If you belong to the Kingdom of God
, you are a prime target for the attacks of the world
, your own flesh
, and the devil
. True, these foes have been defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ, but until the Lord's return, Christians will continue to face rage and violent warfare from these adversaries.
Thankfully, our King has not left us to fend off the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh by ourselves. He has provided the Holy Spirit
to guide us into all truth, and He has put at our disposal the most powerful arsenal of weapons known to mankind: the armor of God
Purpose of the Armor
There is warfare raging right now between the armies of God and the armies of Satan
. Although that warfare takes place mostly in the supernatural realm, the natural realm is certainly affected. Spiritual battles
can manifest in our daily lives through relational conflict, temptations to sin, persecution, financial pressures, illness, and even death. In these and other situations, our enemy would have us turn from God in fear or frustration instead of drawing near to God and waiting on Him. In such times, spiritual armor becomes critical to our survival.
Since the battles we face are spiritual in nature, we must fight with spiritual weapons
. If we try to combat the powers of darkness in the strength of our flesh, we will not succeed. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds"
(II Corinthians 10:4). The whole armor of God gives us the practical means to be mighty and victorious warriors by putting on Christ in all His fullness (Romans 13:14).
The Bible says that God's people "are destroyed for lack of knowledge"
(Hosea 4:6). Therefore, it is mandatory that we learn how to effectively fight against evil and the devil's schemes. Like it or not, we cannot escape spiritual warfare
by denying that it exists, nor can we avoid spiritual battles by refusing to fight. Our adversaries do not stop waging warfare against us! Thus, it is to our advantage to fully utilize all that the Lord has made available for our spiritual protection.
Description of the Armor
The Bible lists all the components of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
"For 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.
"Wherefore 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.
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
This passage was written circa A.D. 60 by the apostle Paul to followers of Jesus in the city of Ephesus
(in modern-day Turkey). Ephesus was a major port city in the Roman Empire, well-known for its large temple to the goddess Diana (Artemis). The city's merchants got rich by selling silver idols and souvenirs to visitors.
When Paul arrived in Ephesus to preach the Gospel, a riot was started against Paul and his companions because the silversmiths were losing business. Nevertheless, many believed Paul's message and turned away from idols and sorcery to serve the living God (see Acts 19:17-41).
Later, Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers from Rome, warning them that a spiritual battle was taking place against them. Paul knew that unseen forces
of evil sought to destroy Christians, families, and churches, and that without the protection and armor of God, those believers would be vulnerable to attack.
Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul likened a Christian's spiritual protection
to armor. As he wrote, Paul most likely pictured the armament of a Roman soldier, which at that time was second to none. Paul had spent many years under guard in various prisons for preaching the Gospel
, so he would have been quite familiar with the armor and weapons used by the Roman military.
Strategy of the Enemy
What kind of an adversary
does God's word say Satan
is? He is likened to a thief who comes "to steal, kill, and destroy"
(John 10:10). Paul speaks of the devil's "wiles," which are every kind of cunning arts, deceit, craft, and trickery. Peter tells us in I Peter 5:8 that we must "be sober [not intoxicated], be vigilant [on the alert]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
Make no mistake: Satan is very clever and tries to attack in many ways — sometimes directly and sometimes in ways that are more subtle (II Corinthians 11:14-15). You see, Satan is the father of all lies and there is no truth in him (John 8:44). He uses deception and darkness to bring about confusion and doubt. Jesus, on the other hand, uses truth and light to direct us and guide us. Jesus is "the Word"
(John 1:1), and He is "the way, the truth, and the life"
(John 14:6). The light of God's truth will expose the sinister schemes of Satan.
How is the devil attacking you and your family? Perhaps he is trying to steal
your joy, hope, or purpose in life. Or, perhaps he is trying to destroy
your love and trust in the Lord. Whatever Satan is trying to do, you can overcome him because Jesus Christ has already won the victory. Jesus has given you spiritual armor and spiritual weapons so you can combat the "roaring lion" who is out to steal, kill, and destroy.
Below is a chart which contrasts the plans of the devil with the plans of God.