Armor Of God: How It Protects You, Piece By Piece
The Armor of God is an important part in the Christian walk of faith. It is described not only as a valuable asset against the schemes of the enemy, but also for faith, truth, righteousness, peace and prayer. When we put on the full Armor of God, we are putting on the strength and might of the Lord Himself. In this world we are up against rulers and authorities of the Second Heaven, and only through the power of God are we able to fight against them.
Each piece of the armor correlates with areas of weakness and where we are most vulnerable to attack from the enemy. If we are careful to put on the full armor every day, we will find the strength we need to keep fighting the good fight of faith. We will find ourselves better able to persevere through times of trial and affliction. We will begin to understand our areas of weakness, and how to allow the Lord to shelter and protect those vulnerable areas from being trampled on by the snake.
The Armor of God consists of seven pieces, which is the number of completion and perfection. The seventh piece is the most overlooked piece of the armor, which is praying in the Spirit. Some translations of the Bible make a crucial mistake of separating this last piece of the armor from the rest, which is exactly as the enemy would have it. Praying in the Spirit is our heavenly connection to God, interceding on behalf of ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.
Here I have listed each individual piece of the armor and what area it protects, and how it protects us.
The Helmet of Salvation protects our belief systems, how we see the world, our mind, including how we think and judge things around us. When we wear the Helmet of Salvation we are protecting our minds from the thought processes and belief systems we are inundated with daily. The enemy would love to get a hold of our minds and program us into his way of thinking. He would have us put ourselves first, seeing ourselves as the most important thing. That way we would put God and others underneath ourselves, making of ourselves an idol. We would never recognize this self worship, because our thoughts and beliefs would already be centered around self, making it seem perfectly normal.
The Breastplate of Righteousness protects our heart, will, mind and emotions. With the Breastplate of Righteousness covering our heart, we are protecting our very soul. The soul is the center of our mind, will, emotions and heart. Our soul is also the very thing the devil wishes to capture the most. If the enemy take hold of our soul, then he can take us with him into the pit of hell with him. The devil hates us more than anything, and would love to see us go down in suffering on that last day with him, when he is finally cast down by God’s judgement over him. The enemy will stop at nothing to find ways to capture our hearts, especially through manipulation. If he can turn our thoughts and feelings to things of this world, the things the he tells us are good and righteous and pure, then he has full access to our soul. We will stop believing in God’s Word and instead believe in what we feel is right.
The Belt of Truth protects our thoughts and our self-control. It holds the armor together. The Belt of Truth is especially important, because without it we become grounded in the lies of the devil. Once we begin to believe his lies, they take root in our hearts, and create false belief systems within us. Our beliefs are an integral part of who we are, shaping our thoughts and actions. Beliefs are not a conscious thought, but are the core of who we are. If we do not let God shape our thoughts, the devil will surely take up residence in them, steering them in the way he would have us go instead.
The Shoes of Peace protect our relationships, our interactions with self and with others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our peace. It is the message of love and hope that keeps every Christian going in a world where things seem hopeless and desperate. It is that knowledge of God’s goodness that shapes our relationship with God, as well as with yourself and others. When the message of the Gospel gets distorted by listening to the enemy lies, it begins to deteriorate our relationship with God. We begin to see God as a God that will judge us for every wrong choice we make, or abandon us because we aren’t good enough. Once our relationship with God begins to fall apart, then it affects the way we see ourselves. We begin to believe we are worthless and unlovable. This in turn affects the way we interact with others. If the God that created us can turn against us, then who should we really trust? The Shoes of Peace are vital for Christians to walking the path side by side with Jesus Christ.
The Sword of the Spirit protects our relationship with God, including our worship, praise, scripture reading & understanding and praying. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. The Word of God is not only the living words of the Bible, but also Christ Himself. When we stand firm in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and follow Christ’s leading in our lives, then we walk in righteousness with Him. This is the way we were meant to live. Without these things we begin to lose our ability to connect with God and hear His voice. We begin to lose interest in worship, praise and reading the Bible. Without the Sword of the Spirit the enemy can twist God’s truth just enough so it seems true, but is actually distorted. Just as he did when he tempted Jesus in the desert. Jesus showed us how to use the Sword of the Spirit to fight against the enemies attacks.
The Shield of Faith protects our spirit and our spiritual self. The Shield of Faith can extinguish the fiery arrows of the evil one. These arrows are enough to pierce us through. Even when we pull out these arrows, we cannot pull out every piece. They always leave behind bits of hate, malice, anger and revenge. They begin to corrupt our spirit and allow our soul to take over, leaving us ravaged by our soulish desires. Our flesh wants to have its way, to be at the center of the stage, and if we don’t protect our spirit, the devil will feed every one of these fleshly desires until we are gorging ourselves on his evil ways. It is only with faith that we can walk in a world as a spirit. God is spirit, and so is man. Faith is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Faith in a God that is greater than any evil, greater than our own weaknesses, and greater than even death. While the enemy seeks to corrupt us daily, we walk with a faith that is unwavering through the Shield of Faith, allowing us to let the Spirit guide us, not ourselves.
Praying in the Spirit activates our armor and brings us to completeness, as well as heightens our awareness of the Spirit. We are commanded to pray in the Spirit at all times. Praying in the Spirit is an act of humility on our parts. We are praying in a heavenly language that we cannot understand, and in doing so we are giving our requests and praises to God. We are fighting an unseen battle with our heavenly prayer language, and interceding not only for ourselves, but for our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we do not use our prayer language, we are missing out on important connections to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit edifies, encourages and speaks to us through these prayers, lifting up our inner man and strengthening our spirit. We often don’t have words to say to express our innermost being, and our prayer language can truly break strongholds and bring freedom to our hearts. When we don’t have words to pray for others, our spirit can lead the prayer through our prayer language, and it is very powerful. We must not let the enemy convince us that using the prayer of tongues is wrong, evil, strange, or of demons. That is exactly what he would have us believe, because this is the prayer of warfare. Without it, we are missing a vital link to the throne room of heaven.
All of the pieces of the armor of are individually important, but collectively, they are an unstoppable force. They represent the best of what God has for us. A righteous relationship, walking in the full power of the Spirit of God, sowing good fruit and caring for all of God’s creation. We must work daily to pray the armor on ourselves, whether it is as simple as “Father please dress me in my armor”, or more complicated by putting each piece on, one at a time. It does not matter how we do it, as long as we do so.
By putting our armor on daily we are reminding ourselves of the important connections we have through God’s weapons of warfare. We do not fight as the world fights, but as mighty warriors who rely on the strength and wisdom and understanding of the Father of Lights. It takes humility and patience to walk with the Lord, using His armor to bring peace and stability into our lives. Take every day to learn more about your Father in heaven, and allow Him to mold and shape who you are, so you can learn to stand strong and fight.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
1 Corinthians 10:3-6