Time is running out. Evil days are here. We must be fully prepared. We must now be fitted and clothed in the armor of God to withstand the onslaught.
“We are now entering on the last great battle of the controversy between truth and error—a battle not between rival churches but between the religion of the Bible and the religions of tradition. God’s Holy Word, which has been handed down to us at so great a cost of suffering and bloodshed, is little valued. Creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, the perpetuity of the law—these doctrines are practically rejected by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands regard it as weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible, and a proof of learning to spiritualize and explain away its most important truths.” SS 323.1
“There are lessons for us at this time to learn from the experience of those who labored for God in past generations. How little do we know of the conflicts, trials and difficulties, the hard labor of these men, in fitting themselves to meet the armies of Satan. Putting on the whole armor of God, they were able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Their words were, ‘My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor 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 armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’” [Ephesians 6:10-13] PH004 17.3
What does that look like in the daily practice of a Christian? How about it being a prayer?
Pray through Ephesians 6:14-18. In other words, turn it into a personal prayer. Seeing that each article of the armor represents some aspect of Jesus, you will be putting on Jesus. How is this so?
Truth is the first piece of the armor of God listed. Ephesians 6:14, says, “Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth.” Surely, we have all heard that Jesus is Truth. For Jesus, Himself, claimed being the way, the truth, and the life. No man can approach God, except by Him. It is through Jesus the Truth that all prayers are appropriately submitted to God, the Father, saying “in the name of Jesus.”
Ephesians 6:14, lists the second piece as “the breastplate of righteousness.” The prophet Jeremiah was clear: the Messiah would come through the tribe of Judah, and through David, and be called “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah’s message, according to verse 3 of chapter 23, was clearly meant for the remnant of God’s flock. And the Apostle Paul in the Ephesians passage directs the warning to those who will be living in the evil day. In the end, it is the remnant who will survive because they will have taken cover under the righteousness of Christ.
Next, Paul says our feet must be “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” This gospel is of none other than Jesus. Mark says so in the very first line of his book of testimony. Paul says very confidently so in a number of his letters: 1 Corinthians 9:12, 18; Philippians 1:27; Galatians 1:7; Romans 15:29; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 4:4; 9:13; 10:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 1:9, 16; 15:19. Essentially, everywhere we go and in whatever we do, the gospel of peace through Jesus must mark our trail. Daily, we must ask God to show us how best to spread the gospel in our various interactions throughout the day. Sometimes, we must speak a word of encouragement. Sometimes, we need only to listen and show we care. God will direct our path, giving us discernment and wisdom and discretion. We only need to ask and be willing for the Holy Spirit to take control. We are promised: He will guide us with His eye.
Above all, Paul says we must be willing to take the shield of faith. It is the most essential part of the armor of God. With it, all the fiery darts of Satan will be quenched. John describes a special group of saints, the remnant, who will survive the hour of God’s judgment and wrath. They keep the Commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. Thus have they been shielded and are found standing in the end: Saved! For we are saved by grace, only through faith. It is the gift of God.
Logically, and according to verse 17, the next piece of the armor mentioned is the helmet of salvation: the headpiece. Might we not understand this to be referring to the mind of Christ? We develop the mind of Christ through the study of His Word, Scripture. The proper study of Scripture develops within the student the mind of Christ; for by beholding we become changed. Paul, in the same verse, describes it as the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It is a spiritual surgery that cuts away selfishness, as the Word of God (Jesus or Truth) is infused in the mind, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore can we now pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch with all perseverance and supplication for all saints, as expressed in verse 18. Our prayers can now ascend with power, not just for ourselves but also for other believers, and for those who will believe. Jesus prayed for these very same ones (us!) in John 17. In that same prayer, Jesus desired we would all be one as He is with His Father. Abiding in Christ as He is also abiding in us, makes us fully clothed in His armor. It makes us indestructible: Able to stand with no weapon formed against us able to prosper. We only need to pray and believe.
“Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal. Ed 257.7
“For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received.” Ed 258.1