Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. - Ephesians 6:11-13
What armor do we need to put on and how are we to use each piece to fight the spiritual forces of evil and stand our ground?
1. Belt of Truth
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (v.14)A belt is the center of our attire, it is what holds up your pants and keeps the entire outfit together. With the belt of truth, we are to place truth at our core and use it to hold up everything else we say and do.
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
With the breastplate of righteousness in place (v.14)A breastplate protects the heart, it gives our torso strength and takes the brunt of the enemy's attacks. With the breastplate of righteousness, we are to use it to protect our hearts. Place righteousness at a high importance, because without it you will be defeated, you will not be able to withstand the enemy's attacks and instead of being protected, you will be vulnerable to sin.
3. Feet Fitted with Readiness
With your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (v.15)Feet get us from one place to another, we are able to stand, run, jump, skip, etc. Feet fitted with readiness means you need to be quick and ready to defend or attack at all times. You cannot be lazy or idle if you want to stand against the devil's schemes and arrows of attack. You have to be ready and able at all times, even when things are going well and you feel strong in the faith because those are often the times the devil attacks the most because we are easily able to fall when we feel strong or secure. Make sure you are ready to immediately run/flee from temptation and make sure you are walking with God.
4. Shield of Faith
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (v.16)Shields protect us from an attack, they guard and defend us if we use them correctly. With the shield of faith, we are to lift it up and defend ourselves against the "flaming arrows of the evil one". Arrows pierce and directly hit an area it has been aimed at. We need to be on guard and by strengthening our faith, extinguish any arrows the devil has aimed at us. Each of us struggles with something(s), be extra guarded and aware of those things so that you will remain faithful and steadfast and not let temptation lead you to sin. God always gives us a way out of temptation, and if we prepare ahead and strengthen our faith, we will be better equipped to stand firm on God's Word when we are tempted/when the arrows come at us.
5. Helmet of Salvation
Take the helmet of salvation (v.17)Helmets protect our head, they have saved many people from accidents that would have otherwise killed them. With the helmet of salvation, it saves us from hell. It provides protection of our mind to be focused on God and His Word and to always praise Him for His sacrifice for our sins. Salvation is necessary to have a relationship with God, without salvation there is only death and sin.
6. Sword of the Spirit
And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (v.17)A sword is used in battle to attack the enemy. With the sword of the Spirit, we are to use God's Word, the Bible, to attack our enemies. We cannot use the Bible unless we are reading it and studying it, putting God's Word into our hearts and minds, meditating on it, and memorizing it to use when we need to. Jesus used scripture to defeat the devil with Satan was tempting Him in the wilderness. If you do not adequately know Scripture, you will not know how to defeat evil or recognize false teachings. Satan uses Scripture too, he knows the Bible, but he uses it incorrectly to lead people astray. the devil picks and chooses what he wants to use to mislead us and twist God's Word, to either make us second guess what God has said, as he did with Eve or to trick us into believing false teachings. We must study and seek God's wisdom so we can defeat the devil/evil and be confident in God's Word.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. - Revelation 22:18-19
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (v.18)Prayer is highly important in the life of a Christian. It is the way we communicate with God and one way we care for others. Through prayer, we are given a direct line to God and able to build a healthy relationship with Him. In any relationship, communication is important, it is key. We are to pray in the Spirit for everything, everyone, all the time. Praying all the time does not mean you are only praying and not doing anything, but it means talking with God throughout the day, letting Him know everything that is going on in your life and in the lives of others, how you feel, what you need help with, what you need to repent of, everything matters to God. Yes, He knows all, but it's like any relationship, He wants to hear you tell Him. Just like your parents or close friends want to know how you are doing, hear the good and bad news, and all the people you meet, God is our heavenly Father and He wants to have a relationship with us and to build that relationship daily. He loves us so much. Praying in the Spirit means in the Holy Spirit who speaks for us when we are not able to come up with the words to say or do not know what to pray for.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. - Romans 8:26-27