put on your armor!

You know what’s the best part about being alive in 2018? The spiritual climate. In case you haven’t noticed, the weather is extreme in the unseen. Either you follow Jesus, or you don’t. Long gone are the comfortable days of sitting on the Devil’s backyard fence, feet dangling; hesitating to jump into the everlasting garden of God’s grace. If that’s you, please…just jump already.

But if you’ve jumped the fence, (or, like me, if God has pulled you over), you truly are among the saved. And if you are among the saved, you now have an enemy. You face multiple battles each and every day. Though it might feel as if you are warring against your family, your boyfriend, or your boss – you’re not. You’re fighting against evil.

The Bible is very clear about this. To fight a spiritual war, we must use spiritual armor – weapons of offense and defense that possess unseen power. They’re listed in Ephesians 6. In this well-known chapter, the apostle Paul instructs those at the church in Ephesus to be strong in the Lord by figuratively putting on each piece of armor.

For those of us who’ve grown up in church, we’re probably pretty familiar with the verses describing the armor of God. We may have sung songs in Vacation Bible School about it. We may even be able to recite the different pieces by memory.

But the armor God must not just be memorized. It must be applied.

Every morning this week, I’ve applied the armor of God in faith. I’ve gone down the list, reciting each one, placing my hands on the part of my body where each piece would rest. And every day this week – I’ve won. I encourage you to do the same.

Here is a step-by-step application, gleaning from various other Bible verses to provide context. Recite each of these, asking God for the faith to believe in their power.

Belt of Truth: In the name of Jesus, I put on the Belt of Truth. I declare in Jesus’ name – He whom the son sets free is free indeed. Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life. No one can access the Father by any other name. Jesus, you are the word made flesh. You intersected into humanity to redeem your creation. You died and rose again, defeating the power of sin and death. Thank you for the truth of your saving power, Jesus. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Breastplate of Righteousness: In the name of Jesus, I put on the breastplate of righteousness. I thank you Jesus, that you who knew no sin became sin so that I may become the righteousness of Christ. I declare that there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You have given me your righteousness! And because you have made me righteous, I will remain in your love. I will flee temptation and pursue righteousness and holiness because of your great love. I will walk in the manner worthy of the calling on my life – because of your great love.

Shoes of Peace: In the name of Jesus, I put on the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace. I thank you, Father that your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. I pray Lord, may your peace hem me in behind and before. Wherever I go, may the peace of your presence come with me. Whatever room I walk into, let me carry your presence. Would you shift the spiritual atmosphere of every room? Would you lead me by your Spirit? Would you guide my feet for your purpose and plan?

Shield of Faith: In the name of Jesus, I put on the shield of faith, with which to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I thank you, God, for giving me this faith; for it is by faith that I am saved. Would you preserve my faith, oh Lord?  This faith, that is more precious than gold. This faith that guards me by your power. This faith – without it, it is impossible to please God. By faith, I believe you reward all those who seek you earnestly – I seek to please you earnestly today, my Father.

Helmet of Salvation: In the name of Jesus, I put on the Helmet of Salvation. Jesus, would you be the gatekeeper of my mind? Would you guard my thoughts? I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – not of myself, but of Christ. Holy Spirit, I surrender my mind to your ruling. For who can know the mind of a person except that own person? In the same way, Spirit of Christ, take over my mind. Give me the mind of Christ. Holy Spirit, tear down strongholds that exalt themselves above the knowledge of Christ. Let me think only on what is noble, what is honorable, what is true, what is pure, what is lovely, what is admirable, what is praiseworthy – let me think only on those things.

Sword of the Spirit: In the name of Jesus, I take up the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Jesus, when you were tempted in the wilderness, you defeated the enemy with three scriptures. No weapon is more powerful than your word of truth. Let my spirit hunger and thirst for your word. Holy Spirit, bring battle verses to remembrance in my time of need! For the word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword; able to cut between bone and marrow. Let your word bring conviction, repentance, healing, and restoration.

Now, princess warriors of the most High King:

 stand firm! 

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV