The full armor of God
March 3, 2014
by Pastor Jerry Nelson, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

Many people spend an exorbitant amount of money on security systems for their homes and businesses to protect their belongings and their physical well-being. But don’t we also need spiritual protection? What should we do?

We can stand firm with the armor that God provides for us: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with the gospel of peace, and the shield of faith with which we can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. We can take hold of the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray . . . pray in the Spirit.

Unfortunately, some of us look for our spiritual armor only when we are in trouble or sense some imminent danger, but it’s often too late. The flaming arrows of the evil one (Satan) come flying when we least expect them.

We can’t possibly move fast enough to dodge them, and Satan doesn’t miss. He knows where our weak and vulnerable areas are. He knows where the flames will burn deep.

The arrows will hit all of us. None of us can avoid it while on this earth, but if we have our armor on, if we are depending on the Lord and trusting Him for our protection, we won’t be harmed. We have nothing to fear because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

The seat belt in my car is always available to me, but I admit there are times I head down the road without it on. Then, realizing the imminent danger, I strap myself in. It is good to remind our friends and family to “buckle up,” because we love them and are concerned for their physical well-being.

We should, in the same way, encourage and exhort one another to put on our spiritual armor; reminding one another of the battle, not with flesh and blood, but with the powers and principalities of darkness. Satan is real, and powerful. He is of the darkness, but he masquerades as an angel of light. He is the master of deception, a liar, and the polar opposite of the truth.

Can we be ready for these battles of life? They come when we least expect them, but I’ve found that they come especially strong and in greater frequency when I am about to head into an important spiritual event in our church or a key ministry opportunity. They come especially strong and in greater frequency when I have achieved some kind of success, or when I am in “relaxed mode.”

As men and women, boys and girls, we all face similar battles, and we all need the armor of the Lord. His armor is invisible and impenetrable, and without it, we become vulnerable, even to the point of spiritual death. That’s why God’s word says, “Put on the full armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Each day, we will face new spiritual battles, battles in which Satan tries to hurt us. The good news is that God gives us protection and the victory in Christ Jesus, our Lord. He forgives our sin.

Praise God! Now, put on the full armor of God.

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