May the Lord give you a very blessed Christmas and may your New Year be filled with the “fragrance of Christ.”
Colossians 1:9-12 is my prayer:
“I do not cease to pray for you and desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. That you might be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be par-takers of the inheritance of the saints in the light...”
How appropriate it is that at this time of year, we should be talking about the Armor of God, as this is probably one of the most important times of the year when we need to have our armor on. Through the holidays, we are going to see many of our “loved ones” and also, perhaps, many that are difficult for us. So, it’s critical that we have on the “full” Armor of God.
God is the One who furnishes us with this armor, but we are the ones who must constantly choose to put it on. Romans 13:12 tells us that we are to “cast off the works of darkness” and continually “put on the Armor of Light,” with no dark part.
It’s very exciting because each piece of armor listed in Ephesians 6 seems to line up perfectly with our own internal architecture—spirit, heart, willpower, soul and body. Let’s read Ephesians 6:13-19 and see God’s Armor of Light perhaps in a little different perspective.
Ephesians 6:13: WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING DONE ALL, TO STAND.
This verse teaches us that the only way we can stand against the enemy of our souls is by having on the whole Armor of God (the full Armor of Light with no dark part). In other words, there’s no way we can put on just a few pieces of His armor and be fully protected. We must put on the whole armor—every piece.
Verse 14: STAND THEREFORE, HAVING YOUR LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH
God’s Holy Spirit and His Word working together are spoken of as the truth. Truth is what we must have securely “fastened” about our loins.
“Loins” in Scripture are spoken of as the source of our pro-creation—the energizing source that brings new life into being. This verse then speaks of the new Spirit (or new power source, life source or energy source) that we receive when we are born again. It’s God’s Spirit through His Word that quickens new life in us. John 6:63 validates this: “It is the Spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
AND HAVING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul amplifies the above verse by saying, “putting on the breastplate of faith and Love.” This breastplate refers to Christ’s righteousness and His holiness. It’s God’s Righteousness, not our own. Thus, this symbolizes the new Heart that we receive as a result of our new birth. In other words, it’s God’s eternal Life in us—His supernatural Love and His Thoughts and His Power now in our hearts.
Verse 15: AND YOUR FEET SHOD WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE
This verse speaks of the authority and power of Christ that He gives us to put off the debris, dirt and filth in our lives and to put on Christ. Using this authority and power is what “shods” our feet (or our souls) for walking. Remember in John 13:8-10 when Peter says to Jesus, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” Jesus answers him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Jesus is saying that unless we allow Him to daily wash our feet (our souls), we’ll have no part of His Life.
The new willpower that God gives us at our new birth prepares and equips our souls (or our feet) with the gospel of peace.
Verse 16: ABOVE ALL, TAKE THE SHIELD OF FAITH, WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED
Did you know that the shields that the Roman soldiers used were almost the size of a door? This shield was so effective and so strong, protecting the warrior so completely, that the enemy’s arrows were not able to penetrate it.
This Scripture tells us that “above everything else,” only our constant faith choice will shield, cover and protect us from the attacks of the enemy. Only our faith choices will allow us to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
It’s possible to possess God’s supernatural authority and power and yet never choose to use it. Again, to “be born in the Spirit,” but never actually “walk in the Spirit.” Faith choices are the “key” to the Christian life. If we don’t make these kind of faith choices, but simply go along with the tide of our emotions, our shield will be down and we’ll open ourselves up for more of the devil’s schemes.
Verse 17: AND TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION
Salvation means to deliver, to bring into safety, to save or to heal. In the long-term spiritual sense, salvation means freedom from the penalty of sin, which is death. In the short-term spiritual sense, salvation means freedom from the power of sin and the enemy that continually wants to control our lives (our souls). As we put on that helmet of salvation over our “reined in” self-life, we’ll not only be safe from the enemy’s attacks, but also Christ’s image will be able to come forth.
AND THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD
Up until this point, God has been talking about our defensive armor. Ephesians 6 now switches and begins to talk about our offensive armor. Things we must do outwardly in order to stay free of the enemy and “walk in the Spirit.” One thing we must always remember is to carry God’s two-edged Sword (His written Word in our hands). Jeremiah 51:20 talks about God’s Word being like our “battle ax.”
As we mentioned before, God’s Word and His Spirit always work alongside each other, confirming and validating one an-other. Ezekiel 12:25 says, God will always perform His Word by His Spirit.
Verse 18: PRAYING ALWAYS, WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT AND WATCHING THEREUNTO WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE AND SUPPLICATION FOR ALL THE SAINTS
Another offensive weapon we must use is prayer. Prayer is our defensive mechanism not only for ourselves, but also for those we love and, yes, even for those who have despitefully have used us. We need to learn to pray in the power of the Spirit in order to rebuke and bind the enemy and ask God to pour out His Spirit.
It’s also critical that we constantly pray and beseech God on behalf of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers....” (Ephesians 1:15-16)
And finally, verse 19: AND FOR ME, THAT UTTERANCE MAY BE GIVEN UNTO ME, THAT I MAY OPEN MY MOUTH BOLDLY, TO MAKE KNOWN THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL.
This should be our prayer: That “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be acceptable” to Him. (Psalm 19:14) That our words and our deeds would match and would only come forth from His presence. And, that He would give us the boldness and the power to show forth His “good, acceptable and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
Our prayer should always be that we are a living example of Christ’s Life.
“Putting on” the whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6) is a visual picture of what it means to “put on” Christ and to be “full of His Light,” with “no dark part.” Scripture tells us that Jesus’ Life is the Light of Men. And this is the Life and the Light that God wants shining and beaming through each of us, especially this Christmas. (Romans 13:12b)
Proverbs 20:27 tells us that “the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord.” Once the Lord lights that candle, He doesn’t want that Light (that Life) hidden away “under a bushel,” but set on a lampstand (in our lives) where all can see it. “No man when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they who come in may see the light.” (Luke 11:33)
God wants “our loins [to be] girded about [with truth] and our lights burning.” (Luke 12:35) These are the lights and the marks of the Spirit that Jesus will be looking for when He returns.
WILL HE SEE YOUR LIGHT? WILL HE KNOW YOU INTIMATELY? WILL YOU BE READY AND PREPARED TO GO WITH HIM?* * *
To be continued next year: “How to Walk in the Spirit.” This article has been excerpted in part from Nan’s book, Reflections of His Image.