When we have surrendered our lives to God and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives, we enter into an ongoing battle. This battle is not a battle against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle, a war against the enemy of our souls--the devil. He wants nothing more than to separate us from God and cause us to lose faith. Fortunately, our loving and merciful God has provided us with the means to withstand the enemy's attacks--the full armor of God. This armor consists of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We need to employ each part of the armor in our battles against the enemy.
We must gird ourselves with truth, which is referred to in some Bible translations as the belt of truth. A belt provides support, holding up the rest of the armor. In the armor that God provides, that belt is truth. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us that He is the truth. When we accept Jesus as our Lord, when we make Him the center of our lives, He surrounds us with His truth. Our enemy is the father of lies and will seek to deceive us. But, when we surround ourselves with the truth--with Jesus--we have protection against the lies of the enemy.
In a suit of armor, the breastplate is the piece that protects the heart. In God's armor, we guard our hearts with His righteousness. By making sure that we are spending time with God, listening to His voice and filling our hearts and minds with His Word, and by living according to that Word, we are able to protect our hearts with the righteousness that comes only from Him.
Our feet need to be shod with the gospel of peace. As we walk with Jesus, we receive the peace that He gives, a peace that surpasses our human understanding. We have that peace because Jesus has given it to us. As followers of Christ, we are not exempt from trials and tribulations. In fact, the enemy will look to make sure that we face them. But, through those trials and tribulations that we face in this world, we still have peace, because Jesus has overcome the world.
A suit of armor would not be complete without a shield. In God's armor, our shield is our faith. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. When we are in His Word daily, when we allow it to increase our faith, we have the means by which to protect ourselves from anything the enemy throws at us.
As a helmet is used to protect the head, so salvation is the helmet that we need to protect our minds. The enemy will try to convince us that we are no good, that we are condemned because of our sin. But, when Jesus died for us, He took away that condemnation. When we believe in Him, when we believe that He died for our sins, we are saved. When we make Him Lord of our lives, there is no condemnation in us.
The last piece of the armor is the only piece specifically used for offense rather than defense. That piece is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. By wielding this powerful weapon, we are able to fight the battle against our enemy. The enemy may try to twist that Word and use it against it, but if we spend time studying the Word and letting it live in our hearts, we can skillfully use that weapon to secure the victory that God wants us to have.