The Armor of God (and how to use it)

We are in a spiritual war. The battle lines are drawn. Sides have been chosen. The forces of good and evil collide in a furious battle for the souls of men. Are you prepared? Learn how to put on the whole armor of God.

what is the armor of God

Soldiers going into battle wear specific and important gear. Armor and weapons are directly related to life expectancy in battle.

God has given us special armor to wear as we battle for Him.

The Battle

Every day, there is a spiritual war raging around us. God’s people are not spectators watching the battle from a safe distance.

We are on the front lines. We are in the danger zone. Click To Tweet

Bullets are whizzing by our heads. Traps are laid for our destruction. The enemy advances upon our position. One wrong move and we can become a casualty of this spiritual war.

This may not make sense to you as you read it. You are reading this in relative comfort. You don’t hear gunshots or see the enemy so you feel safe.

You are not…

This warfare takes place on a spiritual plane that can only be seen with eyes of faith. The evidence of carnage surrounds us, yet is often explained away.

You can be successful in this war, but you must do these two things:

  1. Acknowledge your place in the battle. Denial won’t stop the enemy. Happy thoughts and good intentions won’t protect you from the Devil and his minions. You are in the battle whether you like it or not. You will either fight the good fight of faith or be destroyed.
  2. Use the armor and weapons God provides for your protection and victory. A good General equips his troops with the proper tools for combat. Our Heavenly General has given you spiritual armor to protect you from the enemy and the only weapons you will need to prevail. Use them!

Ephesians 6:10–11
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

God provides you supernatural strength and might for the battle. You will need every ounce of them! You are not strong enough to stand on your own.

This daily conflict will require courage. Resolve to be strong in Him facing each day with God.

The Enemy

The Devil is your enemy. He wants to destroy you.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The Devil is a liar and deceiver. He is a murder who lives to steal, kill, and destroy.

Satan’s first priority is to blind people to the glorious Gospel and Christ ensuring their eternal suffering in Hell. He is going to Hell and he wants to take as many people there with his as possible.

Once you trust Jesus as your Saviour, Satan cannot touch your soul, so he endeavors to destroy your life. He seeks to distract you from God’s will and ruin your testimony.

Above all, he is desperate to keep you from sharing your faith and helping others to be saved. He will do anything to keep you from winning souls.

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Devil is not alone. He has an army of fallen angels (demons) to help him in his work. When Lucifer rebelled against God, he deceived one-third of the angels to follow him. This cunning victory demonstrates the strength of his deceptive powers!

Satan’s forces are well-organized working in tandem with this world-system. They conspire against you to incite your own flesh into selfish rebellion. Now we see the three great enemies of righteousness: the world, the flesh, and the devil!

Thankfully, God gives us the tools necessary for victory. Click To Tweet

The Armor

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The words “whole armour” came from the Greek word for “panoply.” It represents the full armor of a heavily armed soldier. During the days of Paul, a Roman soldier was the perfect illustration for this truth.

There are two other passages of Scripture that mention the armor of God.

Romans 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

In this verse, the armor of God is called “the armour of light.” God is light. It is fitting that the armor He provides for His children to fight the forces of darkness is made of light.

2 Corinthians 6:7
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

Here the armor is called “the armour of righteousness.” Is there anything else that can stand against sin and wickedness?

Also, notice that the armor protects on the “right hand and on the left.” It defends our flanks. The right hand in the Bible often symbolizes our strengths and the left hand our weaknesses.

The armor of God defends the front and sides of the Christian soldier. It is a full armor!

However, the armor of God doesn’t defend your back. There is no protection in retreat! Stay in the battle and stand in the evil day. Your spiritual armor is more than enough to protect you.

The armor of God is mentioned a second time in Ephesians chapter six.

Ephesians 6:13
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Because we are in a battle facing a well-organized enemy, we must put on the armor of God in order to survive and win the victory.

Consider these three thoughts.

1. The Demand of The Armor of God

Ephesians chapter six gives us two reasons that demand our use of the armor of God.

A. To Stand – survive

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The word “stand” in this verse means to “abide, continue, or hold up.” In other words, we need the armor of God to SURVIVE!

There is no way we can survive the onslaught of Satan and His armies on our own. We must use the whole armor of God.

B. To Withstand – stand against evil

Ephesians 6:13
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In this verse, the word “withstand” means to “stand against or oppose.” This means that we can fight against the Evil One when we use God’s strength and armor. We can do more than survive: we can win!

The goal is not survival, but victory!

However, on the worst of days, when everything goes wrong and all the forces of Hell attack, in the evil day, you will still be standing when the dust settles.

2. The Duties of the Armor of God

A. Protection of God’s Armor

Soldiers have warn protective armor since the earliest days of war.

Armor could be constructed from everything from thick leather to shaped metal. Stronger materials increased the protective strength of the shielding.

God has given us indestructible armor that cannot be pierced when used properly. Satan has no weapon that can defeat the armor of God.

Isaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; And every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

The only time the armor of God fails to protect us is when we forget to put it on!

B. Pieces of God’s Armor

1. Loins Girt with Truth

Ephesians 6:14
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

What are the loins?

“The area of the body located at the hips or lower back (Heb. moṯnayim; Gk. osphýs). The loins were the place where the belt is worn (2 Kgs. 1:8; Isa. 11:5; Jer. 13:1), the sword hung (2 Sam. 20:8), and sackcloth placed (Gen. 37:34; 1 Kgs. 20:32; Amos 8:10). When quick movement was essential, the loins were the place where the garments were tied (Exod. 12:11; 1 Kgs. 18:46; 2 Kgs. 9:1); in this capacity the expression “girding the loins” became an idiom for dressing for action or readiness (Job 38:3; 40:7; cf. Luke 12:35; Eph. 6:14; 1 Pet. 1:13). Great fear is often described as accompanied by discomforts of the loins (e.g., Ps. 69:23; Isa. 21:3).

Heb. ḥălāṣayim is usually associated with the genital area and thus, by extension, with progeny (Gen. 35:11; 46:26). As the area of procreation, the loins represent strength and vigor (1 Kgs. 12:10; Nah. 2:1; 2 Chr. 10:10)

-Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible

Roman soldiers would wear a belt with a leather apron covering the loins. Sometimes this would include straps of metal hanging in front for extra protection.

Roman soldiers would wear a belt to hold their clothing and other pieces of armor in place. Often it included a leather apron covering the loins.

Sometimes it would include straps of metal hanging in front for protection. The soldier would only take his belt off when he was off duty.

I believe the “loins” speak of our desires.

Satan is very good at taking the normal desires of life that God has given us and perverting them into something wrong. God offers this armor of protection to make sure that we don’t get into lustful sin and succumb to the sinful desires of this world.

The loins must be protected by truth. God’s word is Truth.​

John 17:17 

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The truth of God’s Word reminds us of the danger of desire.

Everything is this world-system attempts to light an unlawful desire in you to get you to want things that are not rightfully yours. Music, TV, movies, and popular culture must be resisted with the Truth of God.

Natural desires must be kept for the people in the place at the right time.

Jesus Christ is Truth.​

John 14:6 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The ultimate goal of the Christian life is to be like Jesus.

The impeccable character of Christ reminds us to stay pure and walk the righteous path.

Compare your beliefs and actions to the Bible. We must use the Word of God and the Truth of Christ to protect us from worldly lust and selfishness.

2. Breastplate of Righteousness

The breastplate is a piece of armor worn to protect the vital organs in the chest including the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, intestines, etc. One shot to the chest can kill.

We put on the breastplate when we remind ourselves every day that through the salvation of Jesus Christ, we are righteous in the eyes of God.

We are a new creature! Old things should be left behind as we walk in newness of life.

Satan is adept at getting us to feel like we are missing out because we aren’t doing what the world is doing. He shows us the neon lights of the front door of sin, but he distracts us from death when sin is finished. Doing right is more important than fleeting pleasure.

We must protect our heart!​

Proverbs 4:23 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life.​

2 Timothy 2:22 

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Choose to live daily in the power of the Holy Spirit striving to be like like our righteous Lord.

The only time the armor of God fails to protect us is when we forget to put it on! Click To Tweet

Strive after the by-products of righteousness including honesty, goodness, humility, strength, faith, and love.

3. Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

The feet are important to a soldier. They are the foundation of every offensive and defensive maneuver.

Battles have been lost because of widespread foot injuries among soldiers due to improper footwear, cold, or treacherous terrain. During Paul’s day, Roman soldiers wore shoes specifically designed to keep the feet healthy from blisters and foot diseases.

If a soldier can’t stand, he can’t fight.

The feet speak of our ways – our direction. We should protect our feet daily with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. What does this mean?

We must wake up every day with the intention to talk to people about Jesus. This desire protects our feet because it will keep us from going wrong places or doing sinful things. ​

Psalm 40:10 

I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

Did you expect to talk to someone about the Lord today? Did you pray for openings and look for opportunities to win a soul?

If not, you didn’t protect your feet!

4. Shield of Faith

A Roman soldier carried a shield. It was usually constructed of wood covered with thick leather. It was invaluable because could be moved to stop an attack to any area of the body.

Also, the shield protected the soldier from deadly arrows. Arrows were the bullets of the day. They could be fired from a distance and rain death upon unprepared soldiers.

God has provided us with a powerful shield as part of the armor of light. It is the shield of faith!

Faith can stop the fiery darts of doubt and temptation that Satan hurls at us.

Faith is confidence in God. It is the assurance that God exists and will keep His promises!​

Hebrews 11:1 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

When we are under heavy fire from the enemy, the shield of faith will keep us safe.

5. Helmet of Salvation

Ephesians 6:17 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The helmet protects the head. This includes the vitals of the eyes (vision), ears (hearing), mouth (speaking), and the mind.

This helmet represents the assurance of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Christian hope is different than the normal concept of looking forward to good things. Christian hope is the assurance that God keeps His Word and His promises will be fulfilled. Our hope is as sure as the promises of God!

If you doubt your salvation, you will never be able to grow and reach your potential for Christ.

The knowledge that you are a child of God who will be in Heaven with your Lord guides your thinking about every decision. It protects your mind from the lies of Satan.

6. Sword of the Spirit

​Ephesians 6:17 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The sword of the Spirit is often an overlooked element of the armor of God.

The sword is a defensive weapon to parry other hand-to-hand weapon attacks. Also, it is an offensive weapon to attack the enemy.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.

Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God during His temptation. We must do the same. Never underestimate the power of God’s Word in a spiritual battle.

7. Praying Always

Ephesians 6:18 

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The soldier’s mantra was “Stay alert, stay alive.” Soldiers must remain vigilant or die in a surprise attack.

When God was choosing the 300 for Gideon, the final test was watchfulness. Those who drank while staying alert were chosen for battle.

Jesus warned Peter to “Watch and pray.”

Matthew 26:41

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Prayer is our method of communication with headquarters. We must stay in contact with the Commander to receive battle instructions that lead to victory.

Also, prayer is our “air support.” In modern battle, soldiers on the ground can call in a targeted attack from aircraft above.

This fierce firepower can soften targets and defeat enemy positions that cannot be taken by a ground force alone.

Prayer is an indispensable resource in our spiritual war.

Armor does no good if you are asleep in the battle. We must stay alert praying for ourselves and our brethren.

3. The Desire For the Armor of God

You should desire this divine protection every day.

Who would want to go into battle unarmed??

How do we put on the Armor of God?

The Song Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus includes a stanza that says:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone;

The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own.

Put on the Gospel armor, Each piece put on with prayer;

Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there.

You put on the armor of God through prayer.

As you are praying, visualize yourself putting on each piece of the armor. It doesn’t take long, but it starts the day right and guides you all day long.

It may look something like this:

“Lord, I want to serve You. I realize that I am walking into a spiritual battle today. I cannot survive on my own. I request the armor of light to protect me on all sides.

I put on the belt of truth. Please protect me from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Allow the Truth of Thy word to uphold me. Create the character of Christ in me.

I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Thank You for saving me. I am a new creature in Christ. Give me victory over the old life and empower me to walk in newness of life. I want to be like Thee. Allow my choices today to reflect Thy righteousness. Protect my heart from selfishness and sin.

I cover my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Prepare my heart to seek the lost. Give me boldness as I seek to witness for You. Guide my steps to those who need You. Protect my ways and fill me with the overwhelming desire to win a soul for You. Make me a bold witness of Thy goodness and glory.

I take the shield of faith. May it preserve me from the fiery darts of doubt and temptation. I know that You are there, that You care, and that You will keep your Word. Strengthen my faith and keep it from ever failing. I choose to believe You in all things.

I put on the helmet of salvation. Thank You for saving me. Thank You that anyone who believes in Your death, burial, and resurrection can be saved. Keep Your unspeakable gift at the forefront of my mind today. May the assurance of salvation guard my mind, protect my thoughts, and secure my meditations.

Thank You for providing this armor. May I wear it honorably today!

Amen.”

CONCLUSION

Every day, there is a spiritual war raging around us. We are not spectators watching the battle from a safe distance.

We are on the front lines. We are in the danger zone.

Make it a practice to put on the armor of God every day. It will protect you and keep you in the fight.

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