Are you prepared for spiritual battle? This is part 3 of our 5-part summer series meant to equip you for the invisible war raging around you, often taking a toll on your personal life. How do you ready yourself? By putting on the armor of God.
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
—Ephesians 6:14-17 (ESV)
Most Christians in Western culture would agree the world around us is becoming increasingly dark and antagonistic to our core beliefs.
Before ascending into heaven, the risen Lord Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), but many feel particularly discouraged about sharing the Good News in a world where it seems like people don’t want to hear it.
Satan has always found ways to discourage believers from doing what God has commanded us to do, and there’s nothing he will fight against more fiercely than the advancement of Jesus’ Kingdom through the making of new disciples.
The Bible reminds us that the Christian life happens against the backdrop of an invisible, supernatural battle, and that in order to fight it, our weapons “are not of the flesh but have divine power” (2 Corinthians 10:4). God didn’t send us to this war alone. He gave us His armor so “that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
The Shield and the Shoes Go Together
So how do you put on readiness as shoes?
Your readiness comes through faith—the same faith that’s described as our shield in Ephesians 6.
The passage says that readiness was given to us by the gospel of peace. That means you become ready when you accept Christ, who brings us spiritual peace.
You don’t have to do something in particular to be ready to share the Gospel. The moment you received Christ, you became a witness to the Gospel. You don’t have to be a theologian to share Good News with others, just a willingness to tell people what Jesus has done for you.
On the day you were saved, your faith was sight, because you could see clearly, almost touch, the power of God working in you. But as time goes by, that faith that once was strong as glowing metal begins a journey through mountain peaks and valleys. The closer we come to Jesus, the more we pray and read the Bible, the stronger our faith becomes; the farther we get from Jesus and His Word, our faith slowly begins to dim.
The secret to keeping our shield of faith up is to be close to Jesus through reading His Word and spending time alone with Him in prayer.
The Enemy Has No Power Against Our Faith
Even when we feel our faith is feeble, we can cry out to God, holding onto the mustard seed size faith that allows us to open our mouths, call out His name and say: Lord, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
The stronger our faith becomes, the more vibrant our readiness to share the Gospel will be. They are intimately and heartily connected.
Remember that according to Ephesians 6, faith works as a shield. Not the small, rusty old shields from medieval times we often see in illustrations. This is a shield that could very well inspire the creative team in Marvel movies.
Even as strong and unique as Captain America’s shield is, in the epic films it has been destroyed by opponents from other galaxies. But the shield of faith that the Bible describes is so strong and indestructible that the flaming darts of the evil one himself will be extinguished as soon as they touch it.
What the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians is that this huge, high-powered shield of faith will extinguish, quench or snuff out the darts of the evil one as a flaming arrow hitting the vastness of the ocean.
The attacks of the enemy have no power whatsoever against our faith, and as we lift up our shields, we can gain ground for the Lord’s kingdom as we walk with readiness to share the glorious Gospel by which we live.