Summary: part 4 of a seres looking at spiritual war. Final message - our need to put on the FULL armor of God.
The Armor of God
June 17, 2012
At the beginning of world war II, France believed they had a solution to a potential German invasion. They built what was called the Maginot line. The Maginot line was a defensive line built in the 1930’s that stretched for over 200 miles on the NE border of France. You can see on the map, the strongest fortifications were along the German border, with weaker fortifications along Luxembourg and Belgium.
Automatic advanceIt was state-of-the-art, built of thick concrete with living quarters, heavy guns, store houses and underground rail lines. There were 45 main underground forts, 97 smaller underground forts, 352 large guns that could rise out of the ground. They were connected by an underground railroad system and underground corridors. French soldiers enjoyed state-of-the-art living conditions: air-conditioning, dining facilities, and a power plant.
It was designed to hold off a German attack. However, the Germans defeated the French by simply going around it through Belgium and through the Ardennes forest, which the French considered impenetrable. The French were not prepared for the manner in which the Germans overcame this defensive line, simply by avoiding it. In the end, the Maginot line was useless and France surrendered.
France fell because they underestimated their enemy and relied on the wrong weapons. They didn’t anticipate the attack their enemy used. They thought they were protected, but weren’t. We too are in a war. It’s not a war against one another, it’s a war against satan and his legions of demons. We must be careful to not make these same mistakes. In order to defeat the attacks of our enemy, we must be armed with the right weapons.
We must not underestimate our enemy’s cleverness. And, we must not rely on our own weapons and armor. As we’ve talked for the past few weeks, we need to rely on the armor and strength of God in order to defeat the attacks of satan.
Today, we’re going to look at the final 3 items we are to put on and use.
First, let’s look at what Paul tells us ~
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
11 Put on the FULL armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 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.
13 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.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 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 saints.
Remember, this is not a typical battle, it’s a spiritual battle and we must use spiritual weapons which God has placed at our disposal. It’s a call to utilize God’s strength and mighty power.
Putting on the whole armor of God must become a natural act. As we get dressed everyday, we should put on Christ’s love and put on our spiritual armor so we can withstand satans attacks.
Last week we took a look at the first 3 items we are to put on to defend ourselves ~
The belt of truth
The breastplate of righteousness, and
the shoes of the gospel of peace.
So, let’s look at the rest of our protection —
The Shield of Faith
The shield for a Roman soldier was vital. Their normal battle shield was approximately 2 ½ feet wide by 4 ½ feet high. It was a solid piece of wood, covered with metal, then a final layer of leather, soaked in water.
The only real long range weapon in those days were arrows and often times the enemy would set the tips of the arrows on fire and these flaming missiles could kill or seriously wound unprotected troops. However, when the arrows would strike the wet leather, they would be extinguished.
The shields were also made to interlock with the shields of other soldiers. The shields formed a portable wall for the protection of the whole army. When the soldiers stood side by side, this not only made a wall of protection for all the soldiers, but would put fear into the enemy as the soldiers continued marching.