We’re all familiar with the spiritual armour passage in Ephesians 6 where Paul’s exhorts us to put on the armour and stand against the enemy’s schemes. As you might expect, as an author of speculative fiction, it is a passage I reflect on often, as I create my stories.
Putting the armour on is a practice that I observe frequently. Perhaps, not frequently enough, but I have it written on one of the notes attached to the base of my Mac desktop that I stare at for many hours each day: “Put the armour on!”
Let’s have a quick look at the armour that is mentioned in verses 14-18:
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 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. (NIV)
Do note that I’ve included v18 and the significance of prayer, especially as the verse starts with “and” so it’s a continuation of the previous verse.
I’ve always found it easy to visualize the armour as I pray. Often I’ll get an image of Iron Man putting on that suit, rockets in the forearms and all.
The armour is only useful if we actually take a stand as Paul states four times in verses 11-14. So in taking a stand I reflect on what each element represents as I put it on.
I tend to find it easier to grab a hold of the shield of faith and sword of the spirit. Our faith in God pushes back the arrows of the enemy as the word of the Lord slays their forward progress. These two elements are more intentional or aggressive than the other pieces so it’s easier for my mind to picture deflecting those arrows and slashing my way through demons as they approach.
Typically when I reflect on the belt of truth I visualize a utility belt not unlike one Batman wears as I state a number of the characteristics of God, for example:
- No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)
- Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)
This week as I reflected on the truth it struck me that it’s not just about who God is but who we are in Him. One of Satan’s most potent weapons are the lies or deceptions he has us believe about ourselves.
I am a new creation in Christ, the old Ian has died and a new Ian has been birthed. And inside the new Ian is Jesus. Perfect and eternal Jesus. Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6)
And that is biblical truth that the enemy really doesn’t want to hear coming from us as he has no weapons to combat it.
Getting the Word into us is so important so we can be speaking the truth to ourselves and eliminating the lies and misconceptions we have allowed to influence us for too long.
It equips us to stand firm with resolve and determination because we know who and what we believe in .
The truth really does set us free (John 8:32).
What are the truths or promises of God you speak to yourself when you’re struggling?