We attended an Icelandic festival with friends last summer, complete with a visit to a Viking village, a battle re-enactment with pool noodles and a parade. The kids had fun watching them dye wool, cook Icelandic food and operate different tools, but the best part was purchasing plastic swords and shields for the kids, who ended up battling as vikings all weekend long at the campground.
While the days of battling with sword and shield may be over, Scripture teaches us that there is a battle going on, and that we are a part of it. In Ephesians 6, we read about the call for the Christian to put on armor for the battle, “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (6:11).
I have often read this and understood that the armor was my own, that it was my own strength to put it on and to walk in it. Iain Duguid, in his book “The Whole Armor of God: How Christ’s Victory Strengthens Us for Spiritual Warfare” reminds us that this armor is not our own.
“You are called to wear the armor of God not because that’s what Jesus would do if he found himself in a similar situation; you are called to wear God’s armor because that is what Jesus has already done, wearing God’s armor all the way to the cross.”
See, we fight the battle against the enemy with “the strength that we already have in the victory that Christ has already won for us.” The armor was worn first by Christ, it is his armor, and our sanctification rests in the work that He finished on the cross.
Of course this does not limit our role to mere bystanders, we continue the fight, to battle our sin daily, but our struggle is not hopeless, it rests confidently in the what Jesus has already done.
The book goes through each piece of the armor in Ephesians 6, reminding us how Christ has worn this armor for us, and the activities we engage in to make our armor effective. Lastly, he reminds us that the powerful reality of our armor is dependant on our walking in nearness to the Lord in prayer. He writes, “prayer is not so much another weapon that the Christian has been given as it is the means by which all of his or her weaponry is kept effective, under the control and guidance of God.”
I gave this book 5 stars! It’s written for the believer who wants to grow in their understanding of the armor of God and learn how to put it on.
What has been your experience in wearing the armor of God?
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.