We need all of God’s armor to withstand Satan’s onslaughts (Eph 6:14–-16). In the preceding verses four participles—-fastening, putting on, fitting, and taking up—-indicate the means by which believers can take their stand. Metaphorically, we are to “fasten the belt of truth around [the] waist” (6:14a).
We are to be certain that our reliance is on the truth of God’s word, not on men’s opinions (Jn 14:6), so as not to be defeated by doubts and false arguments.
We “put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph 6:14b). We have been given the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21) to withstand the accusations of Satan (Rev 12:10), who delights in proving how unworthy and undeserving we are of Christ’s faithfulness to keep us covered with His righteousness (Rom 3:22).
Our “feet” are to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15NIV). If we are clear on the gospel message and are eager to share it, we can stand firm in battle with an inner peace: “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
Likewise, we “take up the shield of faith” (Eph 6:16), whereby we have confidence in and rely upon God. The “flaming arrows of the evil one” (6:16)—-doubt, temptation, anger, lust, despair, vengeance, trials, or impossibilities—-should not move us. We are assured that “whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory . . . our faith” (1 Jn 5:4). His word never fails.
Now the imperative “take” in verse 17 communicates another means by which to stand firm in battle. Every soldier had a helmet that the enemy’s sword could not penetrate—-the “helmet of salvation.”
The believer is to “put on the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thes 5:8). This hope assures us that we will be protected against any attack. No matter what might happen, we have no need to fear, because our salvation is sure.
Likewise we are to “take” the “sword of the Spirit, . . . the word of God” is our only offensive weapon. The Spirit proclaims God’s word, penetrating the inner consciousness, convicting us of sin, and healing the very wounds it causes. Develop the discipline of mastering the word as a sword.
“Thank You, Father, for the hope and assurance Your salvation supplies to each believer. May I always be aware of all that it means as I live each moment for You.”