“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV
Recently, TJC gathered men in Gettysburg to encounter God on the battlefield. We go onto battlefields to remind ourselves that the Kingdom is at war and as Kingdom men we must be prepared for the fight. The apostle Paul understood this and gave us the great visual of the armor of God to help us prepare. Every tour of duty on battlefields with TJC starts with a reminder that we are called to “suit up”.
Our armor begins with the belt of truth (Jesus told us that He is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life …) which in actual armor of the day was what all the other armor hung on. No belt , no armor; so our defenses all hang on the truth that is Christ. This is what John 15 is telling us when it says we must abide in Christ - that’s the first, and most critical part of our armor.
We are told to put on two other things. The breastplate of righteousness is our identity in Christ- it is who we are- and it protects us from an enemy who will try and steal that identity from us. Having our feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace is the calm and confidence God promises us so that we can move boldly in the battles we face. With these in place we have the core of what a Kingdom man needs to fight.
Next we are called to take up some things - literally to pick them up for use in the battles as they come. The shield of faith promises us protection from the attacks the enemy launches at us from a distance (flaming arrows is the picture). I love the shows and movies I watch where the warrior catches the incoming arrows on his shield, but I like it even more when a group of warriors shouts “shield wall” and they come together as a group to protect each other and hold back the enemy. Going to the battlefields with a group of Kingdom men models this so well. Then we are instructed to take the helmet of salvation (the promise of eternity- we know how the battle ends already) and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (the scripture, the Bible, verses you have memorized). The helmet protects us against the lies of the devil to keep him from deceiving us but the sword is what we use in close combat to wound and drive him away. The sword is our only truly offensive weapon so we must keep it sharp and be practiced in using it effectively!!
Finally we get the instruction to pray in the Spirit at all times. Communication with the commander is critical in any battle. It tells us where to go, what to do and how to protect not only ourselves but our brothers who are in the battle with us.
Daily Battle Order:
Read Ephesians 6:10-18 below in it's entirety. Think about a battle you have been in, maybe that you are in now, and consider how well prepared you are spiritually by considering each element of the armor. You aren’t running around with just the helmet of salvation on are you? (Let that visual sink in for a minute- reminds me of a streaker with only a ski mask on). Do you need a fellow warrior to help you tighten your armor? Are your shoelaces tight and double knotted? Do you have enough kingdom men in your life to form a shield wall? The Joshua Commission is here to help you with all of that - no matter what your battlefield is today.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 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. In addition to all this, 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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV