Is Your Armor Rusty?
By Kay Schultz
Yes! Ask yourself: is my armor rusty – or even dusty? Check it out because in Ephesians 6:10-20, God is warning us that He can spot rust a mile away! He has plans and purpose for us that do not include staying out of spiritual battle if we want to be more than conquerors in life.
In Ephesians 6, Paul addresses the command given not only to us as individuals but to the whole church. Then he describes what our fight should look like. We should not battle against “flesh and blood,” meaning human struggles, arguments or debates involving personal, political or social difficulties. Instead we need to go to battle in the spirit, warring against demons principalities, powers and world rulers of darkness.
These hosts of hell are all demonic spirits which operate on differing levels of power depending on their assignment. Our assignment is to war in the spirit realm against them, not our brothers and sisters in Christ or, even, unbelievers.
Our “heavenly places” is our sphere of operation. And it is loaded with spiritual resources God has given to us to use in warfare. We have armor – truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Wow! What an arsenal.
But here’s the thing – are you in the battle? Psalm 23:5 says that God prepares a banquet for us in the presence of our enemies. How are we going to get to that banquet unless we get in the battle?
I remember a good example of “getting in.” My husband and I took an excursion from a cruise ship to a place called Sting Ray City to swim with some totally repulsive, and scary looking critters. The plan was to hop off a small boat, get to a sandbar and enjoy the experience. As long as I stayed on the boat, I cowered in fear. I could see the rays 4-foot wing spans and their barbed tails. Whose idea was this? And did I mention they were ugly with a capital Ugh? Hundreds of them.
But I overcame my fear and chose to get it. Isn’t that exactly what God expects of us? Get in and use your resources. I got strength and courage as I walked on the sandbar, closer to the wad of rays flapping all around. Guess what? Not so bad at all. We hand fed them, picked them up and took pictures. When I was still on the boat, they were my enemy. When I got in, I conquered!
Look at some of the words Paul uses in Ephesians 6:13 “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.” My Bible commentary says that “withstand” means vigorously opposing, bravely resisting, standing face-to-face against an adversary and standing your ground. WARNING: Do not do this wearing rusty armor! Sharpen your sword, oil your armor. We are equipped with authority and spiritual resources to withstand evil forces. Use them!
In II Samuel 23:11-12, a man named Shammah defended a pea patch as if he was defending diamonds instead of peas. Every year the enemies invaded and stole the harvest. Shammah said not this time. Everyone else ran. He stood. He reasoned if he belonged to God, so did these peas. He defended what belonged to God and God brought about a great victory.
Do you have a pea patch in your life that you are defending? Are you still standing? Fighting for it?
In Ephesians 6:14, Paul exhorts: “Stand therefore. . .” The Bible commentary continues to explain that the “armor’ is a military metaphor intended to show that we are engaged in active battle now. Included is the awareness that “stand” in verses 13 and 14 means to be found standing after an active battle and being ready to take your stand for the next battle.
Why would God ask us to do this? The focus of all spiritual warfare is to open doors so that His kingdom may be advanced – to preach good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Is. 61).
Warfare is not an option. It is a command. It is what we do. We get in and conquer. This is not “Let’s Make a Deal”, “Wheel of Fortune” or “Name that Tune.” It is more along the line of “Survivor” or “American Ninja Warrior.”
So, get your armor out, dust it off, oil it up and get in the battle.