Road Trip! (Part 2)
Is your spiritual life going through a summer slump? Check out the Go Deeper section at the end of Amanda’s study on the Armor of God!
Earlier I began a two part blog post about the importance of putting on the full armor of God. (Read Part 1!) Ephesians 6:13-18 is full of practical actions that we, as believers, can take in order to live a victorious life in Christ. Just as I would never decide to go on a long road trip without being fully prepared, I should not go through life unprepared for the spiritual attacks of the enemy. In the first post, I discussed the “belt of truth,” “breastplate of righteousness,” and the “shoes of peace.” Let’s see what scripture has to say about the remaining three pieces of protection:
The fourth item of protection is the “shield of faith.” (v. 16)
In ancient times a shield was something that a warrior would carry, normally with his left hand, in order to protect himself from anything that would be thrown or shot at him. His right hand would then be free to engage in offensive attack. It is significant that Paul uses a believer’s faith in Christ as the shield or protector of the attacks of the enemy.
Satan knows our weaknesses, and he will try whatever he has in his arsenal to attack us, especially when we least expect it.
Thus, Paul encourages his readers to make sure our faith is secure and solid in “all circumstances,” for we never know when the enemy will attack.
My friend is an example of the importance of taking up the shield of faith in “all circumstances.” A couple of months ago her husband died very suddenly. At the time of his death, she was seven months pregnant with their second child, and she had a 13 month old son. If you were to ask her this is definitely not a situation she ever thought she would endure. But, because of her faith in Christ and her dependence upon Him, this is a situation that God miraculously prepared her for as she daily walked with Him and spent time with Him. She has been an amazing example to me and those who know her of how God can and will “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” The enemy has not been victorious during this extremely difficult time in her life. Instead, I, and those around her, have been privileged to observe how her faith has increased and how the enemy continues to be defeated because of her testimony of God’s faithfulness.
The fifth item is the “helmet of salvation.” (v.17a)
When I think of the helmet of salvation, one of the first images that come to my mind is the gruesome opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. Bullets were flying everywhere, and one eventually hit the helmet of one of the men. He took off his helmet and gave a sigh of relief. Immediately another bullet hit him, which led to his death.
Why would I give such a graphic example? Because the enemy is looking for any way to destroy us as believers through attacking our very salvation.
Ephesians 4:30 reminds us that once we repent of our sins and follow Christ then we are “sealed for the day of redemption.” But this fact does not stop Satan from attacking our minds with doubts and confusion. The enemy cannot steal a Christian’s salvation from her, but he would love to cause her to be ineffective for the Kingdom. I have watched how Satan has kept women entangled in confusion wondering about their salvation and doubting God’s ability to save completely. I have also counseled women who could not get beyond their past to rejoice and glory in their salvation. It is imperative that we put on the “helmet of salvation,” which will guard our thoughts from the attacks of the enemy.
The last piece of armor is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (v. 17b)
The “sword of the Spirit” is the only offensive weapon that we have been given. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” I love that!
God does not leave us without defense, but He has given us His Word to strike back at the enemy. Satan cannot stand under the authoritative Word of God.
In Matthew 4, Scripture actually says that Jesus was, “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (v. 1) After Jesus had fasted for 40 days, the enemy thought this was the perfect time to attack. The God-man was hungry, tired, and physically weak. Scripture records three specific instances in which Satan attacked Jesus, and all three times Jesus answered him with Scripture. Yes, Jesus was God incarnate, but this incident showed His humanity. It is also an example to us in how to deal with the enemy’s attacks. We are not to turn and run, but we are to stand and fight him with the Word of God.
God’s Word is powerful and potent, and it will accomplish what He sends it out to accomplish. (From Is. 55:10-11)
Road trips are always time-consuming and require much preparation. If I am not adequately prepared for the journey, then I am left without essential items that I may need. The same is true in our spiritual journey. In Ephesians 6:11-17, Paul, through the power of the Spirit, gives us specific directions in how we are to go through life and what we are to take with us on the journey. We cannot “afford” to leave any of these behind, even for a day. Satan, our enemy, is very cunning, and he is waiting for us as women to let down our guard so he can attack. My prayer is that we would be determined to stand firm against him and not give him the opportunity to attack. So, are you ready for the road trip called “Life”? Pick up your armor, and let’s get moving!
GO DEEPER! For your own personal reflection, or with a group:
- Take another look at the pieces to your armor in Eph. 6:10-18a. What is significant about the fact that our only offensive weapon is God’s Word? What does that tell us about our role in spiritual battles?
- While it’s impossible for Satan to steal our salvation, what can he steal to make us ineffective and joyless? (Check out John 10:10) How does the reality of our salvation defend our minds against attacks on our salvation?
- What “fiery darts” are being thrown at you right now? What Bible verses are you going to memorize this week so your “shield of faith” is up and ready? (Here are a few to get you started: Ex. 14:14, John 15:1-5, Ps. 121:7 and 138:8, Rom. 6:12-14 and 8:15-17, Gal. 5:1, 1 Pet. 5:8-10.