You are witnessing a milestone for this devotional blog! This is the 1,800th post! I chose this Bible passage especially for this occasion. The children at church sang a song about the armor of God yesterday–complete with battle gear made out of something indestructible that looked much like brown construction paper. The visual was incredible, but watching their innocent faces as they shared this timely message is what brought tears to my eyes. I knew this was the message God wanted me to share with you today.
We find ourselves living in challenging times. While true today, this statement could be said by many, if not all, past generations as well. Have no fear, God has set us up for success! Keeping our focus on God is the first step. Next, we have the “armor” Paul talks about here to give us all the security and hope we need. Let’s take a look at what we have access to.
Paul valiantly reminds us to put on God’s armor to keep ourselves protected from the evil one’s strategies. It can be frightening to face evil face to face. It seems most of the time evil is merely lurking, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce. So what do we do? Simple. Put on our armor each day.
We have the belt of truth. Think of all that you know about Jesus’ life and everything he taught you. That is the truth you can rely on when you’re trying to figure out the world’s message. How does what you’re hearing fit with the truth Jesus breathes?
We have body armor of God’s righteousness. Remember that being right with God is what you are seeking. What the world thinks of you doesn’t matter. Do what pleases God, and He’ll protect your whole being!
We have shoes of peace from knowing what Jesus did for us. The peace from knowing Christ is hard to describe. But once you feel it, you never want to go back to feeling any other way. Imagine that peace is your foundation, holding you up and moving you around (like your feet do). Knowing Jesus paid the price for you means there’s no pressure. You’re no longer a slave to sin! Love that peace!
We have a shield of faith. You know your weaknesses, but you also know God’s strength. Faith is simply trusting in that power and presence of God you know is there. You don’t have to flounder around in life. When your faith is strong, you can face any circumstance with boldness. Imagine that shield all around you keeping out the “bad guy.”
We have a helmet of salvation. With salvation comes joy. As a helmet protects the head, our thoughts of salvation and eternal life can cover us with a special immunity against evil desires or attacks. Keeping our minds focused on a life with Jesus will make us stronger when tempted.
We have a sword of the Spirit which is God’s word. Just as swords slash, the words of Scripture make a way to enlighten and make new even hardened hearts. Not only does God’s word serve us, we can use it to help others cut through years of bad information and beliefs. God’s word reveals to us how much God loves us and desires the best for us. That love can slice through many layers of hurt and pain. The Bible is a gift; the best piece of God’s armor!
Look at those assets! How can we still be afraid? God certainly didn’t leave us to our own devices. Maybe we should be more concerned about forgetting to put on our armor. I’m going to borrow from Paul here. He used it to open this section on God’s protection. Let it be a message you can take with you through your day, your week, your whole life. “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Don’t forget you have access to God. Tap into his power!
Let’s pray … Father thank you for all of the wonderful tools and gifts you have given me to stay protected and safe from evil. Help me remember to gird myself so I am prepared for the crafty evil one’s schemes. I love that you have set me up for success, despite my weaknesses. Forgive me when I stumble. May I be strong in you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.