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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this Dark World and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:1-17 NIV  

Serena and I conducted a workshop last Saturday in the sanctuary entitled “Equipped and Ready” with this passage as the hallmark of our time together. We engaged in a discussion about each piece of armor, its spiritual purpose, its practical function, and its necessity for survival in battle. We also shared personal battle stories as well as areas of enemy strongholds that constrain our faith.  It was a very encouraging time of brothers and sisters in Christ learning, sharing, and getting equipped with the FULL ARMOR of God.  For some it was an enlightening time of discovery and reflection.  For others, it was nothing short of transformative.

Three takeaways from this workshop and general observations as a pastor:   1) We are solders in a daily battle and yet many of us live our lives oblivious to it.  The result is shock and awe when we are attacked.   2) God has given us adequate, custom-made armor for battle, and we often don’t put it on.  This leads to a lot of unnecessary bloodshed, frustration, pain, and bewilderment.  3) We expect God to stop the flaming arrows from coming our way and even expect Him to pull them out when they do.  This can lead to discouragement and disillusionment due to this misunderstanding of God’s role and our role in battle.

I personally found it interesting that the first piece of equipment listed in this passage (v. 14) is the belt of truth.  For the Roman soldier, the belt was made of leather with an apron that hung in front of the soldier’s groin and lower abdomen. Small breast plates were attached to the apron to provide the greatest possible protection to the private and most vulnerable parts. 

What is the truth we are to equip ourselves with?   For one, knowing the good news about Jesus. I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  The belt of truth also includes the truth about who you are in Christ!  Do you arm yourself with this truth each day? Notable Pastor and Author Craig Groeschel, in his book entitled “The Power to Change,” stated he has incorporated a daily practice each morning of his life to outwardly read Bible truth or affirmations.  You are familiar with most of these, but do you believe and affirm them verbally to start your day?

The Word of God says you are:       

  • Sought after (Isaiah 62:12)    
  • Precious in his sight (Isaiah 43:4)       
  • A new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)        
  • Not condemned (Romans 8:1)       
  • Forgiven (Colossians 1:14)       
  • Loved (I John 3:1)      
  • Accepted (Romans 15:7)        
  • A child of God (John 1:12)       
  • Jesus' friend (John 15:14)        
  • Free (John 8: 36)        
  • The temple of God (I Corinthians 6:19)        
  • God's treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6)       
  • Complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)        
  • Chosen (Colossians 3:12)       
  • Called (2 Timothy 1:9)       
  • An ambassador of the most high God (2 Corinthians 5:20)       
  • God's masterpiece (Ephesians 2: 10)        
  • Able to do all things through Christ, who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)       
  • More than a conqueror through Jesus, who loves you (Romans 8:37)

Soldier, gird up your loins with your God-given, God-fitted belt of truth…and prepare for battle!  

Brent Sinclair

Associate Pastor of Adult Ministry 

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