The first item in our armor that we are going to look at is our Helmet. This is what covers our head. We must remember that the enemy’s tactics most always start in the mind – our thought patterns. We need to realize AND apply this truth – Jesus’ finished work on Calvary has paid the price for our sins; and we now have the authority to ‘take captive every thought’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In other words, as the enemy tries to hit us with ‘God will NEVER forgive you for that!’, or ‘Sure, you’re a Christian! Just look at what you did (or what you said, etc.)!’ Grab that thought right when it enters! Do NOT dwell on it. Remind Satan that it is under the blood and that ‘there is therefore now, NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). . . be sure to proudly wear that Helmet of Salvation, keep it in place!
The second item we are going to address is our Shield. These were made of tough leather and it had to be maintained properly in order to not become dry and brittle, which would lead to penetration and death (which is what happened to King Saul – see 2 Samuel 1:21). They maintained it by oiling it daily! The application of oil was to ‘anoint holy objects or kings’ (Strongs # 8081). It also signifies strength and gives an overall picture of richness. When applied on a regular, daily, basis, the shield had great strength and the arrows of the enemy would simply bounce right off.
We, too, must daily ‘oil’ our ‘shield of faith’. Oil in scriptures reflects Holy Spirit – we cannot live this Christian life without Him. We need to be immersed, completely saturated with His presence, His anointing, that our faith remains well oiled and strong. It needs to be as rich to us today as it was the very moment we accepted Christ into our lives and Holy Spirit came in to abide with us! Our shield of faith should always be up and ready for battle – let us not be caught off guard or unprepared with a dry and brittle shield.
The third piece of our armor to look into is our breastplate. What IS a breastplate? We know that symbolically it is the righteousness of Christ that we put on; but, it was originally used in battle to protect vital organs (lungs, heart, etc.). If a soldier went into battle he needed a very strong breastplate that would be keep him from sudden death by arrows penetrating. It, too, like the shield, can have the arrows bounce off and thwart the tended purpose of the enemy. So, how do we maintain this? First, by understanding that it is not OUR righteousness that stands up against the enemy – it is Christ’s! In Him we ARE victorious! Secondly, being sure that there are no open areas – in other words, asking ourselves, “am I trying to do this in my own strength?” or “Is my heart attitude right? Or am I portraying the ‘look at me, look at what I did’ attitude?” Other ways to look for open areas that the enemy can shoot through would be am I taking in the Pneuma – the very breath of God (Holy Spirit) as our strength and protection? If we are NOT in the Word on a daily basis, our breastplate may very well have holes developing and/or getting bigger!
Fourthly, the belt – this is the item that went firmly around the waist. It ‘girded the loins’ (protected). Take a look, again, at the graphic we shared yesterday. See how this wraps around, hugs the body? Truth needs to be like that on us – it should be such a part of who we are that there is no visible area of separation! This belt, according to the Nelson Study Bible, is "hung strips of leather to protect the lower body."
Pastor Landon Kyker (Pastor of Living Stone Church) shared a very interesting comment about this protection that I wanted to share with you, with his permission. He said that this “protected that which was needed for reproduction.” Dear ones, how can we expect to reproduce if we are not protecting ourselves? We are told, by Jesus, to ‘go and make disciples’ – that IS reproduction. We cannot do this if we are unprotected and allow ourselves to be wounded by the enemy!
Also, The Matthew Henry Commentary says the belt "girds on [secures] all the other pieces of our armor." If we do NOT have the belt of Truth securely in place, we cannot be ready for battle. God’s Word is Truth. We must wear it faithfully, keeping ourselves protected completely – having ‘at ready’ that which hangs from it (i.e., our sword).
The SWORD (of the Spirit) is that which ‘rightly divides the truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15). So, to maintain our sword, we – again – need to be absolutely regular in our times of prayer and study – alone and corporately! To keep the sword sharp it must be actively sharpened at all times. We cannot pull out our sword to use it and expect it to be sharp if we have not maintained it. Yesterday’s Word, or Pastor’s message, will not keep it sharp enough for battle today! Paul refers to this sword as ‘of the Spirit’, because as we have been learning, Holy Spirit is the ONE who lives in us and illuminates the Word to our hearts. He is the One who teaches us exactly how to use it (we will cover this in part 5).
SHOES/BOOTS – these are the ‘readiness of the Gospel of peace’ or “boots of peace” as some would like to say. Proper maintenance of our footwear is important. We do not want them to be so soft on the bottom that anything we may step on can penetrate and wound. Nor, do we want there to be any holes, rips, tears, places of weakness. They need to be (and remain) supportive. How do we do this? Well, as most of us that have had leather shoes know, they need to be lubricated – the ‘oil’ again! Yep . . . Holy Spirit teaches us how to walk as Christ walked – in peace … we need to ‘step into’ His peace. Ask Holy Spirit to show you how, and to help you along the way (see Hebrews 12:14).
And, lastly, I like to think of “PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION” as our outer protection from the elements of life. Like a cloak or a blanket. If we have kept ourselves ‘prayed up’ we will remain protected even as we sleep, and our ‘sleep will be sweet’ (Proverbs 3:24). It can also be His protective covering (see Psalm 91) – as we take shelter in Him, resting under shadow of the Almighty.
There is so much to be absorbed it will take time. It is a new ‘mind set’ – learning how to use the tools that God has given us, but ever so worth it to walk in victory!
Rev Karin Lynn-Hill, founder of 4-Given Ministries, has a heart for discipleship. A deep desire to help others learn how to apply the Word of God and live and walk victoriously in all situations in life. This study is one that she did as a tool for those she has worked with to help them along the way.
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