Lasting victory in spiritual battles isn’t about willpower, effort or “doing” any spiritual disciplines. But rather, it’s about standing in your identity as soldiers of Christ. That’s precisely what the armor of God represents.
The Armor of God
Shoes of Peace
The soldier’s feet were outfitted with sandals made up of a thick leather sole and various straps that wrapped up to his ankles. As I show in my illustrated armor of God study, bits of rocks were embedded as cleats into the soles for better traction. The shoes served a very important purpose: to keep the soldier well planted while marching or standing in unstable soil.
Paul instructed that we outfit our feet with shoes of peace (Ephesians 6:15). Like the historical shoes, our spiritual “shoes of peace” provide us with the ability to face rough or unknown situations knowing that we won’t slip from our positions.
Though traversing through difficult terrain may be an inevitable part of our journeys, we can still experience peace. Peace isn’t found in our circumstances, but rather, it’s found in Christ. In Christ we have the refreshment and protection of His presence, which is peace. We also have peace with God, made possible by His finished work.
Shield of Faith
The soldier’s shield was a sizable article, about four feet tall by two and a half feet wide, put together by pieces of curved wood. It was designed to protect the soldier’s entire body from danger that might accost him from any direction.
Likewise, the attacks of Satan come at us from all different directions. His “flaming arrows” tend to broadside or come at us from behind, all designed to set fire to our identities in Christ.
As Paul instructs, the only thing that will block and extinguish these fiery arrows is faith. While faith is the confidence of what we don’t yet see (Hebrews 11:1), it isn’t blind. When I revisit the major events in my life, I clearly see God’s hand of protection and provision. With this in mind, I gain renewed confidence that God will again work out whatever situation I face.
The same is true for you. Think of all the ways God guided you in order to live today to read this. You’ll find that remembering God’s goodness in the past is the key to confidence in the future.
Helmet of Salvation
The soldier’s helmet was a single piece of iron molded to fit his head and adorned with a peacock-like crest to identity his rank. Like today, head wounds in ancient times were the most common and fatal wounds of war.
Spiritually, our heads represent what’s in them—our minds. We know that the mind is the devil’s playground. Satan barges into our lives with notions as to why God can’t use us or why our particular sins are too big to be forgiven.
We may not be able to control everything that creeps into our minds, but we can take these thoughts captive by replacing them with truths from Scripture (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
Sword of the Spirit
Finally, the soldier’s sword is a weapon unlike all of the others because it’s both defensive and offensive. In its defensive function, the sword blocked the swing of an enemy’s weapon. But, as I explore in my e-course, the soldier often used it offensively by waving it in the air as a signal to oncoming enemies that he’s armed and dangerous.
Paul revealed that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. We use God’s Word as a weapon when we speak it. Speaking Scripture aloud raises a spiritual sword in the air that alerts Satan that you’re armed and dangerous. Because you know who you are in Christ, he has no chance and might as well back off.
[Want more? Join me for an interactive exploration of the armor of God in my 6-session e-course. Visit armorofgodstudy.com to get started.]