Ephesians 6 is the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and in verses 10 to 18 he encourages them to remain steadfast in the Lord. He knew that, as Christians, we are facing an intense spiritual war and we must be prepared. Paul talks about the armor of God, the tools he gives his children so that we can overcome the attacks of the devil.
By dressing and wearing the armor effectively we will be able to face all the traps of the evil one and we will be victorious. Let’s see what Ephesians 6: 10-18 tells us about the armor of God, what it is for and how we should use it.
Preparing for the battle
The first thing is to strengthen ourselves in the Lord . From it comes our strength! It comes when we recognize that we depend on God, we seek Him in prayer, we read His Word and we listen to His voice.
Then we must get dressed, take the armor and put it on. This requires initiative, an action on our part and a decision: I do not face my own strength but I use the weapons that God gives me. It is an act of humility and total confidence in his power and wisdom.
Jesus has already defeated the devil on the cross, the final battle is won. However, we face spiritual battles every day and we must do it with the weapons that God gives us, not with our intellect or with our physical forces. This is a spiritual struggle and our adversary, the devil, is cunning and will try to discourage us in our walk with Christ. Using well the weapons that God gives us, we will win.
Because our struggle is not against human beings, but against powers, against authorities, against powers that dominate this world of darkness, against evil spiritual forces in the celestial regions. Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, so that when the bad day arrives you can resist to the end with firmness.
(Ephesians 6: 12-13)
The reality is that we are in a constant spiritual struggle whether we like it or not. In 1 Peter 5: 8-9 it says:
“Practice self-control and stay alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, resist him, standing firm in faith, knowing that his brothers throughout the world are enduring the same kind of suffering.”
We are called to resist, to be prepared for the attack and firm in the faith. It is an intense struggle, but God does not leave us defenseless. He provides the armor we need to overcome. We just have to put it on and use it!
Keep in mind that it is an armor, not several, and we must carry it in its totality as it equips us to face all the attacks of the devil. We do not wear the helmet today and tomorrow the shield. Do not! The soldiers prepare with all the armor when they go out to battle and we, as good soldiers of Jesus, must do the same.
By using all the weapons that God has provided, we are protected and ready for battle. That is the way in which we will resist firmly until the end, until we are with Jesus for eternity.
Ephesians 6 - The Armor of God Explained:
Let’s see a short description of each of the parts of the armor that God has placed at our disposal.
1. The belt of truth
Stand firm, girded with the belt of truth ...
(Ephesians 6:14 a)
The devil will try to deceive us with his lies so that we fail, doubt or compromise our identity. We must remain firm in the truth that we are children of God, transformed by him and saved from eternal death. Nothing and no one will snatch us out of his hand (John 10:28).
How to use the belt : fill your mind and your heart with the truth of the word of God. Cultivate a deep friendship with God through prayer. Strengthen your spirit every day praising God and spending time with him. Live a whole life and be truthful in all your actions and words.
2. The breastplate of justice
... protected by the breastplate of righteousness ...
(Ephesians 6:14 b)
The armor was attached to the belt and protected vital organs. A chest wound can be deadly and that’s why the soldier must cover it well. We must also dress ourselves with the justice of God that we have through Jesus. We are justified by our faith in Christ (Romans 5: 1-3). The battle against temptation and sin is not won by our own righteousness. We win it by remembering who we are in Jesus and by standing firm in that reality.
When God looks at us, he sees Jesus in us. We must also focus on the work of God in our lives, keep our eyes on Jesus, not our past without him, our emotions or the mistakes we make.
How to wear the breastplate
3. The shoes to proclaim the gospel of peace
... shoes with the disposition to proclaim the gospel of peace.
Protect the feet in advance for the battle. The enemy can place sharp objects or traps to make us fall and prevent us from moving forward. Its goal is to prevent us from going out to proclaim the gospel of peace. It can attack with temptations, complexes, sense of inferiority, anxiety, people who make fun ... the list is long. But in Christ our feet are firm and ready to carry the gospel of peace. We take steps and gain ground (lives) for the kingdom of God because he enables us and because we ourselves have experienced his peace.
The kingdom of God is one of justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). That is the message we must proclaim. Yes, it is true that it is a war, but the weapons that God gives us are not of this world and may seem illogical. We do not win by imposing or altering ourselves; We win by living full of his peace and taking it to all those around us.
How to wear shoes : Let the peace of God fill your heart every day. Spend time with Jesus and strengthen your spirit. Do not let the enemy’s traps impede your progress and effectiveness. Affirm your feet, ask God to give you courage and share his gospel of peace with all those around you.
4. The shield of faith
Besides all this, take the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the burning arrows of the evil one.
With the shield of faith we can put out all the arrows that the evil one shoots at us. The attack of the devil can come from any place, for that reason it is important to be alert to be able to place the shield in the precise place and to protect us.
One of the weapons that the devil uses frequently is doubt. It encourages us to doubt God’s power, love or kindness. As we exercise our faith and affirm ourselves in what we know about God and his work in us, those attacks lose their effectiveness and we advance in our walk with Jesus.
How to use the shield : feed your faith by reading and memorizing the word of God, spend time with God. Fill your mind with the truth about him and who you are in him so you can use that truth when doubts come.
5. The helmet of salvation
Take the helmet of salvation ...
(Ephesians 6:17 a)
The helmet protects the head. Fill the mind with the certainty of our salvation. We have to live each day the life that God wants us to live as his children, anchored in that certainty and with our hearts full of gratitude.
How to wear the helmet : Remember that you are saved by faith in Jesus and that nobody can change it. Live in trust and obedience the life that Jesus wants for you. Combat with the word of God the doubts about your salvation or the temptation to feel that you do not deserve his love or his forgiveness. He loves you, he saved you and you are his for eternity.
6. The sword of the Spirit
... and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:17 b)
This is the only weapon of attack, the others are rather defensive. The sword serves both for defense and for attacking the enemy. The word of God illuminates our path (Psalm 119: 105) and enlightens our minds with the teaching of the gospel. With the sword of the Spirit we defend ourselves and face the attacks of the enemy (lies, deceptions) while attacking him with the truth. Remember the example of Jesus when he was tempted. How he used the word effectively to overcome the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4).
“Certainly, the word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates to the depths of the soul and the spirit, to the marrow of the bones, and judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. “
We fight bad thoughts, doubts and false teachings by filling our mind with the message of the Bible. The devil will try to deceive us, but if we know the word of God well we can affirm ourselves in the truth and continue to be active in the battle without fear.
How to use the sword
The importance of Ephesians 6 Prayer
The Christian soldier prepares for battle, gets stronger and receives his orders through prayer. The communication with God, our Commander, must be constant to strengthen us and receive his orders with the strategy we must follow.
We must not only pray for our struggles, challenges or difficulties, but we must support our brothers in prayer. If we see a brother struggling against a sin or doubt, or if he is going through suffering or persecution. We should support him with our prayers and encourage him.
Do you want to win in this spiritual war? Dress every day with the armor of God. Spend time in prayer before him, study his word and stay alert to the attacks of the enemy.