The Bible tells us that we have been enlisted as soldiers in the army of my God. We were “drafted” when we trusted JESUS CHRIST as our Savior and were born again into the family of God. As members of the army of the Lord, we follow a commander who has “all authority” (Matthew 28:18). As children of God, we have power and authority over the devil. And we are to use that power and authority for good…and for service to others.

We are to be “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3-4). As soldiers we have no strength on our own, so we must “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”  (2 Timothy 2:1). We are to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

So, what does it mean to live "dressed’" for battle? What does putting on the full armor of God looked like?

Many of us when we get dressed like to accessorize. Accessorizing can be seen like the spice of an outfit. When we get dressed, we choose additional items beyond the necessary because we enjoy them. For many, it is a luxury to accessorize – not a necessity.  So I’ve been thinking, what does it mean to get ‘dressed’ for battle?  What does putting on the full armor of God looked like?

The armor of God is a far cry from optional. The Apostle Paul often used military imagery in his letters. We must remember the Christian’s warfare is in the realm of the spiritual and we should only use spiritual armor and spiritual weapons in our battles. (Ephesians 6:13-18, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

In the book of Ephesians, Paul used the Roman soldiers’ required protective equipment as a physical example of the spiritual armor that is needed for all Christians to understand what living for God requires.

Paul was under house arrest while writing to the Ephesians, yet still, regardless of his physical state, he knew the importance for both himself and all believers in putting on the full armor of God each and every day.

During this time period there were constant threats from other areas of the world and because of these ever present threats, it was not an optional accessory for soldiers to wear armory nor should it be for us. Yet, many Christians fail to see their life as an active battlefield.  Unquestionably, we have trials and temptations, but perhaps we reason that this is merely a part of normal life. While trials and temptations are most certainly a guarantee for all of us, we have become far too relaxed when equipping our spiritual gear. Therefore, before we can truly understand the necessity in using the armor of God, we must first realize that the war we are in is very real. If we do not see ourselves at battle, Paul’s objects of great importance will feel more like optional accessories then necessary armor. However, the minute you and I realize the fight we are in and the darkness that the enemy wants to engulf us in, we will want to start taking up the protective layers that Paul understood the importance of possessing. The good news is the items are ready and available the second we choose to take hold of them. In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul shares,

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 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. tumblr_nkd9r3Hg3E1qdp53oo1_500

In part two of A Soldier in God’s Army – Getting Dressed For Battle, we will take a closer look at the items we need to equip ourselves with.  There is a reason for each of the six items and they are equally valuable in our quest to remain strong and ready for whatever the enemy might throw our way. We are in a battle and while we have the great privilege of knowing who won the ultimate war (Christ has claimed victory and therefore, we have too) – I urge you to not forget that every day there is clear and present danger, requiring that we always stay equipped for whatever might come against us. It is for this very reason that the armor of God is never an optional accessory.

Stay blessed!

Published by Dr. A. Francine Green