Verse 10 is one of my go-to verses when I’m feeling weak and unsure of myself. Those times come more often than I’d like to admit, but having the assurance God is protecting is all I need to feel energized. “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power!” We can all call upon this mighty power to help us stay strong and courageous during the storms of life.
The verses that follow have always been important to me, too, because they speak of how God equips us, the broken sinner, to be ready for the world each day. The armor of God was fun to teach children as well because it was so easy to act out. While the “armor” we had available, shoes, shield, helmet, and belt we used for our dramatization look completely different than what the 1st century Christians were using, the visual is still very helpful in making an impression.
Our church recently unpacked the armor in a sermon series focusing on one item per week. I may revisit this, but for right now, my reflections are more big scale and conceptual. I can always come back and change this up for future readers.
When you take a look at the list of God’s protective armor and how they are represented, I’m sure you can find the piece of armor you need to wear most. We are all under attack from the evil one. Why? Because we are followers and evil wants to mess up our relationship with God by messing around with those who we love.
Read the list again, and then pick a piece of armor to put on first. Journal about why you chose this piece over another one. Maybe you need a couple. I’ve known dear people in my life who “put on” all the armor every day before leaving the house. When you think about it, that’s a wise move. You never know where evil is lurking. Your house may be safe, but certainly, if you are a Christian out in public you’ve got a target on your back.
When you’ve got truthfulness, God’s righteousness, peace from trusting in Jesus, your faith in Jesus Christ, salvation through Jesus, and the Word of God you are set. What more could you need? God gives us this protection because he knows we are going to need it. He knows that evil is creeping around waiting for us to be weak and unaware. If we are intentional in protecting ourselves, we can outsmart the devil and his schemes.
This doesn’t mean we won’t stumble and sin. That will happen no matter what. We make decisions, take risks, and listen to the world. These are all recipes allowing sin to find it’s way in. The weight of all this armor may weigh us down, but the sooner we can endure it and know how to use it properly the better for us and our future.
Let’s pray. Lord thank you for the protection you have designed perfectly for us to stand strong against the evil one. Help me remember each day to be strong in you an not rely only on my own strength. You have gifted me with abilities that I can share. I want to do that in ways that will honor you. To do that, I need to be open to your leading and be listening for your voice. Thank you for the peace I feel and the faith you have given me to stand against evil. Open my mouth when I should speak out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.