Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes
I can’t really imagine what it was like to wear one of those heavy pieces of armor that warriors wore long ago. The picture that always comes to my mind is the typical metal suit of armor that a knight would wear. I can’t imagine how they could see out of the helmet. I don’t even know if I could walk around with all that weight on me, let alone wield a sword to fight against the enemy.
What amazes me is that the armor of God doesn’t weigh me down like a man-made suit does. It doesn’t make it hard to move or see. The armor of God is freeing. It strengthens us and helps us keep fighting. But, why do I feel so weighed down in the midst of a fight or struggle? Why is it so hard to walk? Why do I feel so drained after a particularly rough day of fighting evil’s attacks? I think the weight I feel comes from the guilt of sin. The pain of giving into to temptation. For me, I just feel the temptations weigh me down. I don’t want to think those thoughts or say those things or act that way, yet just even being tempted in that way starts to eat at me. It starts to drain me. By the end of the day or even part-way through the battle, I am so weak that I don’t know how I can even keep going.
Yet God reminds me to keep fighting. He tells us in James 1:4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” As the battle wages and the attacks take their toll, God is working in us. As we talked about before, God reminds us His grace is sufficient. He also tells us that He is working in us to make us mature and complete. Our ability to fight and fight back is being strengthened. I think the hard thing for me is not letting these battles just destroy me. It is not just letting these battles bring me down and letting them happen. I don’t want them to be in vain. But in the midst of a battle rarely do I think, “What can I learn from this?”
What amazes me even more is that God has given us a great gift in His full armor, yet why do I forget it? Why is it not even in the forefront of my mind? Does this happen to you as well. As the battle wages on, the thing that God gave us to protect us I don’t use. I feel all too often I am in the middle of a battlefield without any armor or a sword because I left them in the tent back at camp. Before my day even starts, I should be putting on this armor. I should be equipping myself for battle. Yet, I leave home without it. Then it comes. And it keeps coming. The devil’s schemes. The thoughts that get twisted. The words that don’t go through the filter of grace. The defensiveness of my self is at a high and not taking things correctly. Something that normally wouldn’t bother me is now annoying me to no end.
Next thing I know, I feel as though the devil won. I feel myself going down a path I don’t want to and I can’t escape. God gives us a mighty weapon to stand against these attacks. Over the next few posts, we will go through them, but the main point of this verse for me is that God gives us the full armor. An armor that covers every part of us. There is no vulnerable spot in His armor. The only thing that is vulnerable is our sinful selves and how we are prone to wander. God has given us what we need to succeed this day. He has not left one thing out that we might need. He will always provide and gives us everything to overcome this day. But we don’t always use it or look to Him for help. We start trying to do it on our own. We may win a battle here or there, but we will not win the daily struggle.
Paul makes it clear; the only way we can survive this day is by the full armor of God. The only way we can even stand up in the midst of chaos and the battle around us is by God, by His mighty power and by equipping ourselves with Him and what He gives us. So take that righteousness, that truth, that Gospel of peace, that faith and that salvation and stand firm and confident in it. Be strong in what God has done. Be strong in what He has given you. You can leave home without your breakfast, but don’t do anything until you have the full armor of God on.
I know there are days when we won’t feel near to God. There will be days when we give into thoughts of exhaustion and unfaithfulness. But remember, as I have to during these days where the devil is scheming all around us, God is here. He is in us. God is with us. God will not leave us or forsake us. His love conquers all. He is and always will be our only God. Stand up to those schemes from the devil. Stand firm that you can speak in full confidence that God is with you. Be strong, remember who your Father is and give Him the battle. Put on the armor He has given you. Thank you God for giving us this armor. Thank you for equipping us for battle.