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Armour of GodI can remember suiting up to play hockey when I was younger and I often thought of one passage from the bible.  In Ephesians verse twelve we are instructed to “put on the full armour of God”.  It was a way that I pumped myself up. After all I was going into battle on the sports field. In this case it was in the sports arena. Sometimes going into battle is not an easy. As a Christian living your life out as a disciple of Christ can be hard. In that context the  phrase “put on the full armour of God” can be that much more important.  Many say what is the armour of God?  In Ephesians 6:14-17 it says “Stand firm then, with the belt of TRUTH buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the GOSPEL OF PEACE. 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”.

In our Christian life we battle against many things. The world much of which is non Christian, to withstand the many obstacles, challenges and attacks that we face we must trust and depend on God for strength and  the tools to persevere as Christians. Our whole body needs to be covered and protected as we do battle with the “forces of darkness” that we face in our daily lives.  We face a powerful opponent who’s goal is to defeat Christ’s Church. When we believe in Christ, things that oppose Christ are to become our enemy.  These things try to pull us away from God, thus turning us against Christ and taking us in a direction of sin.  Although we are assured of Victory through Christ’s dying on the Cross we must engage in the struggle against Satan until Jesus Christ comes again. Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side; causing trouble and conflict even among those that are Christian brother’s and sisters,  trying to break up the Armies of Christ from within if possible. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan and God provides us this by giving us the Holy Spirit. We must draw on the power we get from the Holy Spirit to help keep us grounded in our faith and fend off the attacks we face.

The Belt of TRUTH is to fight against the lies of Satan and sometimes his lies sound like the truth. But only God’s word has the truth that can defeat Satan’s lies.  The Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS fights against the devil’s attacks on our heart. Emotions, self-worth and trust are all targets of Satan. But with God’s righteousness as our breastplate we can protect ourselves. God’s love for us is true and He sent His Son to die for us. Footgear is important so that we are in readiness to spread the good news to others. Satan would like us to believe that telling others about the Goodness is hopeless and worthless. That the size of the job to spread the word is far to big of a task for us to complete.  The Footgear of God gives us the motivation to continue to proclaim the true message of peace that God is here for us, He wants us and he is ready to accept us as we are. The true good news that everyone needs to hear.  The Shield of FAITH protects us from the attacks of insults, put downs, set backs, temptations and any other forms of deceit that Satan can throw at us to take us away from following Jesus.  With the Shield we are protected from Satan’s flaming arrows. With God’s perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that the ultimate “NEE-KAY”, which means victory, is ours to share in. The Helmet of SALVATION possibly is the most important part of the protection. For this protects our mind from believing Satan’s lies and doubting God’s saving grace and love. Jesus was sent to die for our sins on the Cross. “God so loved us that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we may have everlasting life” John 3:16.  The last part of the protection is actually the only weapon of offense in the equipment of armour.  That is the Sword of the “WORD OF GOD”. There are times when we need to take the offensive against Satan. When we are tempted, we need to go to our bibles and trust in the truth of God’s word.  And if at any point during your battle as a Christian you feel discouraged, Remember Jesus words to Peter: ‘On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not over come.” (Matthew 16:18)  Go forth, be a disciple and fight the Good fight in his name, with God’s special armour, spreading His message to all that will listen and always know that Jesus will be with you till the end of the age.

- Matthew R. Marshall     

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