By Nancy Virden (c)2021
The armor offered by God is part of his fulfillment of a promise. In the book of Isaiah he said, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (41:10). Today we finish the 6 +1 pieces of that armor.
We continue using the biblical symbolism of an ancient Roman soldier’s armor (see parts one and two) .
5. Helmet of Salvation
“Take the helmet of salvation…” ( Ephesians 6: 17a) The Roman soldiers wore a unique helmet protecting the top and sides of their head. Those who could afford it wore helmets that also protected the back of the neck.
What is salvation? Not only is it rescue (Hebrews 2:2-4), it is the formation of a wonderful relationship with God. The helmet is also the anticipation of the day we are ushered into heaven (Philippians 3:20-21). Keeping our eyes on the final reward, this helmet protects us from turning from our faith due to discouragement, doubt, and fear.
6. Sword of the Spirit
“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God “(Ephesians 6:17b). Roman soldiers possessed three sharp weapons: a dagger-sized short sword, a spear, and a long sword. Paul used the short sword for his comparison to the Word of God.
Who is the Spirit? God’sWordforyou.com says, “God exists in a permanent, eternal, trinity. Father, Son and Spirit each eternally present, each eternally existing in relationship with the other.”
The Holy Spirit teaches us how to understand the Bible and apply it practically (John 14:25-27). God’s Word is compared to the shorter dagger because Satan tempted Jesus close-up, relentlessly using deeply personal attacks and challenges. Each time the devil exercised his wiles the Son of God expertly wielded his sword of the Spirit by quoting appropriate scriptures (Luke 4:1-13). In the lives of disciples of Jesus, when in the heat of temptation that is aimed straight at our weakest points, skill at using God’s Word boosts our triumph.
Prayer is the +1 piece of armor because in Ephesians 6 it is not named as one. However, the chapter adds, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). Roman soldiers needed supplies, stamina, and food and water. Sometimes they needed backup. Like so many people today, they turned to false gods and fallible humans for the help they needed.
What is prayer? Jesus gave an example that goes something like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-13).
This prayer acknowledges God is real, honors him, makes various requests, yields to his will, and in faith trusts him. It is a general outline of how to approach God. Remember, it is his power that gives us the ability to stand and conquer. (Isaiah 59:1). Prayer is our link to his power. He is to be trusted even in our darkest hours.
Fear is fed by our focus. When the time comes that we learn to rest in God’s promises and wear his armor daily, we will stand with the brave who declare, life can be scary and God goes with me making all the difference.
Today’s Helpful Word
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.
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