Put on the whole armor of God… –Ephesians 6:11a
Obviously this entry is not about the brand, Under Armor. This is about Truth. People wonder, “what is the ‘whole or full armor of God’ and where do I get it?” Well, it can’t be had at your local armory place for it’s not literally, physically, armor. I had a student once who painted “helmet of salvation” on his bicycling helmet that he wore riding around campus. I know his intentions were good and he was honoring the Lord, but he was also a bit mis-guided.
Last evening, at church, our pastor explained that the “armor of God” is the Truth. Simple as that. We’re to arm ourselves with the Truth. Why? Because we battle a liar. In a remarkable discourse in John 8, Jesus speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees tells them, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father ‘s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Whoa! It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus confronts these men, the “holy men” of his day, but what I want to emphasize is that Satan is a liar. Lying is part of his scheme that he uses to try and defeat us. For example, we sin; we feel guilty; Satan rushes in with lies like, “you’re probably not saved, look at what you did; God doesn’t love you….” To put on the whole armor of God is to know that He does love me, regardless of what I do—that issue was settled on the cross. The armor of God tells me that if I confess my sins, he forgives my sins. That’s the Truth.
If you go around in today’s culture and talk about spiritual warfare, the devil, etc., people are liable to think you’re crazy—literally. We’ve fallen prey to the ‘scientific method’ and are resistant to believing anything we can’t see or prove “scientifically.” We’ve also fallen prey to relativism—there is no Truth, no absolute.
In 1 Samuel 17:38–40 we read this about the coming battle between David and Goliath:
Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd ‘s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
David did not use the armor of Saul because it was not the Truth. The Truth is stated by David, when speaking to Goliath, in verse 47: “…’for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand.'” Saul’s armor did not “fit” David (literally and figuratively) and he did not use it. It wasn’t the Truth.
I think the inverse is true today—modern man has no use for the “whole armor of God” because it doesn’t “fit.” It doesn’t fit with the scientific method; it doesn’t fit with relativism. So Truth is discarded and we lift images or parts of creation and trust them as our god. For you see, Satan is not only a liar, but he’s also a parasite—he latches onto the Truth of God and perverts it. He twists it just enough, turning it into a lie.
But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ –Genesis 3:4
The BIG lie that started it all—started the war that we’re in.
I call it “under armor” because, unlike my student, the “whole armor of God” is not something we wear on the outside—it’s the internal Truth that governs our lives and directs our path.
May we all persevere in the Battle today!