I have come into the habit of putting on my seat belt whenever I drive. It has become second nature to me. Yesterday, for some reason, I hadn’t put it on when I left home. As I approached the main street of our little town I realized and quickly buckled up. I struck me that if I was involved in a collision while not wearing my seat belt I could be seriously injured. Just like that I could be in big trouble if I don’t wear the armour of God daily. We need to protect ourselves from evil.
Ephesians 6:11-18, Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Obviously this armour is spiritual and not physical but because the different parts are referred to as physical items that we can associate with it makes it very real to us, the same way the parables of Jesus have value. Also the physical items make it easy to remember. We have to make sure that we have our armour ready at all times because our enemy is going to look for any little chink in the armour so that he can attack us. According to the pieces of armour mentioned we have to make sure that we always walk in truth. We have to know the truth because it will set us free and we have to speak the truth. We have to be in good standing with God, we can’t afford to be going about ignoring the things we know we should or shouldn’t be doing and still expect God to cover us. And our feet? We have to be ready to spread the Gospel at all times, not only at church meetings or outreaches. The shield of faith is so important. We cannot let our guard down. The flaming arrows are those hurtful and accusing words and actions which strike our hearts and cause pain. We have to have faith in Jesus to back us up so that we can know that the flaming arrows are attacks from Satan. The helmet of salvation is just what it says. We have to know that we have been saved. If someone asks if we are going to heaven when we die, we must not say, “I think so,” or, “I’m not sure.” We have to be sure, and if we doubt we must make an effort to speak to someone about it so that we can be sure. And of course the sword of the spirit is the Word of God. We have to read and know the bible.
This is not a prayer of protection that anyone can say and then be supernaturally protected. This is practical stuff. Things that we have to be sure of in our lives. I have often received messages about the power of certain prayers, and I’m sorry, but I don’t think that’s what God intended. He isn’t a magician. You don’t say a few magic words and things happen. Faith is about believing, else it wouldn’t be faith. We are protected by the things we believe and not by words. Obviously our words carry weight and when we pray and we use the words in the bible, they carry weight, but they aren’t magic.
Just like a seat belt protects us from potential harm, so the armour of God protects us from potential harm from our enemy. It also equips us to fight against that enemy in time of need. But we cannot put on the armour if we aren’t children of the living God.