How to Be Ready for Anything—Put on the Armor of God - Finds.Life.Church

How to Be Ready for Anything—Put on the Armor of God

by Laura Ketchum

Maybe you’ve heard Christians talk about the armor of God, but you aren’t really sure what it means. Or, maybe you’ve grown up hearing about the armor of God, but you’re unsure how it applies to your life. So, what is the armor of God? 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God … Ephesians 6:10-17 ESV

It’s a familiar passage, one which has adorned many a wall artwork and refrigerator magnet. But what does it actually mean to put on the armor of God? How do you go past reading those verses and actually make them a part of your life?

I’m glad you asked.

But before we get into specifics, it might be good to address this:

We wrestle against what now?

The verses prior to the description of the armor of God paint a worrisome picture. They speak of the schemes of the devil, rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil. In the face of such opposition, it’s no wonder a person would be reaching for their armor.

But life doesn’t always seem like an epic battle. Often, life just seems … boring. Uneventful. Sure, you have hurdles you have to overcome, but those hurdles present themselves in the form of … traffic during your commute. Cold and flu season. Family dynamics. If someone’s life is hanging in the balance, the armor of God seems like a no-brainer. But in the face of the normal goings-on of life, is the armor of God even necessary?


I get it. The idea of putting on the armor of God before convincing your kid to clean their room or heading into the DMV can seem a little overdramatic. But often, it isn’t the big stuff that trips us up. It’s the small stuff—the boring, day-in and day-out experiences that can, inch by inch, pull us away from God and into the enemy’s territory. It’s important for all of us to make a practice of putting on the armor of God, even for the small stuff.

But what does that look like?

1. The Belt of Truth

For a soldier during the time Paul wrote this passage, a belt wasn’t just a fashion item. A belt was used to protect a soldier’s body, carry their weapons, and keep their tunic together. Everything rested on a secure belt. Likewise, our faith hangs on truth. It is vital for us to understand God’s truth as it is illustrated and taught in His Word and to put that truth into action by living lives of integrity.

Verses to Consider:

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5 NIV

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

2. The Breastplate of Righteousness

In ancient times, breastplates were worn to protect a soldier’s vital organs from attack. Similarly, it’s important for all of us to be aware of our weaknesses, or what sins we struggle with most. Once we identify those weaknesses, we can take precautions to focus our attention on things that are right and true instead. By putting on righteousness rather than letting distractions bog us down, we can keep ourselves safe from the enemy’s attacks.

Verses to Consider:

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. Proverbs 21:21 NIV

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

3. The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

The soles of a Roman soldier’s shoes would have had nails affixed to the bottom, similar to soccer or football cleats. These shoes ensured the soldiers had solid footing when they needed it most. Likewise, God’s peace gives us steadiness no matter what life throws at us. And we can find God’s peace by relying on the previous two pieces of armor—knowing and resting on God’s truth and pursuing righteousness.

Verses to Consider:

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

4. The Shield of Faith

The shields used during Roman times were four feet long and used to protect a soldier’s entire body. They were also fire-retardant and essential to protecting soldiers from the fiery arrows launched by their enemies. Our enemy will launch attacks of his own directly toward us. At times, these attacks will be big, such as health struggles. Other times, they’ll be smaller, like doubt. No matter the size of the struggles we’re facing, though, trust in God is the protection we need to see our way through. We need to have faith that, in everything, He has our backs.

Verses to Consider:

Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

5. The Helmet of Salvation

The importance of a helmet can’t be overstated. Without our heads, we don’t have a chance. It’s the same for salvation. We’ve all sinned, and we’re all in need of the forgiveness only God can offer. Without this forgiveness, there’s nothing we can do and no effort we can make that will give us a chance at coming out on top in this battle. If you’ve never taken the time to consider whether you’ve accepted God’s forgiveness, do it now.

Verses to Consider:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

6. The Sword of the Spirit

A soldier can take as many defensive measures as he or she chooses, but in the end, they’re never going to make any headway unless they’re armed with a weapon. And God offers us the best weapon we could ask for in this life. Through His Word, we learn truth and righteousness. We gain peace and faith. And we’re extended salvation. The Word shows us the way forward.

Verses to Consider:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16 NIV

P.S. And no matter what happens, keep talking to God.

… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints … Ephesians 6:18 ESV

So how do you become ready for anything life throws at you? Put on the armor of God. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily decision to pursue God through reading His Word, following his example, trusting His plan, and staying in contact through prayer.

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