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The Armor of God

I delivered this lesson to inmates in the San Angelo County Jail in 2012.

THE ENEMY (Eph. 6:10-18):  Have you ever felt an urge so strong that you can’t resist?  That’s the power of this dark world.  That’s the spiritual forces of evil.  If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or money you understand that urge and we don’t have the power on your own to resist.

Scripture speaks of spiritual forces of this dark world and that is none other than Satan himself.  Please trust me on this, his temptations can seem beautiful at the time, but they are deadly to the body and spirit.  If we are not strong enough to resist, what protection do we have? 

Paul says to put on the armor of God.

The belt of truth is not a weapon.  It’s good character; truthfulness, honesty (Phil 4:8) a noble state of mind.  Purity of thought and desire is the goal.

The breastplate of righteousness protects the heart, which we picture as the location of our desires and emotions.  We can work hard at thinking pure thoughts and emotions, but the enemy’s darts (temptations) are aimed right at our hearts (our emotions).   The breastplate begins with Christ our Savior, worship of God, studying scripture, and prayers.  These are the breastplate.

Please note, Paul speaks of standing firm.  This is a picture of a single soldier, standing in his place in the face of the charging enemy, perhaps feeling alone and deserted by his fellow soldiers.  A day may come when you feel alone, but remember, “greater is He who lives within you than he who lives in the world.”  The Holy Spirit lives within you if you are saved.

Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace tells us to live in peace to the best of our ability.

Shield of faith is exactly what it says.  It is the strength of our faith and it protects us from the temptations of Satan uses to bring us down and destroy us.  Paul says that faith is believing in what you can not see, but you can see the results of faith.

The helmet of salvation provides protection to the everlasting portion of our being.  That portion is our immortal soul which can only be protected by accepting Christ as our savior.  Christ is our crowning glory and sign of victory.

The sword of the spirit is the weapon empowered by Almighty God, which will fight this fearsome battle for us.  Paul is reminding us that the battle is spiritual and must be fought in God’s strength, not our own.

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests is a very firm directive to stay in touch with God through prayer.  If you are blessed then you should be thanking God in prayer and if you are in need take your requests to God in prayer.  Your situation doesn’t matter, you must stay in touch with God through prayer.

Be Mindful

With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Never let your guard down, never take a holiday from your prayer life.  This is a battle that is constant and never lets up.  Satan never takes a holiday so we can’t afford to take it easy.  Do you realize that as a follower of Christ Jesus, that each of us is a saint?  That means we are instructed to pray for each other without stopping.

These instructions are too important to be ignored.  The Armor of God is our protection from anything that Satan can use to attack us.  Each of us is only human with hopes and desires and it is through them that Satan corrupts our lives.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we may obtain righteousness and salvation.

When facing the real world you may worry about going the distance without falling, but by the grace of God, you no longer have to fight because the Sword of the Spirit will fight for you every day.

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By R H Clark

Ron is a retired pharmacist with 42 years of experience. He and his wife Kitty have been on mission trips to Thailand and Columbia. Ron lives in Rockport, TX and enjoys fishing, hunting, and riding motorcycles.

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