Do you have your armor on today, every piece of equipment that the Lord has been gracious enough to offer you, the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, the helmet and the sword of the Word of God, I would certainly hope so, but the better question would be this, do you know why you are to never take any of these items off? Interesting, isn’t it, how we know for a fact that we are cared for, that nothing that happens to the born-again believer occurs unless it passes thru the throne of His grace first, how we have the assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us, yet we are to apply ourselves to His will, how, in a sense, there is no free ride with Christ.
Of course we know that we can do nothing of ourselves, (2 Cor. 3:5) that all of our righteousness are like filthy rags, (Isaiah 64:6) but He still told those at the tomb of Lazarus to roll away the stone, (John 11:39) how many times did our Lord say, “Your faith has healed you.” I don’t have enough paper here in my notebook to speak of all the incidences throughout the Scriptures that show us that our Lord has been merciful to His children and allowed them to be a part of His plans for them, so why the armor, well that is simple of course, read Eph. 6: 14-17 and you will see that these are truths of the Scriptures that we are to adhere to, commandments that will enable us through the Holy Spirit to be effectual to the kingdom of God, profitable servants fit for the Master’s work. You send no one out to do a job who has not been well trained, no one is born with the abilities to perform any task, and for the man of God to be useful, he must be trained.
Far too many Christians I have met believe the armor of God serves only one purpose, to fight against our adversary, Satan, when in fact the shield is not an offensive weapon, but defensive, and sadly many of those that I have met over the years who think like this are not very well trained in the proper use of the armor, much less the shield. I will be blunt here my friends, something my wonderful wife says I still need to work on, a child of the Most High God who will not submit himself to the training of His words will be of little use to the kingdom and glory of God while he is here on earth, a follower of Christ who will not open and study the instructional manual each day will find himself useless in the battle. Too many believe the battle is over, that they can spend their time in selfish pleasures, dawdling around with their life, not realizing the victory has been won by the Lord Jesus Christ, but the battle has never stopped. It started the moment that you knelt at the cross and your involvement in it will not cease until the moment that you pass through the narrow gate, (Matt. 7:14) there should be little difference between a servant of the Most High God and a warrior for Christ.
The man of God has been equipped with everything that he needs to serve in the fullest capabilities that his position in Christ requires, (2 Peter 1:3) but the operation of this equipment, the proper knowledge of how to apply these tools, as it were, is not automatically instilled within us at the moment of our salvation, we are not instantly transformed into profitable servants, we must roll away the stone. Discipleship training courses are few and far apart in the churches today, a simple message on Sunday morning, perhaps a mid-week Bible study that closely resembles the Sunday service with an occasional question thrown in seems to be the extent of in-depth training for the believer, but this will be no excuse when you stand before the Lord on your day of accounting. You are accountable for the consequences of your actions, the blame or rewards will fall squarely on your shoulders, there will be no excuses for the Christian who has the complete and inerrant word of God sitting right there at his fingertips every day.
Our Lord has blessed this generation of mankind beyond measure, we have the entire word at our disposal, day or night, whether it be your Bible right beside you there, or on a mobile device, an incredible blessing, and yet we treat it at times like a secondary or “less-than” need in our lives, as if there is no real need to study on a daily basis, to spend any discernable time in contemplation of His will and word in our lives, as if there are better, more important things to do. Your salvation was a free gift from the Lord, undeserved and without any merit or work on your part, (Eph. 2:8) but the walk of a Christian requires effort if you desire to be pleasing to the Lord, if your main and only goal in this very short life is to bring glory to the name that is above every other name. The armor of God, the fruits of the Spirit, the fruits that are produced in us are the sure signs of a true child of God, not church attendance records, not baptism, you will know them by their works. (Matt. 7:20) It is one thing to memorize Scripture verses, it is quite another to apply them, it is one thing to attend church, and it is quite different to have Christ with you during the week, reading the Bible is not the same as studying it, as contemplating His precious words throughout the day.
We are servants, we are bond-slaves, bought out of the world with an incredible price, (1 Cor. 6:20) and we are expected to serve well, with a knowledge of the word of God that is not just sought out for an hour on Sunday morning, we are expected, but never forced, to be able to rightly divide the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15) That is why you are to have the whole armor of God on, to never remove it, you are the one that has to make the choice to wear it, it will not be placed upon any who do not desire it, who do not seek to be as profitable as possible to the Lord God, no matter the consequences. The battle is not going to stop for us in this age until the Rapture or the moment that the Lord decides to call you home, but I will leave you with a question that only you can answer in your heart, your pastor, your loving spouse, not even your closest and dearest friends can answer it for you. Will you either be called home because you have fought a good fight and finished your course, or because you serve no value to the furtherance to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul was being poured out like a drink offering in his final days, (2 Tim. 4:6) the race had been run with vigor, the trials and tribulations were at an end, it was time to go home, the work that had been set before him had been completed, the armor would be replaced with a white robe. To put it simply my friends, if you’re not in the battle, you don’t need the armor, but without it you will not be able to stand in the evil day, (Eph. 6:13) you will fall, you will find that you have no protection, no battle plan, and although you will enter the kingdom of the Lord if you are truly saved, you will enter in more bloodied and bruised than was necessary, and you will enter in ashamed of your performance of the duties that were set before you. “I wish I would have,” words that far too many I am afraid will say in the kingdom, need to be replaced today, this very moment with, “I am going to, Lord, lead me in the path of service today.”
It is an honor and privilege to wear the armor of God, but you will not know this honor until you determine to put it on and keep it on, it waits for you in His Holy word, go and seek it.