After years of outfitting my preschoolers, and preparing them for their day, I have returned to the daily habit of dressing them. Despite them living hundreds of miles away and now being in their thirties, I am still suiting them up in the morning. I take my children into the prayer closet to dress outfit them with the Armor of God.
Picking an index card with Ephesians 6 jotted down, I pray each element of the armor onto my children while getting them ready for their day.
“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.” Ephesians 6:11-17 NIV
Praying this scripture has stirred up a curiosity within me:
Why is truth being illustrated as a belt in the scripture?
Why is righteousness being described as a breastplate?
How does faith bring an end to the arrows that are continually being shot at us?
What are these flaming arrows?
The passage from Ephesians has put me on a treasure hunt. With a pick and shovel in hand, I’ve decided to dig deep for some precious gems to come to a clearer understanding on what God is trying to teach us.
Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit exhorts the Ephesus, to be fighters, strong and mighty. This does not refer to wimpy Christians that wish to live a smooth, lazy life. The words are for those of us that want to make a difference the ones who choose to be empowered and live with the anointing God placed on them. This strategy is for coming against the plans of the devil, and believe me he has a plan. A plan to tear apart your family, to tear down your future and rip your faith to shreds.
God is telling us to put on all the armor, the full armor. We are not given the choice of putting on our favorite parts and leaving the rest hanging in the bedroom closets. So whether you are a woman that leans towards scripture memory or black and white righteous living or ready to share the gospel of peace with others don’t just lean towards your areas of strength. You need the full armor to overcome both.
The verb “to stand” is written twice for us. I take comfort in knowing that when the enemy is in full assault on my life, God’s command is to stand. He’s not asking me to use Karate or pull out my shotgun on the enemy. He’s not requesting us to take high ground and climb into the enemy’s territory. He says to “Stand” when I am under spiritual attack, I feel discouraged, defeated and weak. Our Compassionate Commander and Chief orders are to where the full armor and to stand.
The belt of truth has been a mystery to me, I did not really understand its purpose and value. The belt that Paul is writing about is not the cute, skinny belt that matches your polka dotted dress. This belt is designed for a soldier. It’s the first thing that he would put on, the material is sturdy and gives support to the warrior. From his belt the warrior hung his weapons and decorated leather strips. These strips of leather made a clanging sound as he approached the enemy, intimating them. A foundational part of the soldier’s uniform. Some describe it as a girdle or an apron from which the soldier’s weapons hang.
Truth is a foundational garment to our lives as Christians. Upon the discovery of truth, we build our belief system upon. It’s no wonder that the opening line of the Bible is:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1
Acknowledging God as Creator is the foundational layer of our Belief system. It shouldn’t surprise us that the opening line of gospel of John point to the truth of Jesus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him, all things were made without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of me.” John 1:1-4
Our Lord knows that truth has to be put on first. Understanding that we have one Creator God and then His son that died for us is foundational in building our faith.
We are living in a world that continually picks away at the reality of truth. For the sake of Peace, many would prefer to ignore the truth and swallow the modern day Kool-aid of “If it’s truth to you, than it is truth”. Yet the same people who accept this as their belief system would never try to apply it to their emotional or physical world. If they headed off to work and noticed that their car was out of gas, they would not walk to the kitchen sink and fill up the gas can with water. Then head back to the car chanting to themselves “I believe this is gasoline, I believe this is gasoline” and pour it into their car. Each of us would think that person is crazy; you don’t put water into your car engine. It will never run. Yet many of our friends and loved ones, take this position with their spiritual life, if it’s truth to you, then it is truth. Just keep saying it to yourself.
Finding truth is foundational not only to our belief system but also to our Identity in Christ. At the beginning of the year when I am drawing up my prayer strategy, in the center of my prayer board I drew a circle in the center of the board. Inside I wrote down a phrase that reminds me of my identity in Christ. Knowing and believing in the truth of who I am in Christ is central to being an effective prayer warrior.
“I am the Way, The Truth and the Life” John 14:6
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak with his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak. John 16:13
“And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth: 1 John 5:6
edited by Lydia King