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, 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…
When I was a child, my mom had made a checklist in my bedroom that I would go through every morning to make sure I put on the full armor of God. When I put on my shirt, I would recite, “I am now putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness.” When I put on my shoes, I would say, “I am putting on the Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.” When I combed my hair I would say, “I am now putting on the Helmet of Salvation.” When I put on my underwear I said, “I am now putting on the jockstrap of justice.”* And so on and so on.
Back then, it was a fun way to remember some aspects of this bible verse. It’s funny how something like this stuck in my mind for so long though.
Have you noticed that the devil doesn’t play fair? He doesn’t settle his indifferences with us on the playground. He goes “below the belt”, he bites and he scratches. It says so in the scripture above that “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.”
Lately, I have wished that the devil was more of a physical being… something that I could physically take out my aggression on. I wish him and his diminutive demons were visible so I could quite literally pound them into bloody submission. I want to go into battle to defend my family and my faith and slice a few demon skulls and bust a few devil kneecaps. If it were this easy, there would be no clouds of doubt, no anxiety… no sin.
So if we cannot physically see and touch those entities that affect us mentally and spiritually, then how do we beat them into bloody submission? The answer is that we beat them into meatloaf with the Sword of the Spirit, the Shield of Faith and all the others. Even though it’s not a physical set of armor that we can touch, see or feel… it is an armor that can protect us from the spiritual warfare that is going on all around us. You wouldn’t go into a physical battle without your protection, right? Why would we want to forth every day without our protection against the devil and his battle that’s been going on since the beginning of time for our souls?
* There’s no Jockstrap of Justice. Obviously, I made that up. Just clarifying myself.