TITLE: The Defensive Armor of God
By George McVey
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I have seen lots of teachings and listened to tons of sermons on the Amor of God but none of them seem to be complete. During this teaching I will try to give a complete Old and New Testament teaching on the Armor of God. We will look at an example of using it from the life of David and apply all of it to a prayer walking and spiritual warfare context.
So when we are talking about the Armor of God the Biblical text that comes to everyone’s mind is Ephesians 6:11-17 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
First I want to point out is that this Armor is not yours it is God’s. This is important because often I have heard sermons that make this sound like it is a gift God has given to you it is not. IT is and always has been HIS ARMOR. Why is that an important distinction you may be wondering? The answer comes when we look at Biblical history.
In Bible times it was customary for Kings to choose a champion to fight for them in battle. The Champion would wear the King’s armor and any battles that were won by the Champion were attributed to the King not to the warrior in the king’s Armor. This was the reason that Saul tried to clothe David in his armor in 1Samuel 17:38&39 “So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, "I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them." So David took them off.”
This is the reason that God would not allow David to wear the armor but made him uncomfortable in it. David was God’s champion not Saul’s. The importance of this is that when we put on this armor we are operating as God’s Champion. When we put on this armor and fight we are fighting for God against his enemies. This is the reason that Paul says “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places.” He is reminding people once you have put on God’s armor you only fight against the armor owner’s enemies. Furthermore, the armor’s owner gets the credit for every victory you accomplish.
Next notice all the pieces of this armor are for defensive uses only. Paul states why we are to put on the pieces of the armor that he mentions “so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” I have stated in other teachings and my prayer walking book this is not all of the armor of God, only the defensive armor. The parts of the armor listed in Ephesians are what we use to survive the attacks of the devil against us. They protect us from the devils tricks, that is all these parts are for. There is offensive armor and we will talk about them in the next article.
Look at the parts listed here and how they help protect us from the tricks and attacks that the devil and his agents bring against you. The first piece of Armor mentioned is the waist belt of truth. Again without understanding the historical times we miss the importance of this piece of armor. The waist belt of truth protects your waist or your intestinal area. In biblical times the stomach and bowels were thought to be the seat of the emotions. This was where one felt from, not from the heart.
Why is that important to know, because the truth is what we use to protect us from an emotional response to the lies of the devil. How many times have you felt like you were far from God when you knew you were in right standing with him? Or have you felt like God has forsaken you and left you even though you know scripture says that he will never leave or forsake you. This is where the truth of God’s written word protects you from a wrong emotional response. Your feelings will lie to you, but the truth of God’s Written Word will not lie to you ever. By wrapping your emotional core in the truth you are protected from the lies the enemy speaks directly to your core.
The next piece of armor mentioned in Ephesians is the breastplate of righteousness. This protects the vital area’s of the Lungs and Heart. In the spiritual realm these are where your spirit was thought to be located. We know this because of two reasons: first the breath of life was given by God directly into the lungs. Life being our eternal or spiritual life.
Secondly, the Hebrew name for Holy Spirit means breath of God. This is what God’s righteousness protects. The enemy of your spirit is know as the “Accuser of the brethren” Long it has been taught that he accuses you to God but the truth is that God knows who you belong to. Satan doesn’t accuse you to God he accuses you to yourself. By knowing that there is nothing you can do to obtain righteousness out side of what Jesus did for us, and that you have accept that righteousness you are protected from this trick of the enemy as well.
Next comes the Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, these cover what you stand on. Perhaps you have heard the saying you don’t have a leg to stand on? By using the preparation of the gospel of peace to cover your feet the enemy of your soul will not be able to cut the legs out from under you. So what is the preparation of the gospel of peace? I have heard it taught that this is being able to share your faith with others but again this is not what is meant here.
The preparation of the gospel is that point when you know that the gospel is for you.
This is your testimony, not as a sharing tool but as armor to protect you from falling prey to the lie that salvation is not for you. Your testimony keeps you from believing you’ve committed some infraction that is the unpardonable sin. By knowing what brought you to the point of accepting salvation you realize that you can not be unsaved or do anything to cause God to give up on you. It is what lifts you out of the miry clay of doubt and sets your feet on the firm foundation of Christ love and salvation.
The Shield of Faith protects you from all those miscellaneous attacks the enemy hurls at you. If your faith in the faithfulness of God is secure then no quick little attack of the enemy can find a chink in your armor. He can’t settle in and lead you to doubt God or his faithfulness to you.
Are you beginning to see how all of these pieces mentioned here fit together? How as a whole they wrap you in a cocoon of protection from the enemy? They make you practically invincible from his attacks!
The Helmet of Salvation protects your mind or your intellect. Paul tells us in 2Corinthians 10:4&5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" It is the Knowledge of God that is our Helmet of Salvation. With it we capture and bring down every argument against God, every thought that leads us from our relationship with God. This is where your wisdom and intellect are protected by God’s thoughts becoming your thoughts.
This is why salvation makes sense to those who have it but seems ridiculous to those who don’t. Their mind and true ability to reason and see the truth are being corrupted by the tricks of the enemy of their spiritual being.
Finally under defensive armor is the Sword of the Spirit. Yes this is also an offensive weapon but it is first used to protect one against the thrusting weapons of an enemy. In Paul’s day soldiers were taught how to protect themselves from spear and sword swipes with their sword. Later, after they had mastered these protective uses they were instructed in how to use their sword to inflict return damage against the enemy.
We use the Holy Spirit directed Word of God to turn aside every direct attack by the enemy. We see a great example of this by Jesus himself in the wilderness temptation. HE never attacks Satan once. HE just deflects the attacks of Satan with scripture. That is why the Sword is mentioned as a defensive weapon. It is our most effective one.
So if all these weapons are for our defense and we know that God has called us to advance the kingdom of God. Doesn’t that mean we need offensive armor as well? Where do we find this offensive armor? For that we need to look into the Old Testament which is what we will do in The next article: The Offensive Armor of God.
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