Did you prepare yourself for war today? In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul encourages Christians to put on the complete armor of God. Paul believed that this world is a spiritual battlefield. Bad things happen for no apparent reason. This is because human beings have an enemy. Satan is not a guy with red skin and horns. That was always just a metaphor and seems hokey today. Satan is spiritual being of great evil.
Paul wants us to see life this way. The world is not just what we see. We should prepare for battle every day with the armor given to us by God. We may not be attacked every day, but we will be attacked. We should not be surprised when bad things happen. We should expect it and be ready.
What is this armor? The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The shoes of readiness. The shield of faith. The helmet of salvation. The sword of the word of God.
When we envision this armor we usually think of a medieval knight. But that is the wrong metaphor. Paul was writing during the first century AD. He was not thinking of a medieval knight, but of Roman soldiers. This is important.
Medieval knights had armor and weapons designed to fight alone. They had huge swords, armor covering every inch of their bodies and shields they could easily swing to deflect a blow. Roman soldiers had armor that was designed to be effective only when fighting together as a unit. Their shields were large and covered the soldier holding the shield and also part of the soldier on his left. Their armor did not cover every inch of their bodies but only those parts that would be exposed when they were in battle formation.
The armor of God protects not only you, but also those around you.
Consider the shield of faith. Faith is the ability to believe that God can and will answer prayer and help us. When hard things happen many Christians throw down their faith and run. Then the battle is lost. Instead at those moments we need to take up our faith and declare that we believe God will help us. This will protect not only us but those around us.
Or consider the Word of God, which is the sword of the spirit. This is our weapon against spiritual evil. We need to prepare by constantly training ourselves to use it. When evil attacks us we need to pull it out and use it. Imagine you are in the middle of a fight, or that something terrible has happened to a family member or friend. It is extremely difficult at those times to go to the Bible, but it is powerful. Bring the word of God into that fight or tragedy, use it properly and watch how the situation changes. The battle will not end instantly, but now at least you are fighting. This sword will defend you and everyone else around you.
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