|"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, |
as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour:"
(1 Peter 5:8, KJV)
Every professing Christian would probably agree with me when I say that this Christian journey involves a constant, daily spiritual battle. The enemy, who's the devil, is said to prowl around like a lion seeking whom he may devour.
Now, if indeed we believe that we wage war with a rather persistent, vicious predator of an enemy, we ought to also believe that we should NEVER be left out in the battlefield naked and vulnerable to his attacks, right? If we are indeed waging a spiritual war against the devil and his demons, we MUST be completely geared up for the battle!
I know that a king would always have his soldiers ARMOR UP properly for war and equip them for what they will face in the battlefield before sending them out to the fight. No kingdom will ever have soldiers and warriors who only know how to chant and march and not fight!
The armor of God
Isn't it amazing that the King of kings also equip his people for the spiritual battles that they will wage in? The Lord God Almighty has not left his followers in the fight without anything to use. He has given the armor for which we SHOULD utilize in our spiritual battles.
We all know what He gives for the war... we all know what we have as our armor. The Bible tells us this...
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For 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. 13Wherefore 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. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6, KJV)
The person who professes faith in Christ but does not put on the full armor of God is nothing but an empty professor. He is one whose faith is dead. He is just a warrior-wannabe who stands confused and deceived in the ranks while stark naked. What will he do in the battlefield if he does not have his breastplate guarding his chest? And just imagine him fully clad with the armor but without his helmet protecting his head! Worst of all, imagine this so-called soldier going to battle all geared-up, except that he does not have his sword with him! What an embarrassment that would be to the king to which he professes loyalty to! And what great DANGER he is putting himself into by thinking he belongs to the King and yet does not bear the marks thereof!
The Bible tells us we must take upon ourselves the WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD... that is the FULL, COMPLETE GEAR that God made available for those who are His. The WHOLE ARMOUR must be present so that we may be ABLE (skilled, adept, competent, equipped) to stand against the devil!
#1 - Loins girt with TRUTH
We've got to get the big picture here! Why are we to "girt our loins" with Truth? Well, let's start by defining "LOINS." Which part of the body is this, anyway? Medically speaking, it is the part of the body that is situated on each side of the spinal column between the hip bone and the false ribs. It's basically what we call the lower back or the "lumbar region."
Now, this region has a large and complex group of muscles that work together to support the spine, help hold the body upright and allow the trunk of the body to move, twist and bend in many directions.
Okay, if the loin is the region that keeps our body UPRIGHT, helps in our standing and lifting, as well as allows us to move, twist and bend in many directions (flexible in other words), then we can definitely see the spiritual aspect to this. Girding our loins with Truth allows us to be protected in order for ourselves to remain STANDING during the battle! We shall NOT easily fall under the attack of our enemy! We are stable in our stance against the devil because we what keeps us upright is the TRUTH.
TRUTH is what will hold us up and allow us to become agile in dealing with whatever the enemy brings against us during the battle. We can skillfully fight with the devil and remain upright and standing stable all throughout the fight! TRUTH will keep us from falling away... And where do we get our belt of Truth? We get the answer to that in John 17:17...
"God's WORD is TRUTH."
#2 - Breastplate of Righteousness
According to wikipedia, a breastplate is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury. It was one of the last pieces of functional armour to be abandoned with the development of firearms, because it protected the vital organs without limiting mobility.
I strongly believe that the deadliest hit we can receive on the torso is that which will sever the heart! Though all of the organs in our torso are vital, there probably wouldn't be any quicker death than to receive a direct blow to the body's central blood-pumping organ.
Many passages in the Bible describe the human heart as desperately wicked and deceitful of all things! Jesus also said that out of it spring evil thoughts and wickedness that defile a person. We all have an inherently wicked and unrighteous heart! And this wickedness and love of sin is the deadliest of all in the spiritual sense!
Death has entered all of us because of one man's sins (Romans 5:12), and since we ALL have sinned against God (Romans 3:23), Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of our sin is death! The heart is not something we must take lightly and for granted because it is desperately wicked. The enemy can easily attack it with a deadly blow, rendering it hardened or deceived which leaves a person dead spiritually!
That is why we need to PUT ON the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. It is the only thing that can SAVE us from the deadly result of sin in our hearts! But wait, the Bible said it's the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS! We have to understand that this is ONLY available THROUGH the Grace GIVEN TO US by our King. We cannot be righteous because NO-ONE is righteous, no not one according to God's Word! This is why we have to PUT ON this breastplate of righteousness and trust in its FULL & COMPLETE capacity to save us from death. What exactly is this breastplate of Righteousness? Well, Romans 13:14 makes it clear for us...
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
It is the righteousness OF CHRIST that we must put on in order to protect us from the deadly blow brought about by a corrupted heart. We do not have any righteousness of our own, therefore we must RELY ON THE FULLNESS OF JESUS CHRIST's RIGHTEOUSNESS to save us from the wages of sin which is death! We must only TRUST FULLY in what CHRIST JESUS has done, completed and finished on Calvary in order to be saved from death and sin.
#3 - Feet shod with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE
The caligae are heavy-soled hob-nailed military boots known for being issued to Roman legionary soldiers and auxiliaries throughout the Roman Republic and Empire. Worn by all ranks up to and including centurions, no other shoes in history are as symbolic of the expansion of an empire as the famed caligae. These military boots were designed so as to reduce the likelihood of blisters forming during forced marches, as well as other disabling foot conditions.
It isn't difficult for all of us to understand that footwear is very important in protecting our feet. An injury to our feet can be debilitating, and it could leave us unable to move forward, unable to fight well, and even unable to run from danger. Our footwear allows us to march forward in battle and helps us "expand" the work of the kingdom of our King!
The gospel of peace is a sure fit for our feet. It not only protect us from getting debilitated in the battles we wage in, but it also allows us to march on to expand the cause of our King.
Have you noticed that one of the biggest tactic of the devil, our enemy, is DISCOURAGEMENT? And what happens when we are stricken with it? We become debilitated and unable to continue with any work that God has called us to do.
The gospel of PEACE is the very thing that keeps us MOVING FORWARD. It is our stabilizer next to our belt of Truth. It is the message of HOPE that allows us to keep going no matter what is going on around us in our battles. It is the message of HOPE that gives us the peace that surpasses understanding! And it is the very same message we use to CONQUER, even those who are enemies of God, and reach them with the message of Hope that can turn them into a friend of God!
A true soldier of the LORD marches on in battle with the gospel message to reach the lost. No true soldier goes into battle barefooted. No true follower of Christ remains silent in his profession of faith. With feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of Peace, he MOVES FORWARD, reaching far and wide for the sake of the glory of THE KING! No part of the full armor of God is too small, as even His Word tells us this in Romans 10:15...
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!
So, are you armored up yet? :) We'll look into the rest of the things we need to have ON for the battle in the second part of this series. See you then in the next post!