Jesus defeated every enemy when He died on the cross and conquered the grave three days later. It is from confidence in His victory that we can put on the full armor of God and stand firm in our daily battles.
Before we get to the seven pieces of armor and how to use them, here is the scripture that Paul wrote.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
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 firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Now, let me guide you through the armor of God, piece by piece, and teach you some practical ways to use each of them.
#1 Belt of Truth
A soldier is only ready for battle when he is girded with his belt. A Roman soldier’s belt was made of metal and thick heavy leather and was the carrying place for his sword. It also had a protective piece that hung down in the front. His belt held all other pieces of his armor together. To be fitted with his belt, meant he was ready to face action.
Truth is the belt that holds the believers’ armor together as well. Ultimate Truth can be found in God’s Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) We must know this Truth in order to protect ourselves against our flesh, the world, and the Father of Lies. Truth grounds us and reminds us of our identity in Christ.
How to Use the Belt of Truth
Start your day in the Word.
How you start your day is vital to winning the daily battles that you will inevitably face. Before anyone else wakes up, set aside at least 10 minutes to begin your day in the Word. It is important that you are able to immerse yourself in scripture without distraction.
End your day in the Word.
In a quiet place before you lay down, dedicate 20 minutes to studying the word. The ESV study Bible is widely considered the best, and it is also the most affordable of the study Bibles.
Memorize Scripture based on the lies you are struggling with.
The Bible is the guide book for life, which was written by our Creator. No matter what you are struggling with, there is scripture to point you in the right direction. Do a Google search for “Bible verses on ____” to find a verse that speaks directly to your heart. Then memorize it and speak it aloud whenever Satan attacks you.
#2 Breastplate of Righteousness
The Roman soldier was always equipped with a breastplate. This piece of armor protected his vital organs in the heat of the battle – when he wasn’t quick enough to take up his shield. The breastplate was for the quick and unexpected advances of the enemy.
As believers, we have no righteousness apart from that which has been given us by Christ. Our breastplate is His righteousness. His righteousness will never fail. Though we have no righteousness of our own, we must still, by His power, chose to do right. Living a right life, rooted in God’s Word is powerful in protecting our heart, killing our flesh, and defeating the enemy.
How to Use the Breastplate of Righteousness
Identify righteous activities in your life that strengthen you.
This may be as simple as having an occasional conversation with a homeless person and getting to know them by their name.
Identify unrighteous activities in your life that weaken you.
For each of us, this is going to be unique. I found that I was consistently watching movies and TV shows that were not in line with my beliefs. By intentionally exposing myself to immoral behavior, I was allowing Satan to weaken the walls that Christ had built around me.
#3 Sandals with the Gospel of Peace
Roman soldier’s feet were fitted with sandals called caligae. These sandals were made to help protect soldier’s feet during their long marches into battle. They had extremely thick soles and wrapped perfectly around their ankles in a way that protected against blistering. Caligae also had spikes on the bottom to help them stand firm as they traveled. This helped them have a firm foundation.
Believers also have a firm foundation in the Gospel. As believers, we have peace in knowing we are secure in what Jesus has done for us.
How to Use the Gospel of Peace
Preach the Gospel to yourself daily.
Remind yourself of the hope you have in Jesus Christ. Because of His sacrifice and your belief in Him, you shall not perish but have eternal life. Do not wait until the hardship to remind yourself of this. Build your foundation on a daily reminder of this hope, and you will be able to get through anything.
Share your testimonies with others.
The easiest and most effective way to share the Gospel with others is to tell your story of how Jesus changed your life.
Be a living example.
The way you walk through life will be seen by many. When you carry yourself with the fruit of the spirt, people will stop and notice.
#4 Shield of Faith
The Roman soldier’s shield was a complex piece of armor. The shield, also called a scutum, was a soldier’s primary defensive weapon. It was made of impenetrable wood, leather, canvas, and metal and could be doused in water to extinguish the fiery arrows of the enemy.
Faith is the shield of the believer. Trusting in God’s power and protection is imperative in remaining steadfast. When the battle rages, we must remember that God works all things for good. He is always true to His promises.
How to Use the Shield of Faith
Take time to remember the promises of God.
When fiery darts try to impact your heart, extinguish them with reminders of God’s goodness over your circumstance. Here are some of His promises…
He will never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
He will meet all your needs (Phil 4:19).
Call on Him and He will answer (Psalm 50:10).
He will make your path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Go here to see the 25 Core Promises of God.
A soldier’s shield was strongest when linked with another.
Band together with other believers in the fight of faith. The best way to band together is through the closeness of a small group. This is how the church began in the first century, and this is where the strongest bonds are made today.
Recount God’s past victories in your life.
In the movie The War Room, Miss Clara had a framed plaque on her wall with all of her answered prayers. Make a list of all the ways God has come through for you in the past. Whenever your faith waivers, recite this list and remember in detail how God made a way.
#5 Helmet of Salvation
The Soldier’s head is one of his most vulnerable areas. Without his helmet, one blow to the head would prove fatal. His helmet covered his entire head, facial area, and between the eyes. His armor would prove useless if he wasn’t equipped with his helmet.
The believer’s helmet of salvation is the most crucial piece of armor for the Christian. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit that enters a believer at the moment of salvation, all other armor is useless. Salvation empowers believers to fight. It protects us in our weaknesses. Without salvation, there is no victory.
How to Use the Helmet of Salvation
Stand on the conviction of your salvation.
When you know without a doubt that you are going to heaven because of what Christ did on the cross, not even death can defeat you. We will all face extremely dark times. In these times, our salvation will light the way and carry us home.
Placing your thoughts on things above by listening to sermons via podcast.
Be intentional about feeding your mind with spiritual food throughout the day. Load up your podcast with sermons from the greatest preachers in the world. Play those podcasts every single day on the way to and from work.
#6 Sword of the Spirit
All other pieces of the soldier’s arsenal are defensive weapons, but not his sword. The sword, a gladius, was a deadly weapon. In the hands of a skilled warrior, he could pierce through even the strongest armor.
Our sword is the Word of God, both the written and the incarnate Word. Every other piece of armor protects us against attacks. With God’s Word, we are truly able to fight and defeat all enemies. Christ used Scripture to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the desert. We must do the same.
How to Use the Sword of the Spirit
Be intentional about reading scripture. As I mentioned earlier, find a time that you can dedicate reading and studying the word of God where you are free of distractions.
When attacked, fight back with the Word of God.
When Satan attacked Christ in the desert he told him, “No….for it is written…” Use Christ’s example when Satan tries to come after you.
When beaten down, immerse yourself in the Bible.
Even those with great faith are going to have days when they feel like they are barely hanging on. On these days, ten minutes of time in the Word is just not enough. Take a sick day and immerse yourself in His Word for the entire day. Read, study, pray, and repeat.
In prayer, we show our reliance upon God to act and move. Our entire armor is rooted in His strength. Without His presence, we are powerless in the fight. We must fight on our knees. The One who has won the war is with us in the battle. We will see a victory when we fight in His power.
How to Use Prayer
Pray when your eyes open every morning.
Before you do anything else, go straight into prayer. I start every day asking God for the wisdom to make good decisions, the discipline to stay true to His word, and the vision to hear His voice for direction.
Pray impulsively throughout the day.
Sometimes we can get caught up in saying the same prayer over and over again. This can lead us to be in autopilot when we are speaking to our Father. You can break through the repetition by impulsively praying throughout the day. Pray for the people you encounter. Pray for the people you read about. Pray for the wonders and beauty of God’s creations.
Have a conversation with God on your knees before you go to sleep.
There is just something powerful about getting on your knees to honor the King of Kings. The creator of it all is omnipresent and available to talk to you at all times. Tell Him what you are thankful for and talk with Him about whatever is on your mind.
Although the war has been won, the daily battle must be fought. Thankfully, we know with every fight we face, that we have the armor and weapons to help us defeat the enemy.
The Greatest Armor of God Sermon of All-Time
Priscilla Shirer, a preacher known for her starring roles in the Christian films Overcomer and The War Room, delivers an incredible sermon that will help you truly understand the armor of God.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.