Stand firm with the Gospel. I’ve always been confused about the meaning of the passage in Ephesians 6 about the full armor of God. On the one hand, we are battling the forces of evil and need the protection of God’s armor and the strike force of the sword of truth. On the other hand, this is not a physical battle in which might and power wins. So how does anyone put of the “full armor of God”?
The Armor of God | Stand Firm With The Gospel
As a businessman, I don’t go around threatening folks with the Gospel. For example, the sword of Truth is the Bible. I don’t try to stab folks with the Bible. Piercing their souls takes a different tactic. And customers are not my enemies. I don’t slay them or see them as adversaries because they don’t express the Christian faith.
The full armor reflects what? It’s my truthfulness (honesty), righteousness (virtue), peace (inner calmness), faith (trust in a sovereign God), salvation (pledge to Christ) all bathed in prayer. So, it’s always puzzled me to see Braveheart-like figures in paintings that portray this verse.
It’s Not Easy
It’s tough being a faithful Christ follower in business. I have needed every bit of the armor when I was in business and frankly there were times when the enemy pierced my defenses. I’ve dealt with folks who wanted kickbacks. I’ve seen salesmen oversell their product. We cover up our embarrassing mistakes. Some will inflate their expenditures on their expense accounts. I’ve known folks who knowingly have hired illegal immigrants. I’ve known some to succumb to their lusts. Others have promised deadlines that they cannot fulfill.
I’ve seen products that are shoddy workmanship. Others will say bad things about a co-worker, so they look better for the promotion. We are tempted to take tax deductions beyond the limit of the law. The list can go on. It is not easy. Every day we need His protection. We live in a self-absorbed culture where financial success, beautiful homes, late model cars, sports tickets, club memberships, and Disney vacations are more important than our humble and honest relationship with Christ.
Learning From David
I’ve been guilty of some of those, and so I look to David and his prayer in Psalm 51: the prayer of repentance to bring me back to completeness. David’s armor wasn’t complete, because he killed tens of thousands of the enemy. David’s armor was complete when he confessed to his affair with Bathsheba and asked for God’s forgiveness from the deep pain he was feeling being separated from God.
When I think of examples of those in my life who have put on the full armor of God, those warriors in my life, it’s my mom who continued to read the Bible even when she had Alzheimer’s. It’s my friend Craig who lifted my spirits as he lay dying of cancer and Edna who wrote me a letter of encouragement as she suffered from crippling arthritis. Finally, Bob a highly successful businessman, who lived in a modest home and drove a used Volvo. It is inward armor expressed in outward humility and Grace.
Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”
Takeaway: The Full Armor of God is not a full charge down the hill. It’s having a childlike attitude, a patient character, a calm and understanding spirit, one that sacrifices self to be the face and demeanor of Christ.
Author: Paul Veerman