When beginning a mission project, you need to prepare to enter a spiritual war zone. Through prayer, devotionals, and Bible studies, you sharpen your sword and mend your armor as you prepare to march onto the battle field (also known as the mission field). So how can you prepare to defend yourself against the “flaming arrows” (Ephesians 6: 16) that the enemy will hurl?
Before you enter the battlefield you need make sure you have all your equipment. You wouldn’t show up to an important band concert without your instrument or a swim meet without a swimsuit. Can you imagine trying to play the piece without an instrument or swim your 500 yard race in jeans and a T-shirt? Think of how disappointed to director of the band and the swimming coach would be if you did not have the gear you need for the task at hand. You also need to show up for your mission project with the appropriate equipment. In Ephesians 6, God lists several very important things you need to pack for your mission project. In fact, these things are so important, you should carry them on you everyday.
1. The Helmet of Salvation
Salvation simply refers to a person being saved. According to Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” When you believe that Jesus, the Son of
the Living God died to redeem you of your sins and rose again from the grave, you are a Christian. The #1 thing to bring is your Helmet of Salvation. You can’t witness to others if you don’t have salvation. Just like a helmet guards the head, the Helmet of Salvation guards your thoughts from doubts about God, Jesus, and your salvation.
Salvation /salˈvāSH(ə)n/ noun
deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
Righteousness is the act of being morally good or pure. The Breastplate of Righteousness protects your heart with God’s righteousness. The enemy, Satan, is out to tear down your emotions and self-worth. He will stop at nothing to break your heart. When you wear the Breastplate of Righteousness you are allowing God to guard your heart.
Righteousness /ˈrīCHəsnəs/ noun
the quality of being morally right or justifiable.
3. Belt of Truth
When further researching the importance of the belt during Roman battle, I learned it was a crucial piece to a soldier’s armor. The belt is what held the scabbard for the sword. Without a belt, a soldier would have no place for his weapon. In this case the belt represents truth, and the weapon (which I will discuss momentarily) is the Holy Bible, the Word of God. Our weapon, the Sword of the Spirit (the Holy Bible), is held by the Belt of Truth. How cool is that! Also the belt is a piece that encircles the body. We need to have truth of God encompass us and our lives, just as a belt encircles a waist. The Belt of Truth not only represents the importance of truth, but what that truth carries, God’s Word! Paul really knew how to write an extended metaphor!
Truth /ˈtrüth/ noun
the real facts about something.
4. Shoes of Good News!
In this case, the good news is shared in the Gospel! We need to have our shoes on, so we are ready to go and share how Christ died to save us all. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” At all times we need to be ready to go where Christ calls us to share His good news!
5. Shield of Faith
Paul says that the Shield of Faith protects us from the “flaming arrows” of the enemy. The flaming arrows can come in many forms including insults, self-doubt, and temptation. While you can wear the other parts of the armor, the Shield of Faith is something you have to carry. Sometimes your Shield of Faith is going to feel really heavy. It can be hard to hold on when you are being pelted with flaming arrows that seem to be coming from all directions. Our faith can protect us from spiritual wounds, just as a shield can protect a soldier from physical wounds. When you are out in the mission field, you need to hold onto your faith for dear life, just like you would cling to a shield during a battle.
Faith /fāTH/ noun
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
6. Sword of the Spirit
In Paul’s letter he tells us that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. This means the Bible is the weapon we take to the front lines to smite our enemy, Satan. A good soldier doesn’t just pick out the shiniest sword, so he can just carry it around in his new scabbard. Most likely his sword has been worn and repaired; it reflect evidence of its use. A true soldier knows how to use his sword in battle and uses it in his battle strategies. As children of God, we need to know how to use our Sword of the Spirit (The Holy Bible), and we need to make sure it has been sharpened. If we walk into battle with all our armor, but we have a dull sword and no knowledge of how to use it, it is very unlikely that we will walk away victorious. By studying scripture, you sharpen your sword, so that when you enter battle, clothed in the FULL Armor of God, you have no chance of losing.
Ephesians 6:18 says we need to be “praying at all times.” Think of prayer as our communication with the commanding officer, God. You wouldn’t just run out into battle without preparation or commands from your commanding officer, so we need to listen and pray to God about our mission project (and our everyday lives) before we do anything. Prayer is what connects us to the Most High, and trust me, He hears all of our prayers. Sometimes, though, He doesn’t answer them the way we want.
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.
God commands us to put on the whole Armor of God. He doesn’t tell us to put on part of it; He says that we are meant to wear all of it. While all the pieces may seem heavy, we carry them with the strength God gives us (Philippians 4:13). We need to pack all of this equipment when we head out to the mission field, so we are prepared to share the Gospel and smite the obstacles that Satan places in our path. And we need to wear the armor everyday, even when we aren’t serving through a mission project!
Have you put on the whole Armor of God?
Are you ready to enter the Spiritual Battlefield?