ARMOUR OF GOD, 30.11.18
1 Kings 3:14
2 Cor. 2:11
What does it really mean to “have on the whole armour of God”? Is there something additional to “having on the whole armour of God” (Eph.6:11) in order to be ready for combat?
Often, believers are taught that if they just declare that they have on the whole armour of God, they’re covered; they’re done; good to go . . .. Is that really how it works?
Let’s take a closer look – up close and UNcomfortable:
First, let’s see what that actually implies. If you put on a certain attire for a particular occasion, you are formally ready, in appearance, for that venue. But if that occasion requires an invitation, a ticket, or specific protocol, or some other form of preliminary preparation which you have not anticipated, you may not be granted entry. Your appropriate attire may not be sufficient to qualify your entry or participation in the event.
You may have on a hockey uniform, skates, helmet, and all that goes with it, but without experience and knowledge of the game, you will not be allowed to participate, or if you did, would be quickly dismissed. Entering a boxing match requires not only boxing gloves, but experience in the boxing ring.
In like manner, putting on the whole armour of God requires specified qualifications. Scripture makes it very clear that there are conditions which either accompany, or are prerequisites to, whatever promises, blessings, etc. are identified in God’s Word. Examples:
- “if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and My commandments . . . . then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:14).
- “If anyone loves Me, . . . We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him” (John 14:23).
Blessings, promises, etc. – all require a walk of obedience, faithfulness, righteousness, holiness, intimacy, surrender. They do not apply inclusively, but are exclusive to those who walk in faith and obedience unto the Lord: “if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death” (John 8:51). There are dozens of examples of this throughout Scripture; there is only space for a couple here.
The same applies to being prepared for battle against the enemy of our souls, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12). “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God” (2 Cor.10:3,4), which is what requires the “whole armour of God,” for “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8). Unless you are actually walking in it – conducting yourself in ways that do not give place to the Devil – there will be cracks in your armour, and the Enemy will very well be able to send fiery darts and arrows flying through those cracks.
Paul, in Romans 6 warns us that unless we keep those doors closed by yielding our flesh as instruments of righteousness, and not of unrighteousness, there will be holes in our armour: “Therefore do not let sin rule in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. And do not keep yielding your body parts to sin as tools of wickedness; but yield yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your body parts as tools of righteousness to God” (Rom.6:12,13); and furthermore, he adds, “Do you not know that to whatever you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to what you obey—whether to sin resulting in death, or to obedience resulting in righteousness? . . . . . so now yield your body parts as slaves to righteousness, resulting in holiness” (Rom.6:16,19), “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). Paul is making the point here that we have a choice: now that we’ve been given the Holy Spirit, we can choose to yield to the Holy Spirit and follow God’s ways, with all our body parts (and that includes the mind, will, and emotions), or we can choose to follow the desires of our flesh, thereby yielding our body, actions, and soul to unrighteousness, disobedience, and serving the Enemy of our souls, instead of our Lord. We are accountable for the choices we make.
We can declare that we have put on the whole armour of God, without actually putting it on, and walking in it. We can say whatever we want; but if we are not walking in it, it does not mean anything, except that, of course, we have the potential to do so, because we have the truth, we have the resources (Holy Spirit); but we must act on what we know for it to become effective. If, for instance, you declare that you have “girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph.6:13,14), but are presently living in some form of sin, and carrying a grudge (unforgiveness is the opposite of walking in peace) against someone, lashing out hatefully against someone, you will have holes in your armour no matter how many times you declare all of Eph. 6:11-18, until you confess, repent, and forgive, and thus walk in righteousness before God.
There is more action required prior to putting on the whole armour of God in order to be ready for combat. The Enemy knows when we are not ready to take him on, because he has his demons assigned to watch what is going on, who report to him, so that he knows who he can strike (1 Pet.5:8). We must first “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph.6:10), which requires walking in right standing, in surrender, then in authority. We must truly know who we are in Messiah in order to walk in the authority He gave us. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps.91:1; cross-reference also with John 14:21; John 15:7). We must be abiding in Him; this is what provides 24/7 coverage. We need His back-up/coverage in order to enter combat with the Enemy of our souls.
© 2017, edited 2018, by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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