The Armor of God: My Favorite Outfit

One fall day a few years back, I decided I needed to be like everyone else on social media and take my kids to the pumpkin patch. While this might sound like a completely normal adventure, a day trip to the pumpkin patch during harvest is not an easy task for any farmer’s wife. More than likely, it means she’s taking the kids alone. 

So that year, I decided the usual picture of my kids in front of the cart return at our local grocery store holding their (store-bought) prize pumpkins just wasn’t going to cut it. Of course, my kids were thrilled. The youngest (four years old at the time) looked at me with his melt-worthy chocolate eyes and promptly announced, “Mommy, I’m getting a pumpkin as big as the world!” 

“Oh really,” I chatted back. “And how do you expect mommy to carry a pumpkin as big as the world? Daddy’s not here to carry it, remember? 

“Oh, you don’t have to carry it, mommy. Jesus is so strong; He’ll carry it.” 

Just like that, his childlike faith stopped me in my tracks. Did my son have more faith than me? Did I have the same confidence in God’s strength? Was I as settled in my thinking as he was? It challenged me to think my son was more prepared to face the day than I was. 

We Need God’s Strength 

At the end of the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul tells believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” by putting on the armor of God (Eph. 6:10–11). Then he gives the reason in verse 12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” 

The word for “wrestle” in verse 12 (or maybe your Bible uses the word “struggle” or “fight”) is the word for hand-to-hand combat. The idea is active, face-to-face warfare. Paul is encouraging us to daily live in the strength of our Almighty God because the Christian life is not a tea party, a backyard barbecue, or a perpetual classroom. Instead, the Christian life is a war zone—a fierce battle of spiritual influence—and we need to be ready.

Yet, out of comfort and complacency we tend to treat Christianity more like a sleepover with popcorn and brownies. While a vicious, life-threatening enemy rips our marriages to shreds, sequesters our children, lays siege to our government, places victory banners on our schools, and engages our media to do his dirty work. All the while, we sit back and watch, unprepared and inappropriately “dressed” for the fight.

Spiritual Forces of Evil Are Real 

Let’s be honest. It feels weird to say there are spiritual forces of evil out to get us. But if we believe God and His angels are real, why wouldn’t we believe the devil and his demons are real? The Bible tells us the devil is a great deceiver and the father of lies. And what’s the goal of every lying, thieving, scheming con artist out there? To make you think it wasn’t him. 

“Oh, it’s not me,” says the father of lies, “It’s your co-worker.” 

“Oh, it’s not me,” says the evil one, “It’s your husband.” 

“It’s the fact that you don’t have enough money or haven’t lost the baby weight or don’t have the house you want or didn’t say the right thing. It’s your fault, not mine. I’m just a figment of your imagination—a crazy bit of hocus-pocus not worth your time.” 

So let’s set the record straight right now: God is real. Angels are real. Satan is real. Demons are real. There is a battle going on that we can’t see—one of good and evil. (Hollywood didn’t make that part up.) The spiritual forces of evil are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Instead, they are in hot pursuit of our faith, our children, our unity, and our righteousness, seeking to continuously keep us caught up in silly affairs and void of hope. 

Spiritual Battles Require Spiritual Armor 

The good news is that God has given us a way to fight back, but it’s not with our flesh. In a spiritual battle, fleshly strength is about as helpful as hopping on a tricycle to protect yourself from a bear when an armored tank is available in the next parking spot.

Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons. Our sin-ravaged flesh and earth-bound perspective are no match for a spiritual enemy. But when faith is our shield and truth is our belt, when salvation is our helmet and righteousness our breastplate, and when God’s Word is our sword, we render the enemy powerless.

On the flip side, we hand our spiritual enemy the flag of victory every time we face the battle in our own strength, with our own resources. Listen, my friend, we will lose one hundred percent of the battles we participate in without strapping on our spiritual armor. Apart from Christ, we don’t have what we need to win. With Him, we have all we need and then some.

Suiting up is not optional for believers. It’s a mandatory dress code if we hope to survive the minefields of temptation placed in our path by the devil. Perhaps you’re asking, what does it look like to put on a belt of truth or a helmet of salvation? How do we do that in a practical sense when it’s not something we physically place on our bodies? Great question. 

It’s Worth Putting Your Armor On 

In the coming weeks, we’ll study, in detail, each piece of our God-gifted armor. And I’m telling you, our spiritual wardrobe is something special for those who choose to put it on. But therein lies the catch: we have to get dressed. We have to purposefully take off our “Christian sweatpants” and put on our warrior suits to experience the vast power of God’s strength.

And we have to do it daily. 

Real-life is not a slumber party—it’s a combat zone. The party comes later. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). What a glorious promise! Submit to God’s way and God’s will and God’s timing, trusting in God’s promises, and the devil will flee from you, unable to combat such fierce faith. 

Think about it this way: Jesus won every battle He ever fought, and He fought many. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was tempted in every way. How did Christ win? The same way we win: with God’s strength, lived out through faith, truth, and righteousness. In other words, Christ lived every moment with His spiritual armor locked in place. 

Now imagine if we did the same. What if every morning, we woke up and mentally placed a shield of faith over our doubts, reminded ourselves of the gospel, and sharpened our swords of truth? What if we actually lived prepared for the temptations sure to come our way? 

The enemy wouldn’t know what hit him. Though he’d still try to defeat us, the devil’s sizzling arrows would find nothing but fortified God-given faith before falling useless to the ground. And I don’t know about you, but that’s what I want. I want to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Eph. 2:10), and I want to stand firm. I don’t want to be an easy target. I want the armor of God to become my go-to outfit. 

The Lord will fight for us, but that doesn’t mean we can just lay around unprotected. We need our spiritual armor on, and we need it on now. It may not fit the latest fashion trend, but I guarantee your God-given armor is the most practical outfit in your possession, and I think you’ll grow to love it in the weeks to come. 

Who knows, it may even become your favorite outfit; it’s definitely become mine.

Learn how to be grounded in God’s Word at Revive ’21, our fall conference for women, live in Indianapolis and online October 8–9. Join us as together we learn to stand firm in a shaking world. Visit Revive21.com to register today. 

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About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four. When she isn’t serving a meal on the side of the road, riding in a tractor with her husband, or driving kids to practice, you’ll find her escaping the crazy by writing devotionals at Deeper Devos, where she gives readers a weekly practical and deeper look at God’s Word. Her favorite things in the world (not counting her Savior, husband, and kids) include flipping houses, buying new books, and going for a nice long run. Stacey and her family reside in the cornfields of Indiana.

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