Armour of God

How many times have you gone to your wardrobe looking for some clothes, to discover that you haven’t got what you are looking for? You remember that you have thrown it away or lent it to a sibling or the dog chewed your shoes/socks, or you just don’t have the right thing to wear! This may happen on a regular basis to you or it may not. You might not be able to remember the last time this actually happened. Undoubtedly though, you have probably experienced something similar in your life time! Whether for yourself to wear or your child to be dressed in.
Let’s take that analogy and apply it, albeit loosely, to our Christian faith. How many times have you gone to your cupboard of Christian thoughts and feelings and found out that you haven’t quite got what you needed? I think it is fairly common for Christians to experience this and to feel like this from time to time. We find though, in Ephesians 6 a full dress code of what a Christian should be wearing. However, it is slightly different to probably what you may have come across before. In Ephesians 6:10-20 we find what is called ‘The Armour of God’. In Eph 6v11 it says “Put on the full armour of God, so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” This goes on to form the basis of Paul’s description of what we need in our ‘wardrobe’ to put on so we can ‘take our stand’.
The items that we are to find in our Christian wardrobe are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and finally, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. What we see described here is actually a soldier, because we are in a spiritual battle. The Apostle Paul wants these Christians to be equipped in the fight of faith and he was writing to normal believers, just like us. So, we should by implication be prepared for this too. Now, we don’t often see these items of clothing anymore, apart from in museums, but really what is important is what each item represents.
The important thing to realise with this is that each piece has an important role to play in a combined outfit. Just like today, not many of us would go out without trousers on. Similarly, a soldier wouldn’t go to battle without each part of the armour on. It would be silly for them to run out to battle without a sword or maybe without a belt on keeping their trousers up, or even without shoes or a helmet? Yet so often, as Christians we can run out into the world without these things on.
We should all know that we are in a battle and that we need to have on us at all times, the truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and spirit of God. Each time we engage with the world around us we can get knocked. So we need to go to our wardrobe each morning and dress ourselves in this armour that God provides through His Word. When you face difficulty and turmoil in your life, it is no good if you have gone out without your ‘shoes’ on, which is the gospel of peace! These things are given to us and we are told to put them on and they will help.
God provides this armour for the believer. We need to use it and not leave it at home when we go out to the daily battle of life. We need God’s gift of faith as a shield to guide us in our day to day lives and view the things that go on through that lens. We need the helmet of salvation to remind us that no matter what happens, we are safe in our salvation that God has provided for us. We need the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God so we can test how best to live our lives in line with God’s will. We need God’s righteousness so we can behave in a way that imitates Christ! We could go on, but each item needs to be put on each day as we interact with the world. It is of vital importance and a key resource and picture that God has given us through his Word!