36. Armor of God, Part II
Ephesians 6:13-18. “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (NLT)
Continuing the ten principles derived from this passage, which began in post #35:
2. The second principle from this passage is that I must protect myself by preparing to avoid or defeat the plan of the evil one. His objective is to get me to distrust and disobey my heavenly Father, the One who loves me and made me His own. I protect myself by putting on or using each of the weapons Paul lists. The verb forms in this passage indicate that the believer is to have prepared ahead of time for the attack that will be coming. I do this by embracing the following “weapons:”
- God’s righteousness
- Peace that comes from Jesus’ Good News
- God’s Word
3. Truth – I am to focus on and depend on what I know is true about God and about myself. First, I need to know what is true, and I learn that primarily through Bible study. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes and mind to what God is communicating to me through the Bible. It is also helpful for me to learn truth from those who have greater skills in understanding the Word through their scholarship, such as commentators, teachers, and preachers, so that I don’t twist the meaning of the passage to what I want it to say.
I also learn truth through recognizing what God has done and is doing in the world and in my life. God has brought other people into my life to speak truth to me, often in small group relationships or discipleship/mentoring opportunities.
Once I identify truth, I need to apply that truth to my experiences and continue to remind myself of what is true. For instance, the evil one may try to convince me that I am not worthy of being loved, but the truth about God’s love is overwhelmingly demonstrated in His Word and my experiences. When I focus on the truth, I recognize that my negative thoughts are based on untruths and need to be rejected immediately.
4. Righteousness – Part of the needed preparation to stand firm in the face of temptations is to receive God’s righteousness by accepting Christ as my Savior and imitating His righteousness by doing what I know is right. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and responding to Him immediately is an essential part of having a clear conscience, able to hear from God when He is instructing me on how to react to temptations.
5. Peace – The good news that Jesus brought can bring peace to those who believe it. I no longer need to be worried about my eternal future or my direction in life. I can experience peace by fully trusting in God, not worrying about anything but asking God for what I need and thanking Him for what He has done. Then He will send me His peace. (Philippians 4:6-9). I know I am more likely to ignore Satan’s temptations when I am feeling peaceful, not anxious, so this is especially important for me to remember and practice.
Father, please help me to practice these qualities and actions that You have provided for my protection from the temptations that would lead me away from experiencing Your love and peace. I need to walk with You every day, depending on You to help me stand firm against everything that pulls me away from You. Amen.
From the personal devotional notes of Peggy McKechnie, certified life coach and follower after God’s own heart. You are invited to contact Peggy through ChurchHealthMinistries.com.
Dear Reader, this series on walking through Ephesians will conclude on this Friday, June 25th. I hope these posts have been a blessing to you. Could you tell me in one sentence what your most helpful take-away was? Also, would you be interested in walking with me through a series of posts on another passage or book of the Bible? You can comment on this post or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input. Peggy