The Armor of God
Ephesians v11 “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
Schemes (3180 lexical aide) (methodeia): artificial
Devil (1228): evil spirits in general
What is the purpose of armor? Why do you think Paul tells us that we need to wear it? What does he think we need protection from? Let’s break this verse down and answer these questions.
The first thing Paul tells us here is to put on the FULL armor. Let’s stop there and look at this closer. What would be the purpose of only putting on part of your armor if you are going into battle? None. It is important that we realize that we must put on the whole armor of God not just pick and choose which pieces we want to wear when the time seems right. Every day is a battle, we have to face challenges everywhere we turn. Moral battles, spiritual battles, physical battles, the list goes on and on. The most important part of any battle is to make sure that you are always fighting the good fight and standing firm; being confidant in your decisions that they align with the spirit of God. Now, as we go further and further into this study of the armor of God we will break down what each and every piece of the armor is for. Then we will understand better why it is so important to be fully suited up and prepared for battle.
The armor of God reminds me of 1 Corinthians 12. Paul talks about the body being made up of many parts, but that it is still one body. He goes on to tell us that the parts of the body that seem less important to us are still valuable, because every part has its job and without it the body would be incomplete and not functioning properly. This is the same for the armor of God. It is one suit made up of many parts, all equally important to the proper functioning of the completed suit.
The next part of this verse that we are going to examine is “that you may be able to stand firm” .
Not stand tall, not rooted, not sitting comfortably, but standing firm. What does that mean? To me the word stand represents an action taken on by us. To be firm means to be steadfast, or unwavering. This is usually terms used when talking about ones morals and convictions. So to stand firm is an action on our part to stand up for what is right and true, despite what comes our way. Also, being firm means that we are moveable not rooted to one place. Sometimes it is necessary to remove yourself from a situation or place in order to remain walking uprightly before God. This is ok, as long as it aligns with God’s word and will. We need to not be so set in our ways that we may miss a message from God about change. We need to learn to be firm not stone like. God can work with a willing heart, but a heart of stone is not easily molded.
Let’s look at the next part of this verse, “against the schemes”.
As we know from above the word schemes in the lexicon is artificial. The word artificial means something that is fake, or false. It is something that is designed to mimic something else. Like fake sweeteners, they are artificially made to taste sweet like sugar. Do you know that it has now been medically proven that consuming a certain type of artificial sweetener has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including causing diabetes! Wow! And isn’t this the intended audience for these products, diabetics? With that random thought out of the way,. My point is, that a scheme is something that is derived by someone/something to make you think it is something that it is not. It is a “false reality”.
So a scheme is something that may appear to be one thing, but in the end it is not at all what you thought it was. So what makes schemes so dangerous? It is easy for people to fall for schemes because they take on the appearance of something else. Have you ever met a believer that is caught up in something that you can clearly see is worldly (or not from God), but they will tell you with all genuineness that they believe that they are serving God with the action, or behavior? More than likely it is a scheme. After all a scheme is what? “Artificial reality”. We have all fallen prey to it at one time or another, but this is where it is so important to make sure that we are fully armored. To be able to recognize them for what they are, artificial.
And now let’s look at the last part of this verse, “of the devil.”
The devil (in this verse) means evil spirits in general. Now the reason I think that it is important to mention this translation is that I do not want you to give Satan more power than he deserves. He is not omniscient, he sends his minions to tempt us, to torment us, to try to side track us with their schemes. It may not seem like an important detail but trust me it is a crucial detail for us to grasp. Satan cannot be in all places at all times like God, he is just not that powerful. Sometimes I feel like people give in to the power of evil because they give it so much control. They feel overwhelmed by a bad experience that they are having, or they feel overwhelmed because the bad doesn’t seem to ease up. I am here to tell you that the only places that are fertile enough for the fruits to grow heartily are a valley. The mountain tops are great, but it’s when we are in the valleys that we truly grow.
Life is full of hardships, negativity, and trials; but if we can stand firm, putting on the full armor of God; we will come out on the other side a much stronger and hopefully wiser person. This is why it is so very important to me that people truly understand what the armor of God is. If we wear it the wrong way, than its intended purpose will not work.
So let’s stick together and find out what God has to say to us about protecting ourselves against the false realities that the evil spirits have lined up for this world. Take this journey with me and stay tuned for part 3 of this study on the armor of God. And as always, God bless you.
(Tomorrow’s study will be on V. 12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” I hope you come back tomorrow for this next part…)