The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]. Habakkuk 3:19 (Amp)
Well, we’ve talked about knowing who we are in Christ, really knowing who God is and His faithfulness, and as we fight this good fight of faith, we need to know how well equipped we are through the armor that God has provided us with. So, let’s take a look at Ephesians 6:10-17:
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:
First of all, our armor is supplied by God Almighty. Remember when they tried to put Saul’s armor on David before he went out to fight Goliath but it was too big for him? Well, God’s armor is a perfect fit for us.
Before we get into the details of the armor, I want to point out one other thing. In verse 16 it talks about the shield of faith which extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one. Now, go back to verse 11, the Amplified says “… so that you may be able to successfully stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.” The King James says “the wiles” of the enemy. Some of you may remember the old cartoon “The Road Runner”, and if you do then you’ll also remember the coyote whose name was Wile E Coyote. Did you see that? This was a coyote who was always scheming – using some pretty drastic measures I might add – to catch the Road Runner (and always unsuccessful). If you’re a “visual” person, this sort of gives you a picture of the wiles of a predator; in the Road Runner’s case the coyote; in our case the devil. However, the difference here is the schemes the enemy uses. I believe the biggest strategy the enemy uses is deceit in which he comes against our mind and our thoughts and tries to get us to doubt the Word of God and to become fearful. If he can get us to do that then we begin to waiver and as fear starts rising up, our faith starts falling down. If we can recognize at the onset of these thoughts that these are schemes of the devil and use the armor that we’ve been provided with to stand firmly in our place and not be moved, we’ll be victorious!
Now, let’s look at this armor. This is what protects us during battle and each piece is essential. First of all, verse 14 says “having your loins girt about with truth”. The loins are the hip area. Some translations interpret this as the waist area. Roman soldiers had a very wide belt that was tied in several places around their waist. This held equipment like daggers or different swords, ropes, darts, and could also hold personal items like money or rations. The belt was tied in several places so that no matter how he moved it always stayed in place so he was able to get to these items without difficulty and kept his armor together. This was also the first part of the armor the soldier put on. If we compare this to God’s armor, this would be a belt of truth. We have to know and be grounded in the fact that God’s Word is truth, as opposed to the lies of the enemy. We have to apply God’s Word to our lives every day. Just as this belt was the “foundation” of his armor, so must the Word of God be our foundation.
Next we have the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate was attached and anchored to the belt. It covered both the front and back from the neck down to the middle (or just above the belt) and protected the heart and lungs. The breastplate of righteousness guards our heart – the seat of our emotions, self-worth and trust. In knowing we have right-standing (righteousness) with God through Christ Jesus, we know we’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with God in battle. There is confidence in our right-standing with God as we keep our thoughts and actions as we should before God.
Then our feet are to be “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The Roman soldier’s footwear had spikes in the soles which provided him with a strong stance, balance and posture no matter what the terrain was like. As we stand on God’s Word and the peace it provides (Philippians 4:7 in the Amplified states it as “that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ), we are able to have our feet firmly planted on the Word of God and not be moved by the devil’s schemes and lies. It keeps us steady and immovable.
Next we have the shield of faith. The soldier’s shield was large and pretty much covered everything from the chin to the knees. This is what was used to protect against the arrows and spears of the enemy. The notes from the Amplified Bible states that it was covered with several layers of leather that when soaked in water it would put out the fiery missiles thrown at them by the enemy. Our shield of faith – believing God’s Word and His promises, and taking Him at His word – is what extinguishes the lies of the enemy.
Then verse 17 says to take the helmet of salvation. It is said the Romans had the best helmet in their day. It had a chinstrap, visor and covered the back and sides of the neck. Obviously it provided protection of the head from various angles of attack. We know that the enemy attacks us in our minds – that’s his greatest battlefield. We need to remember that salvation means more than being born again and being delivered from hell, but also we have been delivered from the enemy and all of his schemes. We have to guard our minds and what thoughts we entertain. In the same verse we used before in Philippians 4:7, it says “that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace that we have through Christ Jesus that assures us of our salvation through Him is what covers and guards our mind. We know that we have been delivered!
Lastly, we have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The sword of the Roman soldier was fierce. It is said that it was a two-edged sword with the end turned upward. It cut in two directions and once it penetrated the enemy just a few inches it inflicted a mortal wound. We know that our sword is the Word of God and the Word is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,” (Hebrews 4:12). With every swing of that sword God’s Word we should be speaking God’s Word! These are God’s words coming out of our mouths. God, in all His glory, is backing us as His words come out of our mouth, and this is something the devil has no defense against!! Hallelujah!!
I believe we should stand ready and be prepared at all times, and the only way we can do that is by spending time daily with the Lord, in His Word and in prayer. If we’re fighting the good fight of faith, we can’t let our guard down. If you’ll look back at all of these parts of the armor, they all go back to the Word. His Word is truth – it’s our foundation. Our breastplate of righteousness – we are in right-standing with God through Christ Jesus – the Word made flesh. Our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace – we stand on the Word and the peace that it brings (a soul assured). The shield of faith – in God’s Word and His promises. The helmet of salvation – again we guard our minds with the Word of God. The sword of the Spirit – God’s Word that the enemy has no defense against.
As you fight the good fight of faith, know that you have been equipped with the greatest armor that has been supplied by God Himself!!
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Ephesians 6:10 (AMP)