Hymn 373:1-3, “Clad in Your Armour”
Ephesians 6:11-17, “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.”
Put on the whole armour so we could withstand and then having done everything, to stand. Revelation 6 asks the question, “Who shall be able to stand?” The qualities of darkness and wickedness will not stand. Revelation 7:9 speaks of “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Our part, our job today is to withstand, to resist so that on that day we can stand. We need to wear all the armour which God supplies in order to withstand. First, we are to have our loins gird about with truth. To be girded is to be wrapped about. The loins are that which balances us, the centre of gravity of our body between the ribcage and the hips. The core strength is in the loins. Truth must be the centre of our lives. We must be clothed with Truth every day of our lives so we can go out and journey. Truth needs to be the centre of our movement. In Revelation 6:15, “The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come.’” They couldn’t stand on that day.
The next piece of armour we need to wear is the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protects the heart and what we love. Only the love of righteousness will help us clean our house. It is easier to keep something out than to get it out once it is in. God wants to clothe our heart in righteousness. And then He wants that our feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The opposite of peace is contention. Pride is the lust of the eyes, of flesh. It is easy to clothe our feet in pride. We are bombarded on every side. Our feet take us in a direction and ultimately to our destination. The way of God is narrow and humble. I picked up a fashion magazine in one of the homes we were visiting and there was nothing to be seen in 200 pages of fashion that Jesus could love or would like to see in the lives of His people. There was nothing of quality. It all led to pride, to the lust of the world. It was not of the Father but of the world. We need to put on the gospel of peace and be shod with humility. The gospel of peace will direct our feet.
Another piece of the armour God provides is the helmet of salvation. The helmet protects our head, our thoughts. Fears and doubts flood our minds and we need to remember that God gives us so much. Jesus gave His life that we could have forgiveness and life. Protect our mind with all God has given us and have confidence that He will keep us. “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” The shield of faith is another form of protection to go with the helmet and the breastplate and is like double protection. We need faith to take care of the darts. The greatest dart is questioning, “Why?” Abel would question, “Why am I giving my best?” Noah would ask, “Why am I building?” Abraham would ask, “Why am I living in a tent?” and so on. We need faith to address the whys when asked why we do what we do. The shield of faith helps us take the question out of why. Faith knocks the darts to the ground.
The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God is also a part of the armour of God. We need the sword that would ward off the thrust of the enemy’s sword. The sword goes for the vulnerable place. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He used the word of God to parry the thrust of the enemy. People love place[s] and things, but life is a dot compared to eternity and the armour makes us one so we journey in unity, being one and being made one, and making us the children of God.