By Dianne Ellis
“You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well…It is bad for commanders…to have likes and dislikes.”
An example of having a favorite weapon would be only reading the Bible, or maybe only praying. There needs to be a balance in these things as well so that the Christian can use whichever weapon is needed at the time. Also, the enemy wouldn’t know what weapon to expect if the believer has an arsenal to choose from. This will keep him guessing whether to take a defensive or offensive mode of action.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of
righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:10-18, emphasis mine)
THE HELMET OF SALVATION
The helmet of salvation protects the mind. The mind is the battleground where every battle is lost or won.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2, emphasis mine)
What thoughts do you dwell on? The mind determines what a person is going to do and how they will do it. We have heard the term “strong-minded”. This term is used to describe a person that has a strong will or strong willpower to do what they set out to do. Most successful people, Olympians for instance, have a very strong desire to succeed and they are willing to pay the price.
Olympians have to be willing to get up early to practice, and get themselves in shape to be the very best at what they do. They have a strong mind that tells them to keep going when others quit keep going when the pain comes, keep going when disappointment comes from their losses, keep going when others give up on you, and to keep going even when there is something else you would like to do. You have to believe you are called to do whatever you are doing.
A minister needs this same mindset. “I must keep plowing the field even though the harvest is not yielding much that I can see, keep pushing even when my peers are coming against me, keep holding on even when family and friends don’t understand.” To be able to maintain this determined mindset, one must pray more, fast more, and study the Word more. Finding a prayer partner is extremely important; two can do more than one. We each need an armor bearer that will watch our back while we fight.
A saint also needs the same mind set. A saint must be willing to keep on going even if they have to go it alone. They must pray more, fast more, and study the Word more, for the days are more evil than ever before. The hour of deception is upon us. (Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)
Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8, emphasis mine)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2, emphasis mine)
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:1-5, emphasis mine)
This was the nature of God and what He has called us to do. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, emphasis mine)
Fear can cause the mind to think incorrectly, but God has given us a sound mind and NOT the spirit of fear. Fear has caused the death of many a soldier.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Hebrews 8:10, emphasis mine)
We must get the Word of God in our minds and our hearts.
What comes out of the mouth is from the heart. According to Matt 12:34, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Righteousness is doing that which is right, not what is right in man’s eyes but what is right in God’s eyes.
When the heart dies, the body dies; and when the heart is sick, the body is sick. What can we do to keep the body healthy? Ask God to search our hearts often and to create in us a clean heart and renew in us a right spirit.
A right spirit is a key to keeping the heart healthy. The Breastplate is a vital piece of armor. The heart is a vital organ. If the heart is not right, one’s motives will be wrong. What good does it do to give if one’s motive is wrong? What if a person teaches to show how smart they are, or preaches to show how spiritual they are? Are these motives right? I think not. The Bible says that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. One should teach because they have a desire to see a soul grow in the Lord; preaching should be for the purpose of seeing souls saved. It’s all about God’s Kingdom.
We should be aware of what our motives are. Our motives reflect what our character is. Character defines a person. It has been said that trials reveal character rather than build it. I believe it does both.
While doing this study, I discovered something unexpected in 1 Thessalonians 5:8. In this verse we are advised to put on the “breastplate of faith and love.” We have already discussed the importance of the breastplate protecting the heart.
Now let us look at two specific things pertaining to the breastplate—Faith and Love. We see many accounts in the Bible where an individual’s faith made them whole. We also see examples of faith saving people, sanctification by faith. justification by faith, access by faith into Grace, walking by faith, living by faith, joy of faith, and even how lack of faith equals sin.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23, emphasis mine)
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Galatians 5:5, emphasis mine)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22, emphasis mine)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8, emphasis mine)
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Ephesians 4:5, emphasis mine,
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis Mine)
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
(Hebrews 11:32-33, emphasis mine)
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5, emphasis mine)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, emphasis mine)
(And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:15, emphasis mine)
We can conquer kingdoms if we have the faith to believe and if we will act upon our faith trusting in God to do the work.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Love is so very important. In my opinion it is one of the most important if not the most important element we must have for God is Love.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:3 7-40)
If we have love in our hearts for one another we will obey all the commandments of God. We see that the breastplate of righteousness is faith and love. These two protect our heart and keep us spiritually healthy.
Love is one of the things that people hunger for and search for in all the wrong places. God created in us a desire to love and be loved. Many have tried drugs, sex, or fame in their search for love, and can’t find it there. Let us try to be more aware of those around us who are in need of love and share the love that God has given us. Sometimes just a smile will encourage someone. The Bible tells us that we are liars if we say we love the Father, whom we have not seen, when we do not love our brothers and sisters, who we do see. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:19-21)
Love is a high commandment of God. He puts it above all the other commandments. Therefore, it would be prudent of us to obey this commandment to the very best of our ability.
The interesting thing about love is that when a person truly loves someone, they will put the needs and desires of the person they love before their own. With this understanding, it is easy to understand the scripture that says it is better to give than to receive. Giving makes one’s spirit feel good.
FEET SHOD WITH THE PREPARATION OF PEACE
I think it is interesting that one of the pieces of armor is described as the feet shod with peace. Your feet are a mode of transportation. Walk in peace with all men. What is the opposite of peace? War. Be peaceful with fellow Christians. Even more difficult is to be at peace with your enemies. What? Turn the other cheek? I believe this is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
How do you treat those that mistreat you? Do you take the right road? Do you sit apart from the rest of the world? Do you walk in peace with ALL men?
Unfortunately, I see men and women of the same faith that can’t seem to get along. What kind of witness is that? How is that any different from the world? We are supposed to have the same Spirit in us, and yet some of us can’t get along. Why can’t we? Is it because of our pride, our greed?
LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH
The loins are where reproduction comes forth. That is why it is crucial that we reproduce truth. The truth will set you free.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
Cover yourself with the Word. The Word is truth and will guide you in all things.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (2 Timothy 3:7-9)
Again, we see how important it is to have a love for the truth. If not, we will be deceived. What a day and hour we live in—so full of deception. Oh, how the enemy has unleashed the spirit of deception upon the church in the last days! I have never seen so many confused saints. Wondering which way to go, to stay with traditions of men or go with the new revelation that God has given them. Even ministers wanting to not lose friendships at the cost of staying with the truth have left truth for recognition or friendship.
If you don’t want to be deceived you must have a love for the truth. Cover yourself in the Word of truth. Reproduce truth. Ask God to give you a love for the truth. Seek after truth, God’s whole truth.
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)
SHIELD OF FAITH
Faith is the only thing that is listed in both the fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit. Faith is very important to God.
A shield is something that protects. Our faith in God protects us from the enemy’s fiery darts. For example, if the enemy tells a believer that he is going to kill them, their faith in the Word of God can protect them. The Word says that Jesus has the keys to death, hell, and the grave. The enemy cannot kill a believer without going through our Lord Jesus Christ first, because Jesus owns the keys to death.
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
(Matthew 9:22, emphasis mine)
Faith can heal you. How much faith does one need?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20, emphasis mine)
Do you want power? Then doubt not.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. (Matthew 21:21)
Will we lose our faith?
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18: 7-8, emphasis mine)
Is the endtime going to be so discouraging that the saints of God will lose their faith? I know that the enemy is working toward that. The enemy is telling us lies and trying to discourage us.
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:32, emphasis miner)
If Jesus prayed for the disciples that their faith fail not. I believe it would be wise that we pray that prayer for ourselves as well.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
(Acts 6:8, emphasis mine)
Sanctified by faith.
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:21-22)
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (Romans 3:25-27, emphasis mine)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Everyone has a portion of faith.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (1 Corinthians 12:8-9, emphasis mine)
I understand the “gift of faith” is a greater dimension of faith. It is faith for miracles, signs, and wonders.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:2)
Faith without love means nothing.
God’s Word is a weapon; we need to know it well. Study it, memorize it, and use it. Reading the Word daily is a strength to us. Is your sword rusty or dull? Lack of use can cause your sword to rust. When you pray, use the Word to pray, for it is all-powerful. It is alive; it lives within us.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1, emphasis mine)
He taught us how to use the Word to fight the devil.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Matthew 4:1-6)
The first weapon that satan used against Jesus was doubt – IF THOU. How many times has satan said to you, “IF” you are a saint, etc. Also, remember that Jesus was weak in His body from fasting and prayer. That is when the enemy attacks as well, when a Christian is weak or hurting.
However, Jesus used the Word against satan. Notice how satan used the same tactics that Jesus did by quoting the scriptures, although he never quotes it correctly?
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Matthew 4:7-11, emphasis mine)
Jesus used His offensive weapon: the Word. Notice that He used it for EVERY attack the devil hurled at Him. That is why it is so vital for us to know the Word of God. We must get the Word into our heart, soul, mind, and spirit
If we want God’s best we must believe His Word and pray. During one powerful prayer meeting in Houston, as a group of us were praying for revival for our city, I had a special experience. It’s one of the very few times I can say I have felt the emotions of God. He let me know that He hates when His people lay hands on the needy with doubt and unbelief. How many times do we lay hands on people from habit or traditions, without faith that God is going to heal or deliver them?
Again, I want to emphasize we must stand on the Word without wavering in faith. We must believe that it is the true inspired Word of God.
Wilma Glass had a vision of the armor.
Loins girt with Truth
Wrapped, and wrapped, and wrapped, and wrapped around her.
Shoes laced all the way up to top of thighs.
Was as long as the eye could see, very comfortable and easy to wield.
So large that she looked like a speck behind it.
The above article, “The Whole Armor of God” was written by Dianne Ellis. The article was excerpted from Ellis’ book called S.E.A.L.S. (Soldiers Equipped Acquiring Lost Souls).
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.