Armour of God (Part 2)
Updated: Mar 3
Description: In Part 1, we explored three protections within the Armour of God. In this Part, we look at the remaining four that God offers his people.
Having considered some important points about the first three protections – the Belt of truth, the Breastplate of righteousness, and the Gospel of peace – we move on to the other four.
Shield of faith
The fourth protection is the shield of faith. With this we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. But what are these arrows? They are the fiery missiles sent to weaken us with fear. Often, they’re inflamed by our own false sense of shame and guilt born of wilful disobedience and hard heartedness (see Part 1 ‘breastplate of righteousness’). Yet with faith going before us, we need have no fear. Right now, we can’t see all that’s happening to shield us. We must rely on the faith we live by. It is a powerful shield and will choke our enemy’s fiery attacks.
Helmet of salvation
The helmet of salvation is our fifth protection and it’s to safeguard our heads and minds. Every action we take and thought we have starts in our head, so it needs protection. The outcomes of our fights against the Devil are decided in our minds, i.e. by what we ultimately decide to do. Our thoughts should centre on God’s will. This lies behind Paul’s assertion in 2 Corinthians 10.3-5 ‘For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ Our knowledge, understanding and acceptance that Jesus has saved us – his salvation – is the helmet we need to protect our heads and guide our thinking.
Sword of the Spirit
Our sixth protection is a weapon and is the very word of God. When Jesus was tempted in the desert after his baptism, he answered the Devil’s temptations with words from scripture (Matthew 4:1–11). He was fully armed with the word of God. The more we learn from the scriptures, the better we too will be able to wield the Sword of the Spirit. The Bible is a powerful resource when we’re under attack. We simply need to read it regularly and be ready to counter the Devil’s attacks with the good news of Christ Jesus.
Praying in the Spirit
Prayer is a powerful weapon. It is an essential part of being a Christian and a key priority in developing our personal relationship with God. Mary, Queen of Scots, once said, ‘I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men.’ (Knox was a Scottish clergyman who lived from 1514 to 1572 and was one of the most powerful preachers of his day. He understood how lost he was so constantly asked God for direction. He was a man of prayer and became such a significant force in his country that no one could ignore him.) We too need to pray – really pray so that we can be empowered to do God’s will and empowered to resist the temptations the Devil will always offer. As Paul says, we should ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,’ (Ephesians 6:18).
As St Paul tells us: God’s weapons have the divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10.4). It’s worth noting that no human empire – however extensive and powerful – has ever survived for more than a few centuries (and the vast majority for considerably less than this). Only God’s kingdom is eternal, and we fight with his weapons.
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.