|Ephesians 6:10-11 – “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.”|
Many years ago, I was employed at a company that treated its workers very poorly. It was a hostile environment, and most everyone was depressed and looking to escape. I was a young single mother and really needed this job, even though it crushed my spirit, and I cried each day as I forced myself to go. I was totally weighed down by negative feelings. The devil wanted me to be depressed and discouraged, ultimately defeated. Later in life I learned how I could have been better prepared for this battle by studying God’s word. We have the choice of how we dress each day, and the scriptures above give us excellent advice. These verses show us where to start, and the following few verses (12-17) explain how each part of this armor will help fight the negative thoughts we all have at times.
• Belt of Truth – First, we are to pick up the belt of truth which wraps completely around us and surrounds us with God’s promises. Time spent in Bible study and memorization, along with prayers of surrender and for guidance, would have started my day with a more positive attitude and helped me focus on God instead of my difficult situation.
• Breastplate of Righteousness – Secondly, we are to cover our heart (emotions) with a breastplate which will serve as our main protection against the darts of negativity the devil aims in our direction. My emotions needed protection during this difficult time, and I wish I had asked for help putting on God’s breastplate.
• Shoes of Peace – Next, we are to put on the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. God’s shoes protect our feet from figurative rocks and glass on the road, not only as we fight our battle against evil, but also as we go into the world and share the good news of God’s deliverance in our lives.
• Shield of Faith – Even if we have the best armor, the devil will continue to fling arrows at us, looking for small weaknesses. These are arrows of self-doubt, discouragement, anxiety, and depression. I needed God’s shield of faith to protect me from the evil one.
• Helmet of Salvation – Our armor would not be complete without a helmet to protect our head (thoughts) from negativity. I was bombarded daily by hateful words from my supervisor and co-workers. I needed this protection not just in my work environment but also negative influences from various sources – social media and tv, toxic relationships, and even my friends and family.
• Sword of the Spirit – Lastly, we are to pick up our sword which is the word of God. Scripture memorization is key here and would have helped me go on the offensive to fight back against the enemy.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for the Bible that describes the armor that shields and protects me, and for giving me the ability to fight back when needed. Discouraging thoughts and emotions surround me every day, but there is no need for me to fight them alone. Remind me to stay near to you, and to willingly accept the tools you have given me to fight against the negative forces of the devil. Help me to rely on you, and to share the good news of your love with others. I need you by my side, always. I love you. Amen.