I never saw something unique in this verse until today. Can you see it? I know this is a familiar verse and one that I have read, quoted, memorized, highlighted and underlined for years. That’s why I am amazed that I didn’t see it until today.
Armor. What is armor and why does one wear it? Armor here in Ephesians is panoply in Greek and it means the full armor – shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves (a new word for me and it means armor for the legs, a sort of boots) and breastplate. This is old world and I wonder what it means today.
Mind you – I am not qualified to discuss modern military armor, but the generalities will do for our purposes. A soldier today is equipped with 3 types of uniforms: combat, service and dress. And depending upon the branch and duties, these uniforms will be different. I am most interested in combat uniforms for this post because that is what I see in Ephesians 6.
- AIR FORCE ARMY COAST GUARD MARINES NAVY -
Combat uniforms are a heavy-duty jacket, pants, t-shirt, a cover (hat) and boots. Each branch of the military has its own uniforms for distinction, function, rank and duty. In general, there are weapons included for combat duty. I do not see shields like we picture from Roman days, but I am guessing our troops have protection that we cannot see under their uniforms. Military tactics are different from ages ago, but yet they are similar in some ways. Good thing we do not line our soldiers up in formation and march out against the ‘enemy’ in their formation and fire away – think Revolutionary war.
The whole point is – armor is necessary in combat. A soldier would not dream of going to combat in his/her swimsuit. I think the key word to remember is PROTECTION. Armor is for personal protection. PPE in my husband’s world of environmental consulting. PPE is personal protective equipment. What equipment does your person need for the job? A mommy needs the diaper bag, stroller, snacks and a healthy dose of patience. A teacher needs lesson plans, tools to teach, books, innovative methods to teach the myriad of students each with different needs. A chef needs knives, chef whites, ingredients, recipes and most importantly - taste testers. Each job/role has a specific ‘uniform’ to help aid in getting the job done all the while protecting the person.
But armor is not what struck me this morning. It’s the OWNER of the armor. It’s God’s armor. Seeing this verse in a different translation is how I saw this. Usually one will read – put on the full armor of God. Completely implied and means the same thing; but when I saw the possessive noun God’s I was corrected in Who is the owner of the armor. The armor we are to wear belongs to God. His breastplate, His salvation, His belt, His shoes, His shield, His sword. In other words, we are putting on HIM.
Let that sink in for a minute. We are allowed access to His armor, told to wear it, and are fully engulfed in His PPE for our PPE.
Put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:11
Endyo is Greek for our command put on. It literally means to sink into (clothing). Ok. This is a WOW moment. Sink into God’s armor. Like sinking into a comfy couch, a feather bed, a down jacket. Get lost in the folds. It reminds me of a favorite verse:
The one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12
I have written about this verse BEFORE but the imagery is profound in context with God’s armor. We are sinking deep in between the shoulders of our Saviour. We are putting on the best armor – the Lion from the tribe of Judah. His roar is loud, it's fierce, it's powerful and it always accomplishes that which it sets out to do – fight for His beloved. And, my friends, we are the beloved.
Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those
who fight against me. Psalm 35:1
This is His job. He fights for us. He is a WARRIOR God (Exodus 15:3). If God is fighting, what are we supposed to do? Get behind Him, flank Him? Support Him? Get His weapons of warfare ready? Actually it is ludicrous to even think this because we cannot do any of it. But, we are we to do?
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.
Stand with belt of truth buckled on. Breastplate in place. Feet ready. Shield of faith ready to extinguish flaming arrows. Helmet on. Sword of the Spirit ready.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 5:18
If you notice we are not fighting in the traditional sense of the word. We are STANDING, praying, fully armed, with our shield up defending ourselves from the flaming arrows of the enemy. Who is doing the fighting? God. He is the Warrior God, Commander in Chief, capable, able, strong, mighty, powerful and willing. We are to
Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10
The LORD Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14 NLT
That’s it folks. Our armor is not our own. We are told to stand. In my book, standing means to be still. Not move. Mmmmmmm. Very interesting, that. The battle may be raging, the war has been declared but I am to be still, pray, keep my shield up, put on God’s armor and watch it play out in front of me. Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today” (Exodus 14:13). Not tomorrow. Today.
I can stand and watch God fight my battles. I can rest in Him, in between His shoulders feeling His heart beating as He fights for me. I do not have to worry – my mighty God, with the fierce roar of an awesome lion is on my side.
O Warrior God. I am completely humbled that I am able to call you Warrior. You do fight, and You fight my battles. Thank You for Your armor. I have it all on. I am standing. Praying. Watching. Extinguishing flaming arrows. I am in awe of You. You amaze me. AMEN