Are You Living Unprotected?
I’m unsure if it’s a sign of old age, a quirky personality trait, or just a signal that my mind is too full and occupied, but for some reason in the past year I’ve started leaving doors open. Not only doors, but drawers and cabinets. I retrieve something from the kitchen, and I leave the door ajar. I get a spoon out of the drawer, and I’ll leave it sticking out. The other day I walked into my bedroom and all the drawers in my dresser were open, my closet doors were ajar, and the cabinet in my bathroom saluted me.
As I stood there looking at the results of my new habit, I heard God remind me, This is your life without putting on my armor. You leave open all of your vulnerable areas—heart, mind, and thoughts—to the enemy. You throw open yourself and shout, “Come on in.”
What soldier heads into battle without weapons? As Christians, we’re fighting on the front lines, so why do we enter the fray without our shield and armor? If a warrior is prepared, then so should we be too. We live on a battlefield. Paul explains how we should prepare for it in Ephesians 6:10-18:
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.
Verse 13 doesn’t say to put on armor so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to cower, you may be able to be wishy washy, you may be able to shrink, you may be able to surrender, you may be able to fall, or you may be able to be apathetic. It says to put on armor so that you may be able to stand. Paul has outlined for us the strategy of the believer’s warfare and how we must put on the whole armor if we are to be victorious.
This is a war and a battle that is fought on a daily basis. We are bombarded in every way in every area by things of this world. The fight comes to us by way of television, music, movies, the internet, people in our lives, and even our own attitudes and emotions.
We will be attacked. It doesn’t matter where the enemy comes from— crawling on his belly or flying overhead—how subtle or blatant the attack, or what tactic he chooses. What matters is that when he gets here, you need to be ready.
Let’s look quickly at our armor of protection:
- Belt of truth – Gird ourselves with the truth of what God says. Knowing His truth will block Stan’s lies.
- Breastplate of righteousness – Buckle on who we are in Christ and live to follow after Him.
- Feet fitted with the gospel of peace – Step into the peace and our mission of spreading the news to others.
- Shield of faith – Pick up the faith we have in God and in His mighty power.
- Helmet of salvation – Put on the hat that protects our minds in the assurance of our hope and future.
- Sword of the Spirit – Cling to the Word of God and the guidelines for our life. We must sharpen our sword through spending time in the Bible.
These six defenses will change the direction and outcome of your day. I challenge you—and myself—that every morning before we walk out the door we’ll pause and physically buckle on the armor so we’ll be prepared for whatever the day brings. Don’t leave your cabinets standing wide open.