Do you love hero movies? Franchises like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings are insanely popular all over the world. It’s interesting how ancient knight-like warriors are still powerful images in our modern minds. Think of Obi-Wan Kenobi or Aragorn.
In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul used an image common to his day to illustrate real solutions to real problems. What was his illustration? A Roman centurion, the Roman Empire’s version of a knight. These soldiers were everywhere in the civilized world. Everyone knew what they looked like, and the power and might these weapon-wielding warriors represented.
Picture it! A helmet protects the Roman warrior’s head. A big belt girds his body, providing security and a place to carry his weapons. A breastplate covers his heart and lungs. He is gripping a large shield and a sharp sword. His feet are planted squarely on the ground, ready to spring into battle.
No doubt: If he came at you, you would flee from him!
In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul is giving us a way to make the devil flee from us!
God has provided followers of Christ a whole set of weapons for the cosmic conflict we’re in and the temptations we face every day. Remember, Satan and his demons will stop at nothing to harm us and crush the church. Paul reminds us in this same passage that the struggle to live the Christian life isn’t against “flesh and blood.” It’s against the unseen world’s dark powers.
This invisible war with unseen enemies is not an online game or a Hollywood movie. It’s your life. To fight temptation you need to think like a warrior, pick up your weapons, and “put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Therefore put on the full armor of God. . . . 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. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
The weapons are there. But we have to choose to pick them up and use them!
And if you do, you have this promise: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Armed with these weapons of the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and with your feet readied by the gospel, you will destroy your temptations and stand firm.
Will you fight like a warrior and put on God’s armor today?
To learn more about fighting temptation by putting on the armor of God, check out Chip’s study called The Invisible War.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip