“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” - Ephesians 6:10-18
There is much to say about Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, as it is a transformative and powerful tool for Christians in the church today. Ultimately, this epistle serves as an outline of God’s plan for redeeming and reconciling the world to himself; it unlocks both the Old and New Testament Scriptures through a lavish explanation of God’s heart for his people. Yet Ephesians 6 takes us even deeper into the heart of Christ Jesus himself, as it shows us how we are to triumph in a fallen world as he did. Paul calls us to take up the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day.
We are to take both an offensive and defensive stance, advancing the kingdom of God with the sword of the Spirit yet hiding behind the shield of faith that covers every aspect of our being. The shoes of readiness given by the gospel of peace carry us in our pursuit of achieving unity with Christ and boldness in proclaiming the Gospel. Paul’s talk of the helmet of salvation demonstrates the protection we receive for our minds, as we are granted peaceful assurance of our salvation through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our thoughts and convictions. Finally, the armor reaches its climax in verse 18: “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” This is Paul’s practical application—if you desire the full armor of God, ask God for it. Pray in step with the Holy Spirit and pray in accordance with the will of God, the will that is revealed on every page of Scripture. Ultimately, Paul’s heart is that believers grow into maturity that can only come through knowing Christ.
Fullness in Christ comes through alignment with the truest desire of Christ: to live in sincere devotion to the will of his Father. My encouragement to you is to seek the will of God that is revealed in creation, in Scripture, and written on our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Take up the full armor of God so that in the coming ages you may be confident in saying that you have done all to stand firm. Sanctification comes through the truth; God’s Word is the truth. May we delight in doing God’s will from our hearts and walk in love as Christ loved us.
How is the Lord calling you to put on the whole armor of God today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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