Wrapping up our series on the Armor of God I would like to share a few deeper realizations.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
Realization #1: The pieces of armor are God’s! They are real things in the spiritual world. It is spiritual armor that He gives us to protect us from the evil in this world. We are to put on His Truth, His Righteousness, His Gospel, His Shield of Faith, His Salvation and His Words (the Bible) and finally Pray!
When we put all the pieces on it gives us strength! Strength to stand up strong for the ways of God and not give in to temptation- “the evil forces in this world.” (Eph. 6:11) There are temptations daily in our lives whether we want to admit it or not.
For example, when the Super Bowl half time show came on at our house and I saw how inappropriate and indecent it was, I simply turned off the TV. There were 12 people watching the game with us. I wondered if our guests would think I was being prudish. Then the Holy Spirit brought this scripture to mind.
”So as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lust of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:2)
I knew I needed to turn off the half time show and so I did! (Don’t be fearful of what others think when you know it goes against God’s Word. Act on it!)
One of the biggest temptations for me used to be my cell phone. I realized this when I went out to dinner one night with a friend and I had forgotten my phone. During dinner, I kept reaching for it, wondering if anyone had called me or thinking about what social media posts I was missing. There was even a moment when I wanted to take a selfie! As a result, I was disengaged with my friend most of the night.
That night when I got home, I felt awful. As I crawled into bed, my thoughts turned to the time wasted during dinner with my friend. I asked God to forgive me and to help me change. There is power when you call on the name of Jesus. God is Spirit and we must pray in the Spirit. After I prayed, I felt much better and even stronger in my faith.
Realization #2: Prayer is the final piece of armor. Paul actually talks more about prayer than any other piece of armor. Prayer is communication with our Commander in Chief-God. Believers must live in prayer at all times in order to persevere for Christ. Jesus prayed to God and he tells us that we are to pray to our Father in heaven, too.
Verse 18 says “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)
What exactly does it mean to pray in the Spirit? Praying in the Spirit means to pray according to God’s word and God’s prompting.
“Pray constantly,” is the charge to us all from 1 Thessalonians. It is how we are strengthened.
Prayer is so important. Think about the story of Israel when they were at war with the Amalekites in Exodus 17. Whenever Moses was praying to God the Israelites would win. When his arms became tired and he was no longer able to lift them up to the Lord in prayer, the Israelites would start to lose!
Prayer is powerful. Use this piece of armor!
Realization #3: Finally, I realized even more so that there is a great tragedy. A spiritual battle is going on in the unseen world and most of us are unaware, fearful, skeptical or perhaps living in disbelief that the spiritual realm even exists.
I am here to tell you that God is real. Satan is real and the spiritual world is real. Get God’s armor on and pray constantly!
A simple exercise- open your Bible to Ephesians 6:10-18. When you get to each piece of armor, talk to God and put it on… “Dear Lord, I am putting on the Belt of Truth today. I know you are the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through you. Help me to live this out today.” Etc.
Who is one person you can pray for today? Perhaps pray that they would put on the armor of God.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17. What does God want you to pray for? Be intentional as you go through your day today and practice what this verse says.