A Christian's Armor

After many years of learning the different parts of the armor of God, it hit me yesterday that I had it all wrong. Previously, I thought the armor of God was all about what *I* could do to get armored up. Our Lord showed me differently.

Ephesians 6:13-17, "13Wherefore 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" We are told to take on the WHOLE armor, the armor of God, not the armor of 'us'.
"14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth," I used to think this meant if I tell the truth and walk in truth I'd be protected, but is it me who can be protected of my own works? Is my truth enough to withstand the fiery darts of Satan himself? Is my truth enough on it's own? I do not think it has anything to do with me. Is it I who can stand against the enemy with my truth? I believe the truth is Christ. He is Truth. John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Next is the breastplate of righteousness. 14b, "and having on the breastplate of righteousness" For many years I thought that if I lived a holy life, abstained from sin, and did many good works that I had my breastplate on, but we are told that our righteousness is but filthy rags. So the more righteous I try to live, the more filthy rags I have. I don't think my breastplate can be built upon filthy rags nor do I think I possess enough righteousness to fight of the enemy. Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

The next thing are my feet. How can I make sure my feet are shod? Is it by me passing out tracts or confronting every stranger on the street? Is it by my own efforts by how many people I tell about Christ that prepares my feet with the gospel? "15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" If it were by my own efforts of spreading the gospel it then becomes all about me, but it really is all about Christ. He IS the gospel of peace. Live in Christ and you have the gospel of peace. I'm not saying that we shouldn't speak of Christ, we absolutely should. But if we attempt to force out the gospel on others in our own effort of trying to shod our own feet, it then becomes about what we do and not about what Christ does. When Christ opens the door for you to speak about Him, just die to yourself and allow Him to do the talking.


What about my shield? "16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" What kind of faith is this? Faith is only through Christ our Lord. Faith has nothing to do with us except that it is our faith In Christ, not in ourselves. Our faith in our own righteousness or knocking on doors, or passing out tracts, or attending corporate worship is not the kind of faith he's talking about. That becomes faith in works and we know works get us no where in the self. Our faith is in Christ and in Christ alone.


How do I protect my head? "17a, And take the helmet of salvation," My helmet is not one I can get at the local motorcycle shop. The helmet is my salvation and my salvation is in Christ our Lord. "Not of works lest any man should boast."


Now what about the word of God? Isn't that my Sword for battle? "17b, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" First of all look at what kind of Sword it is. It's a Spirit! The Sword of the Spirit is not the written word of God, it is the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ! And all these years I have used the written Word as a sword and I have wielded that sword as a weapon against other people. I have used it as a weapon to point out their sin.


Under the rule of Hebrews 4:12, "12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." I have mistakenly used the written word as a weapon, thinking *I* could aim it at the hearts of people, verbally (and through blogging) use the written word to show them their sin, as if I had the right to do that to them. It has nothing to do with me. Does God really need us fallible humans to wield his written word as a weapon towards people? Is it me who divides asunder what is in their hearts? That is NOT my job.


It is quick, powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing, and discerning. Keep in mind there was no written word in the New Testament Church so the early Christians did not have the written word yet. So just what was he talking about? What is the Word of God that does all these powerful works in a person's heart? It is the Living Word, Christ himself. Since we know the sword is Spirit and the Word is Christ, we know that our sword is not the written copy we hold in our hands today, it is Christ our Lord! Shame on me How wrong I was for using my Lord as a weapon against people. Oh Lord forgive me!


So is there any part of the armor that involves us? "18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"


Pray for others. This involves your relationship with Christ. It is not simply 'YOU praying' that protects you, but the intimate relationship that comes from communicating with Christ our Lord. This prayer is specific, it is to be done in the Spirit. This is not a repetitive prayer of our own volition. It's not simply a prayer to-do list for God and it is not for us to just speak out those words jotted down on paper. It is not with the mind set that if I pray for thirty minutes, sixty minutes , or even ninety minutes every day then I will be protected. This is a conversation of love between you and Christ our Lord, as you petition him, out of love, for the brethren. This is a giving prayer, not a receiving prayer. This is a prayer on the behalf of others, not of selfishness.

Then Paul said for himself to speak boldly, that utterance would be GIVEN to him, to make known the Mystery of the gospel. He knew he could not speak on his own, he knew it must come from Christ our Lord. On our own we can not make known God's mysteries, that can only be done by God's divine intervention in our lives, through Christ our Lord. That is the purpose of our lives, to be in communion with Christ our Lord and in Christ is where we are protected.

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Armor of God by Lady Jess







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{ Reborn } at: September 18, 2009 at 8:38 AM said...

Wow! This is a great way of looking at that passage. I just recently heard the whole sword analogy used to support some very harsh, condemning preaching so I've been thinking about this. Thanks for sharing, Sisterlisa! :)

I only take issue with one thing... the part where you said "shame on me..." I know what you meant, and I know that is a very common phrase, BUT I think those of us with a legalistic background need to be careful about recognizing the subtle ways condemnation, guilt, and shame infiltrate our mindset.

I'm sure your attitude was wrong before. God used your human fallibility to show you your desperate need for HIM and is now using you to minister to others in similar situations (like me!). There's absolutely nothing shameful about that! (Romans 8:1)

:)

Reborn

{ Sisterlisa } at: September 18, 2009 at 9:05 AM said...

Thank you Reborn. I just don't know how else to say that to myself and get my point across. :/ suggestion?

{ Dana } at: September 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM said...

I once heard that Satan makes us feel guilty/ashamed. The Spirit makes us feel convicted.

Rather than "Shame on me..." maybe "How wrong I was..."?

{ Sisterlisa } at: September 19, 2009 at 7:16 AM said...

Thanks Dana, I edited that. :P

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