It’s finally time to wrap up this Identified Series. I hope you’ve been following along as we’ve worked our way through the book of Ephesians, learning to let the God who created us be the One to give us our labels. (Click to catch up) Today, we’re learning all about God’s Armor, which He has generously given to us. We’ve learned SO MANY things already about who we are in Christ, and about what those identifiers demand from us as a response. We’re almost fully equipped for battle. We’re almost ready to face this life, not just knowing who we are, but knowing exactly what that means about the victories that already belong to us.
But before we step out into the war, let’s look at the closing passage of Ephesians to identify our enemy, and understand the tools we’ve been given to defeat him. Our incredible God has equipped us with His own armor! So as we close out this series, let’s learn what the Armor of God is and how to use it so that we’ll be able to stand firm until the very end!
I Am Fully Equipped for Battle with God’s Armor
It doesn’t always feel like we’ve been fully equipped for battle does it? The trials of this world loom large and it often feels as if they will defeat us. There have been plenty of times I’ve found myself curled up in a ball on my floor, certain I could NOT go on. (Not exactly standing firm, is it?)
But what I’ve learned since then is that in those times, I haven’t been living in my identity! At least, not my new one. I haven’t been wearing God’s armor. Instead, I’ve been looking at my trials through the lens of my own ability to handle them, and that would mean certain failure.
But friends, we have been made new! That’s what this whole study has been about. We’re not who we used to be. We’re not facing these things alone or in our own strength. We HAVE to understand who we are and how we’ve been equipped.
Following David’s Example
Let’s look to the example of David as he faced off with the Philistine giant, Goliath.
David knew who he was as a member of God’s chosen people. His confidence in the God who had given him that identity was absolute, and it gave him the brazen audacity to proclaim a victory he had not yet won to a giant he had NO CHANCE of defeating save through a miracle.
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues His people, but not with sword and spear! This is the Lord’s battle, and He will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:45-47
Do we understand who we are in that same way? Do we know, as David did, how to be strong in the Lord and in HIS MIGHTY POWER? Does our confidence in the One in whose Name we come to fight give us everything we need to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil?
We ARE equipped for battle! May we learn to live with the same kind of brazen audacity David had! May we face off with our own giants, knowing we’ve as good as won because we know whose we are, and we know what He can do!
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Know the Enemy
Ephesians 6:11-12 – For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
I’m going to keep this section brief, because though it is important to know the enemy, this particular study is not about his identity, but about ours.
The main point here is that we’re not fighting against people. We’re not battling circumstances. The foe is not physical or immediately tangible. Our enemy is the very real forces of darkness that war behind the veil of this reality in a realm the Bible refers to as “heavenly places.”
We’re talking about Satan and his army of demons. They are real, and they are dangerous, but what we need to remember is that they are also defeated.
For further study on the enemy, check out these links:
– Recognizing the Enemy
– 7 Signs of Spiritual Attack
– How the Devil Attacks – With Drops in the Bucket
Ephesians 6:13-17 – Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
So, now that we both know the enemy, and know the One who empowers us to fight, let’s learn about the gear He’s provided to ensure our victory.
If you have never done The Armor of God Bible study by Priscilla Shirer, (click my affiliate link to purchase it) I highly recommend it. I’ve studied God’s Armor a lot in my life, but something I learned from her study is that this armor we’ve been given is the literal armor of God refereed to at the end of Isaiah 59. He has used it to fight His own battles, and now He is giving it to us because we belong to Him!
Y’all if this armor is good enough for God, you better believe it’s going to be able to stand up to any battle we’ve been thrown into! So let’s look at the pieces.
The Belt of Truth
If you study the armor of the ancient Roman soldier you’ll find a very important piece which ensured the stability of the whole get-up. It was worn under everything else, right around the middle of the soldier, and every other piece of the armor was fastened into this “belt.”
God’s armor has a similar piece. It’s called the belt of truth, and without the stability of this component at its core, the armor would be far less effective.
This belt is Truth. God’s truth given to us through the Word of God. We NEED to have Truth saturating our core. It’s at the foundation of our battle against the enemy who is going to come at us with lies and deceptions.
Every single day we have to “put on” Truth. We have to read and study the Bible, commit it to memory, and allow it sink into our hearts (our core) and stabilize us.
John 17:17 – Make them holy by Your Truth; teach them Your Word, which IS Truth.
The Body Armor (or Breastplate) of God’s Righteousness (God’s Armor from Isaiah 59)
Before we can put on this piece of God’s armor, we have to understand something about our identity. Through Christ we have been justified, or declared righteous forever. Even though we continue to sin, when we are covered by the shed blood of Jesus our sins are no longer a part of who we are. We take on God’s righteousness as our own! When the Father looks at us, all He sees is the absolute purity of His Son.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
The breastplate (or body armor) is the piece of God’s armor that covers and protects our heart. The enemy likes to attack our hearts by reminding us of our sin and seeking to convince us that we are gross, worthless, unworthy scum. When we understand that God’s righteousness has become our own, our hearts are safe from these attacks.
So every day, let’s put on our body armor by remembering and even declaring out loud that through God’s righteousness, we too have been declared righteous! Take that Satan!
The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
On our feet we need something that will give us the ability to move with confidence. We must be able to keep our footing in battle. Our shoes need to give us both stability and agility.
In God’s armor, the shoes are the Gospel. The Good News that salvation is available through Jesus Christ.
Salvation is basically peace with God. Without Jesus we are separated from God – at odds with Him. But through the work of Christ on the cross, our peace with God has been restored.
Every single day let’s put on our shoes with a declaration of the Gospel of Peace. By daily affirming our salvation, let us gain the ability to move forward, to march out in the confidence that we are at peace with God. May we find stability in everything we do, and the agility to move about in freedom!
The Shield of Faith
Our enemy fights dirty. You better believe he is shooting flaming arrows at us every chance he gets. If they find a way into our hearts, these darts have the power to ignite and destroy.
But God has given us a defense against these arrows as part of His armor. It is the shield of faith. We can strap it onto our arm and block those attacks with our unwavering confidence in Christ. Our complete and total trust that He is good, He is in control, and He will keep us safe.
Hebrews 11:1 – Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we live by faith, not by sight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
The Helmet of Salvation (God’s Armor from Isaiah 59)
There are very minor distinctions between some of these pieces of God’s armor. What’s the difference between the shoes of the Gospel, and the Helmet of Salvation? It’s about what they protect.
The reality of the Gospel gives us the ability to move about in confidence and in freedom. The truth about our own salvation protects our minds! When we are secure in our salvation, it’s going to be a lot harder for the enemy to get into our heads.
So let’s daily tell the devil to whom we belong! Let’s remind him of our eternal, irreversible, indestructible salvation!
The Sword of the Spirit (God’s Armor from Isaiah 59)
The sword of the Spirit – it’s our one and only offensive weapon. With every other piece of God’s armor we mount our defense. Each piece so far has been to protect us against the strategies of the enemy, but with our sword we FIGHT!
The sword of the Spirit has the power to tear apart the enemy. With it we can advance against him and all his little minions and beat. them. down! Our weapon is the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the Word of God is alive and POWERFUL! It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow…
Many times the Bible describes the resurrected Jesus, who sits on the throne of heaven, as having a sharp, two-edged sword that comes from His mouth. (Rev. 1:16, Rev. 2:12, Rev. 2:16) With it He accomplishes many things, and wins mighty victories. And the Bible tells us that in the end
2 Thessalonians 2:8 – Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming.
Jesus is going to destroy the enemy with His WORD! He is going to use the same Sword of the Spirit which He has given to us to put an end to the enemy one day. Until then, He’s given that mighty weapon to us so that we can fight victoriously in every single battle that comes our way!
Friends, let’s pick it up daily! It is a mighty treasure. Let’s learn the powerful words of our Lord by studying them consistently. May we use them to combat the lies of the enemy, just as Jesus did in the wilderness as He was being tempted by Satan. The spoken Word of God will shut down the advances of the enemy every single time! So pick up your sword and fight my friend!
*Here are a few more articles from two of my good friends and favorite bloggers for further study:
–Put on the Whole Armor of God Part 1 and Put on the Whole Armor of God Part 2 from Donna and Susan at Fresh Grace for Today
–The Armor of God: Are You Wearing the Right Kind? from Alice at Poema Chronicles
Put on the Whole Armor of God
Another thing I loved about Priscilla Shirer’s The Armor of God study is that she put a great deal of emphasis on the importance of prayer as we daily put on the whole armor of God. She asserts that it is through prayer we activate the power of each piece of God’s armor.
So, as we learn to put on the whole armor of God every single day, let us not forget the importance of prayer. It is our connection to God. It’s how we “plug in” (as she put it) to His power. It is literally how we put the armor on!
So let’s stay alert, and never stop praying!
Ephesians 6:19-22 – And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.
Stand Firm in Faith for You have been Identified!
We’ve faithfully studied Ephesians and we know who we are in Christ. We know there is an enemy, and we know he wants nothing more than to make us forget all about our identity and keep us defeated in sin. BUT we also know the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies has gifted us His very own armor and fully equipped us for battle.
So let us stand firm in faith! May we never waiver.
May we always remember, our enemy is already defeated. All we have to do is face each battle understanding and believing that truth. We have to know who he is, know who we are, and most importantly know that we are who we are because of who God is.
He has IDENTIFIED you. You are His very own. So never back down friend! Put on the whole armor of God every day. Never stop praying. Stand firm in faith. Live in the reality of your new identity in Christ!
Now go! Live victoriously.
Ephesians 6:23-24 – Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
*How about you? Do you feel fully equipped to go out and live your life in victory with your identity in Christ?
If you enjoyed this post, check out the rest of the Identified Series as we work our way through the whole book of Ephesians to discover everything God has to teach us about who we are in Him.