I’ll be honest: I’ve never understood the practical use of the armor of God. I’ve always considered it pie-in-the-sky, metaphorical not meaningful armor. If that sounds heretical to you, it does to me as well. But I took a little truth serum before writing this, so I’m being completely candid with you. I have known that the armor is there and that God says I am to take it so that I can withstand in the evil day, “and having done all, to stand.” But I have never understood how, practically speaking, “the helmet of salvation” or the “shield of faith” would help me in the hour of temptation.
Then, I took a good look at it. I should have looked thirty years ago. Maybe I did – you forget a lot in thirty years. But recently, I had the opportunity to preach through the armor of God. In doing so, I was struck with the practicality of it. Christian armor gives us real-world help in the face of trial and temptation.
Satan is the original Wile E. Coyote. We are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). He has had thousands of years to hone his skill at deceiving, has developed an entire system for enslaving, and has wounded many mighty. We shouldn’t think that anything in our Christian experience – regardless of how long we have been standing or how faithful we have been – will exempt us from his attacks. We must take unto ourselves the whole armor of God, or we will fail in the day of battle.
But how does the armor of God give us practical help? What is the use of it? I hope I can encourage you to consider the value of each piece of the armor of God. We’ll cover two pieces of armor here.
The Belt for the Armor
The belt is not for you. The girdle is for the armor. Maybe that’s why Paul starts with the belt though we would typically dress in a different order. The practical purpose of the belt is to keep the armor firmly in place – to hold it together. We don’t want the breastplate riding up or getting twisted in the heat of battle. And besides, we need a place to keep our swords and tuck our skirts so we might gird up our loins like a man.Continue reading “The Practical Value of the Armor of God, part 1”