“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
Football is a full-contact sport. To prevent injury, teams provide football players with special equipment. Players are given a helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, cleats, thigh and knee pads, a mouthguard, and other items to protect them during the conflict.
Before every game and before every practice, the player puts on his equipment. It doesn’t just accidently appear on him. The coach doesn’t put it on him. The player is intentional about utilizing all the protective equipment provided for him by his team.
How cool is it that God provides the gear we need for the battles we face? We call it the armor of God. It consists of six pieces, and all six pieces are required every day to equip us for battle. The six pieces of the armor of God are:
- Belt of Truth: How do we recognize truth? Ephesians 4:21 tells us that truth comes from Jesus. To put on the belt of truth means to look to Jesus as the arbiter of what is true.
- Breastplate of Righteousness: A breastplate protects the heart. We must guard our heart because everything in our life springs from it.
- Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: With a good pair of shoes, we are ready to stand, walk, or run as needed. The good news of God’s peace readies us to respond appropriately in every situation.
- Shield of Faith: A shield defends us from attack. The shield of faith protects us from every type of attack the devil may throw at us.
- Helmet of Salvation: What goes on in our head—our thoughts—greatly affects our lives. The helmet protects our mind from the negative thoughts the enemy sends to attack us.
- Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God. The Bible is our weapon. Every time we read our Bible or meditate on God’s word, we’re sharpening our sword.
Just as a football player intentionally chooses to put on his equipment, we must intentionally choose to clothe ourselves each day in the armor of God. We are told seven times in Ephesians, chapter 6, to “put on,” “hold up,” or “take” the armor of God. Grace is a gift, but the armor requires intentionality. When we wake up each morning, our prayer should include asking for the whole armor of God.
A football player wouldn’t dream of playing without his equipment. A soldier wouldn’t consider going into battle without his helmet, boots, and weapon. And we shouldn’t even consider facing a day without putting on the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. The armor is so important that verse 13 repeats that instruction again: “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil” (Ephesians 6:13).
The battle requires armor. God provides the equipment we need for victory. It’s up to us to intentionally choose to put it on.
Dear God, I thank you that I never fight alone. I know you are always with me, that you fight with me and for me. Cover me with every piece of your armor, today and every day. Forgive me for the times I’ve tried to battle in my own strength. I know my strength must come from you. In the name of Jesus, amen.