"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."
- Ephesians 6:11
In the entire passage we read about armor that is given to the children of God to help protect them. Paul mentions that, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood," but something much more deadly and much more spiritual than we often realize. Each piece of armor, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, shoes of the gospel, and the sword of the Word of God all have a purpose in mind. The reason why God has given us this armor is so that God's people can stand.
Being on the ground is not the place to be in most any type of fight. The fighter must be standing in order to keep fighting with the possibility too win. The warrior must be standing with his fellow soldiers in order to keep fighting. Laying on the ground is of no help to the fight at hand.
It is also important to see verse 11 mention that we, "Put on the whole armor," not just the parts that we like. We might think of the shield as a neat piece to spiritual apparel and not really want to put on the shoes with the "readiness" of the gospel of peace. We don't get to choose what we wear to the fight. God assigns for us what we are to wear for our safety and ultimately our victory in Jesus.
When I studied this passage I found it very challenging toward my faith to put each piece of armor on. Righteousness is to be worn as a warrior of Jesus. I don't get to skirt around growing into a righteous, Jesus centered person. Jesus defines each article of armor I put on and I need to learn to put them to use each and every day so that I can stand and fight.
When I refuse to pick up faith on the way out the door I leave my home and life open for attacks from Satan's forces to destroy me and my family's faith. When I do not put on the gospel of peace upon my feet I will walk into places ill-equipped and not ready to share the hope that is found in Jesus.
God help me to suit up every day. Each piece of armor is critical in my spiritual walk with Jesus. I want to grow closer to you and help others encounter you and you have given me the tools to do so. Help me use what you have given me to fight with.