle Paul calls the armor of God. I was really excited about it, so I thought I would share what I learned with you. What is the armor of God? How does it apply to everyday life? Read on to discover more.
- Armor of God Meaning
- God's Armor
- Armor of God Prayer
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Armor of God Meaning
In the past, I have done The Armor of God study by Priscilla Shirer. I also researched a few commentaries for our small group discussion, so this post is a conglomeration of insight from different locations.
So, what is the armor of God? The whole armor of God is what Paul is referencing in Ephesians 6:10-20. This is a spiritual armor that all Christians should be putting on to combat spiritual warfare. It’s interesting to note that Paul mentions each piece of God’s armor in the order that the Roman soldier of ancient times would have put it on.
Before we talk more about God’s armor, what does it mean to put on the Armor of God? As just mentioned, each piece of the armor of God matches a piece of armor that a Roman soldier would have actually worn. Paul’s audience would have been familiar with this, so he likened each piece to a spiritual truth of what we need to live as a follower of Christ Jesus. We actually need to be aware of these pieces and put them on in our lives so they can be used to combat Satan.
God’s armor is crucial in the Christian life for our survival in God’s kingdom. It’s way too easy for Satan and his followers to distract us, get us questioning God’s truth, and sabotage our faith. Because of this, we need to put on the full armor of God in our daily lives.
What are the 7 Pieces of Armor of God
Let’s get into the seven pieces of the armor of God according to Ephesians 6. As we go through each piece, we’ll also cover what it means to put on the armor of God. As God’s children, putting on the armor of God is a great first step in fighting the real enemy in the spiritual world.
1. Belt of truth
What is truth? Today’s society may tell you that truth is whatever you decide is right for you. However, we’re talking about God’s truth. What is God’s opinion on the matter? What does God say in His Word, the Bible? That is where our truth comes from.
As a piece of a soldier’s armor, the belt is the first piece of armor, and the other pieces of armor hinge on it. The belt helps bear the weight of the breastplate and gives strength to the soldier’s core so that he doesn’t buckle under pressure. This strength then flows to the rest of his body.
How do I put on the belt of truth? As Christians, we need to look to God’s truth first. EVERYTHING gets measured by it.
We can’t measure things based on feelings. Why do you suppose that is? Feelings and emotions are constantly changing, but God’s truth never changes. His truth needs to surround us like that belt. God’s standard of truth frees us from guilt, gives protection, and allows us to live peaceably with others. God’s truth also helps us to be aware of false doctrine that is invading the church of Jesus.
2. Breastplate of righteousness
Now we come to the breastplate of righteousness as another piece of the armor of God. First, we need to define “righteousness.” Righteousness is doing what is right toward God and others. Basically, it is how truth is lived out.
Without the belt of truth that we just talked about, you’re left to carry the weight of righteousness on your own strength. That’s a bigger weight than any of us can carry, so we need to have our righteousness attached to God’s truth (see Romans 10:3,4).
The breastplate also protects the heart and other vital organs. Our spiritual heart is the centerpiece of the soul. It is what makes you YOU. We need to protect ourselves with God’s righteousness, which is only found through Jesus, versus our own made-up righteousness…or what culture says is right.
3. Shoes of the gospel of peace
Think about what shoes would do for a soldier. Their shoes had straps that wrapped up their ankles. They also had some spikes that would give them a firm grip. We need to have a firm grip in a world that is very unsteady. We need to be able to walk forward at a steady pace and also stand firm when we need to.
Satan wants to steal this peace that allows us to stand firm. He tries to cause discord, chaos, anxiety, and worry in order to trip us up. He strives to cause the opposite of peace. We need our shoes to keep us grounded and going forward, so go with the preparation of the gospel of peace!
4. Shield of faith
The next piece of the armor of God is the shield of faith. Faith is easily defined as what you say you believe in action. Faith also reveals our reliance on God. Our faith doesn’t need to be big, but it DOES need to be rooted in a good and big God.
Your faith is tied to your perception of God. Priscilla Shirer says, “The truth of God’s character and His Word provides the framework that allows our faith to flourish and thrive.” This turns the focus of faith off of us and onto God.
The shield Paul is referencing here is a large shield that covered most of the body. The enemy would shoot flaming arrows at their opponent in order to distract and cause chaos and diversion. The soldiers would wet their shields and interlock them over and around themselves like a turtle shell. The flames would be extinguished as they sunk into the wet wood.
Satan is the one shooting fiery darts at us. We need to take up our shield of faith so that these darts can be extinguished!
As moms, unless we prioritize our relationship with God, it can easily fall by the wayside. Learn more about growing closer to God. As we grow closer to Him, we become a better wife and mother as well.
5. Helmet of salvation
Why do you suppose we need to have a helmet as part of the armor of God? I sure wouldn’t want to go into battle, spiritual or otherwise, without a helmet! Salvation isn’t just about a one-time thing, but it’s also an ongoing protection-a process of becoming more like Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:8 calls the helmet the “hope” of salvation. Our helmet is meant to protect our minds from the devil’s schemes and lies…lies such as “I’m unworthy, incapable, or insignificant.” Instead, knowing our identity in Christ will help us hear who He says we are. God tells us we are loved, chosen, forgiven, and holy.
Choose to put on your helmet. Renew your mind in who God says you are. Since our thinking affects both our mind and our body, we need to be careful with what’s going into it. Philippians 4:8 (ESV) says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
By putting on the helmet of salvation, we can protect ourselves from the wiles of the devil with the mind of Christ. He is the father of lies and will do anything he can to keep you from believing who God says you are.
6. Sword of the Spirit: the offensive piece of the armor of God
Finally, we come to the only offensive weapon of the armor of God. The sword referenced here is a short sword meant for close-up combat. Our passage tells us what the sword is…the word of God. How powerful is that??!! This weapon has mighty power against the powers of this dark world.
God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,” according to Hebrews 4:12. Jesus used scripture when Satan tried to tempt Him. This is the example we need to follow. Put on the armor of God by learning God’s Word and memorizing it.
7. Fervent Prayer
Prayer is what ties everything together. Verses 18-20 remind us that our prayer needs to be constant, in the Spirit, and petitioning God for the saints (all Christians). There are all kinds of prayers we can pray.
We need to pray for perseverance and boldness to proclaim the gospel. We need to pray for the armor of God over our lives. Pray that we will have the power of God in our lives in order to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Armor of God Prayer
Now that you’ve had the armor of God explained, as Christians, we need to actually put on the full armor of God. God’s armor won’t protect us if we don’t use it. Pray a full armor of God prayer to help you remember each day to gird yourself with each piece of armor that God has given us.
Now that you’ve had the armor of God explained, as Christians, we need to actually put on the full armor of God. The individual pieces of armor are helpful but don’t protect us fully on their own. Pray a full armor of God prayer to help you remember each day to gird yourself with each piece of armor that God has given us.
Heavenly Father, Help me to actually put on the armor of God. I need the belt of truth, Your truth, to keep my core strong and steady. I protect myself with the breastplate of righteousness that only comes through the righteousness of Jesus. I thank you for the shoes of peace that allow me to stand firm and walk steadily forward. Help me to root my shield of faith in my perception of who You are instead of who I think I am. Protect my mind with the helmet of salvation as I renew my mind in who you say that I am. I grab the sword of the Spirit as I go on the offense to combat lies with truth. I fervently pray for boldness and perseverance as I fight the fight that you have called me to. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Printable armor of God prayer
Download this FREE printable Armor of God prayer. Place it somewhere you will see it often so that you will remember what God’s armor is and what it helps you do.
For further study on prayer, I highly recommend the movie War Room. Tying in with the movie and The Armor of God study is the book Fervent, also by Priscilla Shirer.
As a woman of God, are you putting on each of the different pieces of the armor of God? Which piece of armor do you struggle to put on? What are some ways you have found to help you renew your mind or memorize Scripture? Please comment below.
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