One of the most vivid warnings the Bible gives us is, "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary
the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
 (1Peter 5:8 NIV)  Of
course, this is an analogy Peter used that Satan can be as ruthless as a hungry lion.

We do not literally see this physical lion and his presence in our lives isn't always so obvious that
we are able to steer around it.  Satan can be quietly deceiving, cunningly sly, and nearly invisible
in ways that are not always easily recognized.

Contrary to what some think, Satan doesn't always necessarily try to get us to do bad things. One
of his most subtle maneuvers is to get us to ignore and deny the One good thing - Christ Our
Savior.  His weapon of choice in this game is distraction, accompanied with generous doses of
feeding man's self-pride.  

He begins by distracting us from living a life for Christ with the allure of the world and all it's
offerings. That worldly affection breeds worldly self-sufficiency, inflating our egos to megalomaniac
proportions.  The Bible says that Satan can disguise himself as an
"angel of light" (2 Corinthians
11:14 KJV)
, and does so to delude people's thoughts.  The Bible also calls him the "prince of this
world"
(John 12:31KJV), thereby giving him the means to provide his followers a nice earthly
existance. So, if he can just get people to think that they don't have a need for a Savior; that they
can save themselves by simply living a 'good' life, that's fine by him.  Because in so doing, they do
not claim the name of the One who saves.  

I'm sure we've all known people in our lives who have, by and large, lived a clean and decent life.
They worked hard; put kids through school, paid off the mortgage, gave to charity, helped a
neighbor.  What they've done, they did themselves and worked hard for it.  As model as this may
sound, these can be perfect players for Satan, if, regardless of all they have done above, have not
invited Christ into their hearts as their Savior.  

But, Satan isn't always so subtle.  He has three main targets he aims for; every Christian, every
Christian home, and every Christian church. Satan opposes all who have given their heart to
Christ.  Some in the secular world snicker when they read or hear stories of stumbling Christians.
The high profile stories of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker provided comedic fodder for years.  We
even see this firsthand in our own neighborhoods and social circles.  The "good-Christians-next-
door" whose teen daughter became pregnant, or the spouse was unfaithful, or the son had
committed a crime.  

Too often, people become judgmental by assuming Christians are insulated from trial and turmoil,
or that they should 'know better'.  My friends, Satan does not have to work on those who already
belong to him.  His deceptive darts are aimed at those who belong to Christ.  Because we've
chosen to live for Him, we live and walk in the midst of spiritual warfare in this world.  And, it is
through the gift of God's abundant grace and mercy, subsequent to our confession and
repentance, that we are reconciled to Him when we stumble
(1 John 1:9).

If, after you've hit the baseball, you take off running, only to trip and fall, but are able to get up and
make it to first base without being tagged, you're safe!  Just because you had a fall along the way
doesn't take you out of the game.  Just as it is with the Christian walk.  A stumble doesn't take us
out of God's game plan
(Psalm 37:23-23). Those who are committed to Christ know that the road
is narrow
(Matthew 7:13) and that the adversary roams the earth (Job 2:2).

Since we are taught in the Bible how to be on guard and how to equip ourselves, it makes sense
that God must have known we would be faced with Satan's deceptive ways.  Peter's warning wasn't
to a group of non-believers.  He was speaking to believers in Christ.  As believers, he was giving
them a warning.

The Apostles well knew to be prepared for the fiery darts of Satan.  They well knew the direction
he aims his darts.  And, the Apostle Paul gives us a protective device.  As
"a prisoner for serving
the Lord"
(Ephesians 4:1), Paul  wrote a letter to the Ephesians, wherein he gives an entire
wardrobe with which to better protect ourselves from the
"wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)

It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, perhaps because of Paul's rich use of symbolism. In
Paul's time, a Roman guard might wear protective outerwear, each piece having a purpose to
protect vital areas of his body. As with the Armor of God, each piece protects areas in our lives
that are targets for Satan.  Just the phrase alone - The Armor Of God - sounds pretty mighty!  But,
the irony in all this heavy armor that we might visualize as clanking metal exterior, is that the true
protection comes from within.  From within the believer's heart of love, trust, and a commitment to
Christ.  

So, from the inside out . . . let's suit up together!
Ephesians 6:10-18
New King James Version
Stand therefore, having Girded your waist
with truth
,

having put on the
breastplate of
righteousness,

and having shod your feet with the
preparation of the gospel of peace;

above all, taking the
shield of faith with
which you will be able to quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked one.

And take the
helmet of salvation, and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to
this end with all perseverance and
supplication for all the saints."
Finally, my Brethren, be strong in
the Lord  and in the power of His
might.

Put on the whole armor of God, so
that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh
and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this age, against
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor
of God, that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having
done all, to stand.
At first glance, we might not know exactly what each item is or how to use it effectively.  Let's take a
closer look at each item.
Girding Your Waist With Truth - is the knowledge, acceptance and history of
the Word.  Jesus called Satan 'the father of lies' (John 8:44 KJV) and there
is no better way to rebuke Satan than with God's truth.


The Breastplate of Righteousness - We bear the righteousness of God  
(Philipians 3:9), and were equipped with it upon our conversion to Christ  (1
Corninthians 1:30).  We must strive to live out His righteousness and live in
His will by using this breastplate to protect our hearts from the bondage of
sin.  


The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace - Much of our spiritual warfare takes
place in the realm of thought and our outlook on life.  Believers are given the
foundation of inner peace (Ephesians 2:14)  to comfort them and combat
Satan's desire to disrupt and divide.  Our load is lighter when our walk is
grounded in peace.


The Shield of Faith - Faith is a powerful source in the believer's life, but
more importantly, it is the
object of our faith.  Christ has victory over Satan
(John 16:33), and wielding the shield of faith in Christ quenches the
doubting and deceitful darts of Satan he shoots toward us to erode our faith.


The Helmet of Salvation - As believers, we have rest in the knowledge of our
salvation through Christ.  But, we need to take unto ourselves God's wisdom
(1 Corinthians 1:30) by wearing the helmet to protect our minds from
strange, distorted, and immoral teachings.  


The Sword of the Spirit - We are given the Word of God as our Sword of the
Spirit; our weapon and the only offensive article amidst the defensive armor
above.  Our weapon sharpens as we spend  time reading the Bible and
understanding the truths written therein.  Jesus, the master swordsman,
resisted all of Satan's temptations with the Sword of the Spirit (Matthew
4:1-11).

The passage ends by telling us to be watchful and
praying always.  We
cannot fight the battle in our own power and prayer is the direct line of
communication we have with our Commander.  We need to be watchful of
the enemy, for he attempts to take us away from our prayer life with
distractions and doubt, thereby cutting off our means of communication with
God.  We must remain prayerful always, not just at night before we sleep, or
Sunday morning at church, but always remaining available to prayer and
God.  And, in supplication, which means to ask God for our needs, the
needs of those around us, and the needs of the church.
When I first read this passage back in 1998, it was indelibly etched in my heart and mind.  As a  
humble student of the Bible, my writings above are not an attempt to exhaust the full teachings of
this passage.  It is my prayer that you may have enjoyed a little closer look at the Armor of God,
and that you will be piqued to delve further into the Word, along with helpful study resources to
explore it fully, finding the tools to implement the armor in your life.  

My study of Ephesians 6:10-18 came from Dr. David Jeremiah's ministry,
Turning Point.  His study
guide "Spiritual Warfare" is a wonderful study resource.  If you would like a study guide of your
own, please
write me  and I will happily send one.  Or, you may visit the Turning Point website and
find a copy
there.  

God bless.                      
"All scripture is inspired by God ..." 2 Tim. 3:16
KJV - King James Version  NKJV - New King James  Version   NIV - New International Version
Armor of God
MUSIC playing is "A Shield About Me"