The Christian needs the armor of God more today than ever, but God offers Himself as a shield to those who trust in Him.
The Bible tells us that we have an enemy and one that’s more dangerous because he’s invisible. The Apostle Paul wants us to be prepared and so writes in Ephesians 6:10-11 to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” This armor is a necessity because “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” (Eph 6:12). That means, the enemy is out of our league, but what is too powerful for us is nothing to God, but we still must “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph 6:13). It is up to us to “take up” and “put on” the whole armor of God, but once we have, we can say with confidence that God is “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10).
Armor of God
The Apostle Paul has told us that we are fighting an invisible enemy and “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Since this is true, we need to “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:17-18). Prayer is a key to the armor of God as we take up the helmet of salvation, which guards our minds and thoughts and keep it from being taken captive. The sword of the Spirit helps us fight off the enemy the way Jesus did during His temptation, and that’s with the Word of God. Three times Jesus rebuked the Devil by using the Word of God, and there’s more. We need to “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph 6:14). What we need is the truth of God’s Word that secures us in our stand against the enemy, and then the breastplate of righteousness which we attain once we trust in Christ (2 Cor 5:21), but we’re not quite done yet since we need “shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15). Once equipped, we can now be ready for spiritual warfare.
God as our Shield
The psalmist knew what it was like to be in fear and be running for your life. David was chased by King Saul for many years, and yet he could write that God’s way “is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30), and so “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20). Sometimes we can run to God’s Word and rest in His promises because we know that “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Prov 30:5). If God’s Word were not true, we would have no guarantee of any of His promises, but we know from Scripture that “Every word of God proves true.” As for us, we must “Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help” (Psalm 53:2)! He is the God of the Word and the Word of God assures us that “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4). How comforting to know that God “stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Prov 2:7).
The Word of God
The Bible describes God as a Rock and often Jesus is mentioned as the Chief Cornerstone, and what better place to rest than in God Who is “a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Psalm 3:3). More than a shield, God is a Rock…immovable and unshakeable, as the Psalmist says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). His presence may be found in His Word, and His Word is surer than anything in the universe. Indeed, God’s “way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30). Just like the armor of God, we must “Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help” (Psalm 35:2), so for all of those “who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11).
Romans 13:12 tells us that “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” and put on the armor of God and stand on the Word of God and rest in His promises. That is a shield to those who are in difficult times. The psalmist says, “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word” (Psalm 119:114), and God “is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me” (Psalm 144:2). Our God is a Rock, unmovable and unshakable; He is a refuge to run to in times of trouble; He is a shield that protects us from the enemy, and He makes the armor of God available to us so that we can fight in this time of spiritual warfare. The impetus is upon us. We must take it up…for He won’t put it on for us…we must take it up and put it on, and only then can we stand against the wiles of the Devil and his evil minions.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is a Pastor and Prison Minister in the State of Kansas. Jack is also a writer at Christian Quotes and Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.