Armor takes many forms. Museums and movies feature the gear worn by gladiators. Guys put on steel-toed boots and hard hats before entering their work site. Army soldiers got an upgrade to their body armor with the Modular Scalable Vest a few years ago. You want the right gear, whether you're on the sports field or on a motorcycle. All of these are meant to protect and keep a man standing. It helps him stay steady and ready.
The last chapter of Ephesian, Chapter 6, verses 13-17 says, “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.”
We cannot take up physical weapons and armor against Satan, our evil foe. The truth stands up first as our defense against the father of lies. All truth belongs to God and we need to surround ourselves with it to be purified and delivered from sin. This also helps us help others when we speak up and share His truth in love.
A breastplate protects the warrior’s vital organs from blows that would otherwise be fatal. The righteousness that Paul wrote about was not the good that could be done by men. Instead, only the righteousness of Christ, given by God and received by faith, can guard our hearts against the devil’s accusations.
A fleet set of feet makes a fighter even more fierce. Our spiritual armor includes this gear that gets us ready to move out and share the gospel. Let’s not forget that the gospel of Jesus will make us more peaceful men, not reckless aggressors. When did you last bring peace into a conflict by living out the gospel in practical ways?
Faith works like a shield to block the enemy’s fiery attacks. We don’t have to doubt God’s faithfulness or power. Knowing and trusting in His promises deflects what is always incoming. A shield can also be used to push spiritual forces out of our way, but this requires confident faith in God’s power, not our own.
Right thinking about God needs to be protected by a helmet that’s designed to save us. You won’t buy into temptation or false teaching when your mind has laid hold of the sure hope we have for eternal life in Christ.
The sword of the Spirit acts both defensively and as our main offensive weapon. When Jesus combatted the devil’s temptation in the desert, it was with the power of God’s word. We see our Savior drawing on three verses in Deuteronomy when he faced the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Do you know God’s truth from the Old Testament like that?
All In Men, or AIM, is a multi-church men's group that exists to equip guys across Southern Maryland to firmly stand their ground, with Jesus as our foundation. It is our “aim” to integrate men within their churches so they can live out their God-given purposes. We do this through fellowship, service, and outreach, encouraging them to walk closely with Jesus so they can bring glory to God. AIM's first Grill & Chill of the summer, held back in early June, was a clear indication that men want to get together! We had more than 50 guys gathered for an evening of fellows-ship, friendship, burgers, and encouraging words from Pastor Art Shepherd. The big group represented men from more than 10 churches who are united for the purpose of praising God and building up the body of Christ. We hope you’ll join us at our next summer Grill & Chill in August!
Tuesday, August 24, 6:30-8:30PM, at 23680 Plum Lane, Chaptico, MD 20621. Come together for some great pork BBQ and good words from Pastor Brendan Flannagan of Grace Chapel Ministries in Helen, MD. Any side dishes, desserts, bottled water, or plates/plasticware that you can bring are welcomed and appreciated. Donations also make it possible for AIM to serve the men of SoMD. Please call Jeff (301-904-2072), Justin (240-216-6624) or Ben (240-561-8081) if you have any questions.
Blessings, Ben, for the AIM Team