2010-07-09 - The Armor of God
The Helmet of Salvation (v.17a)
To be saved you must understand His plan not just with your heart but also with your mind. That's where the age of accountability and ability to comprehend come from. Unless you can comprehend sin and mentally acknowledge sin in your own life you cannot progress to the point of repentance. Salvation begins with hearing and understanding in the head. Then it moves to the spiritual realm. Our spirit works through our brain to tell our body what to do. This entry and exit point needs protection. Just as righteousness is a heart protector, salvation is a head protector.
No matter what may happen, we have hope of salvation. We have knowledge that, one day, we will be with Jesus in heaven. Jesus said, "Behold I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also." We can know that we are going to heaven. The helmet of salvation not only provides knowledge but also it protects us from doubt. When a Christian loved one dies we do not have to doubt where they go, the helmet offers comfort. We don't lose them - we know where they are. I am thankful I will never lose my parents to cancer, a stroke, or anything else. I am grateful that I know I won't lose Dana to any of those things. We will never say good-bye - only "see ya later".
The Sword of the Lord - The Word of God (v.17b)
This piece of armor may be used in a defensive manner like all the other pieces to knock away the enemy's attacks. It is unique though in that it is the only offensive weapon with which to confront and attack an enemy. In order to effectively use it we must do two things.
First we must commit to it. We are to read it, study on it and meditate in it. This means we need to take it literal if possible. We need to look at it in proper context considering the audience, setting, surrounding verses and Bible as a whole. We should go to the Scriptures to see what we get out of it not what we can read into it.
Next we need to commit it to our heart. Proverbs 7:3 says that it should be written on our heart. Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee". God did not inspire the authors to write it and preserve it through the ages so that it could be picked up just on Sundays. It was never meant to serve as decoration on a table or to be used as a placeholder on a bench.
Now we can go around knowing one or two verses and never dig into the scripture. This is like toting around a letter opener rather than a sword. You might poke someone with your little John 3:16 knowing bad self. Or you can learn many verses, study them, learn about their meanings and fight with a 3 or 4-foot long sword. Or you can learn even more and fight with a sword as tall as you are. But you better know how to use it properly and effectively in the way it was designed. If you cannot handle the large sword properly it is as useless and maybe even more useless than the tiniest one.
Prayer is not a piece of armor. Prayer is the process by which we put on the armor. Prayer ought to consist of at least three things. We should begin all prayer with praise of God. We need to cry "Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty Hallowed be thy name". After singing his praise we can offer up our petitions for others and ourselves. The others to be prayed for include the sick and dying, the lost, your friends, family, and enemies. Then after all others pray for your own petitions. Tell him the desires of your heart. Share with him your dreams. Ask him for your daily bread. Lastly, make a request for protection from evil. Pray that he would lead us away from temptation. Ask him to direct your footsteps through the valleys and over the mountaintops as He sees fit.
Take two balloons one covered in duct tape and one not. The one covered with duct tape represents a person wearing the full armor of God. The other ballon represents a person who is not wearing that armor. Take one of Satan's fiery darts, a simple straight pin and puncture the armored ballon. It leaks but acting quickly we can repair it. We could even refill it. Now poke the other and it will explode. Not even all the king's horses an all the king's men could put this one back together again.
Maybe you are not daily putting on the armor of God. Start wearing it now. Pray and ask him to protect you and begin to apply the armor to your life. Or you may have never even gained the helmet of salvation. If you do not know where you will spend eternity, know this. You can know how to go to heaven. It can be explained with faith - Forsaking All I Trust Him!
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.