by Chris Allen
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is writing to encourage the church at Ephesus. He encourages them by sharing what they have gained in Christ. Paul begins by sharing their position in Christ:
- they are seated in heavenly places,
- they received their salvation;
- they are saved by grace, through faith.
He talks about the mystery that is hidden in God and that the Jew and the Gentile would form the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Paul talks about the unity in the body and the gifts that each member of the body receives. He talks about their Christian walk, how they are to be imitators of God. He talks about the family dynamic and relationships. He also prays two powerful prayers. He prays that the eyes of their hearts be enlightened and they know the hope of their calling. He also prays that they be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ. His prayers are for spiritual wisdom, not for material processions.
And when he gets to the middle of chapter six, Paul makes a switch and says, “Finally . . . be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (v.10) Why? Because, in spite of all that we have in Christ, we also have an enemy because of Him who will stop at nothing to try and stop us from walking in, believing in or knowing what we have and who we are in Christ. Even if we come to know, he doesn’t want us to be successful in it. Paul is telling the church, it’s not bookie and them or Mamma and them who’s getting on your last nerve, It’s not those circumstances and issues that you find yourself in or those doubts—you’re not good enough and God not pleased with you— you are having. No! It’s the devil and them! Those principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness and wickedness in high places that he uses as tools against us to distract us from who the real enemy is—Satan. His end goal is to kill, steal, and destroy you by any means necessary! Paul says that he’s an enemy that you cannot see: “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” (v. 12), but, he’s very real and powerful. He is a spiritual foe that is constantly scheming and forming strategies against you, so you need spiritual strength, the kind of strength that only comes from God to win this war.
Using my sanctified imagination, I believe Paul is asking the question in Ephesians 6:13, which is also the title of this message, “What Do You Have On?” It’s time to soldier-up! We are in a spiritual war so we need spiritual weapons! And Paul gives these instructions:
- Put on. Get dressed and put on Christ. “Put on” means to settle into the garments.
- Put on the belt of truth to combat Satan’s lies.
- Put on breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts
- Put on our footgear and be ready to tell of the good news of Jesus Christ
- Take up. “Take up” means to make use of the shield of faith in order to see beyond those circumstances.
- Take up the helmet of salvation to protect you minds against those doubts that the enemy plants.
- Take up the sword of the spirit—the Word of God— in order to resist the devil. When the enemy comes in like a flood, God raises up a standard, which is His word!
- Stand firm. Settle in and hold your position that Christ seated you in.
- Persevere. Be persistent in prayer, praying always with all kinds of prayers. You can’t win the battle if you don’t communicate consistently with the Commander!
In conclusion, we are to soldier-up in the full armor of God! Put on, Take up, Stand firm and Persevere!
What do you have on? It’s time to soldier-up!