I'm not sure what you think about it, but I do not want to meet any wild lion unprotected! This incredibly powerful, muscular body with huge retractable claws that can cut through even the strongest skin and a bit you do not want to get too close to - all of which equips lions to become the most dangerous predators in Africa and beyond To belong to parts of the earth.
However, we have an adversary who is a very bitter hunter. We even have to deal with him every day. The Bible describes the devil as a lion walking around the earth looking for easy prey (1 Peter 5,8). He is cunning and strong in his search for weak and helpless victims. Similar to a lion, we often don't know when and where to strike next time.
I remember leaving a comic as a kid depicting the devil as a cute cartoon character with a mischievous grin, a nipple protruding from a diaper, and a trident. The devil would only too gladly be seen by us as this is far from reality. The apostle Paul warns us in Ephesians 6,12 that we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness and the lords, who live in this dark world.
The good news is that we are not vulnerable to these powers. In verse 11 we can read that we are armed with armor that wraps us from head to toe, allowing us to stand against the dark.
God's armor is tailor made
There is a good reason why it is called the armor of God. We must never assume that we can overcome the devil with our own forces!
In verse 10 we read that we should be strong in the Lord and in the power of His strength. Jesus Christ has already defeated the devil for us. He tried him but never gave in. Through Jesus Christ we can also resist the devil and his temptations, and in the Bible we read that we are the image of God (Genesis 1:1,26). He himself became flesh and lived among us (John 1,14). He commands us to put on his armor to defeat the devil with God's help (Hebrews 2,14): “Because the children are now flesh and blood, he also accepted it equally, so that by his death he would take power from those who had control over death, namely the devil” .If we deal with dealing with the devil, we must put on the complete armor of God so that we can fully protect our human vulnerability.
The armor in fullness
The armor of God protects us through and through!
Each of the ingredients described in Ephesians 6 has a double meaning. They are, on the one hand, the things we should strive for and, on the other hand, the things that can only be achieved in full by Christ and the healing that He brings.
"So it is now certain, girdled on your loins with truth" (Ephesians 6,14)
As Christians, we know that we should tell the truth. But even though it is important to be truthful, our honesty is never enough. Christ himself said that he is the way, the truth and the life. When we tie ourselves up with a belt, we surround ourselves with it. However, we do not have to do this alone because we have the gift of the Holy Spirit who reveals this truth to us: "But if the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you to all Truth" (John 16,13).
"Done with the tank of justice" (Ephesians 6,14)
I always thought it was necessary to do good deeds and to be righteous to defend yourself against the devil and his temptations. Even though we as Christians are expected to strive for a higher moral standard, God says that our righteousness, even on our best days, is just a stained dress (Isaiah 64,5). Romans 4,5 explains that it is not our deeds but our faith that makes us righteous. When confronted with the righteousness of Christ, the devil has no choice but to flee. Then he has no way to contaminate our hearts because it is protected by the tank of justice. When Martin Luther was asked how he defeated the devil, he said, "Well, when he knocks on the door of my house and asks who lives there, the Lord Jesus goes to the door and says," Martin Luther has been here once lived but he moved out. I live here now. If Christ fills our hearts and protects us from his armor of justice, the devil will have no access.
“Booted on Legs, Ready to Stand Up for the Gospel of Peace” (Ephesians 6,15)
Boots and shoes protect our feet when we walk through the dirt of this world. We have to try to stay clean. We can only do that through Christ. The gospel is the good news and message Christ has given us; a really good news! Through his Atonement, we are protected and saved. It allows us to have peace that transcends all human understanding. We have the peace to know that our adversary has been defeated and we are protected from him.
"Above all, take the shield of faith" (Ephesians 6,15)
A shield is a defensive weapon that protects us from attacks. We should never believe in our own powers. This would be like a sign made of aluminum foil. No, our faith should be based on Christ because he has already defeated the devil! Galater 2,16 makes it clear once again that our own works can not offer us protection: "But because we know that man does not do justice through works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, we too are in the faith of Christ Jesus come, that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law; for through the works of the law no man is justified. " Our faith is in Christ alone and this faith is our shield.
"Take the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6,17)
A helmet protects our mind and our thoughts. We must do everything in our power to protect us from evil and perfidious thoughts and fantasies. Our thoughts should be good and pure. But action is much easier to control than thought, and the devil is a master at taking the truth and distorting it. He is pleased when we doubt our salvation and believe that we are unworthy of them or need to do something for them. But we do not have to doubt her because our salvation is in and through Christ.
"The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6,17
The Word of God is the Bible, but Christ is also described as the Word of God (John 1,1). Both help us to defend ourselves against the devil. Can you remember the passage that describes how the devil tried Christ in the desert? Every time he quotes the Word of God and the devil immediately gave way (Matthew 4,2: 10). The Word of God is a double-edged sword that he makes available to us so that we can recognize the deceptive ways of the devil and defend ourselves against them.
Without Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we could not grasp the Bible as a whole (Luke 24,45). The gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the Word of God, which always refers to Christ. We have the most powerful weapon in our hand to defeat the devil: Jesus Christ. So don't worry too much when you hear the devil roar. It may look powerful, but we are well protected. Our Lord and Redeemer has already equipped us with armor to protect him: His Truth, His Justice, His Gospel of Peace, His Faith, His Salvation, His Spirit, and His Word.
by Tim Maguire