So many times we are focused on who we think we are (or who we believe others think we are) that we fail to remember who God is. God is everything we need, every day. He provides his whole armor so we may be able to withstand and stand in this fallen world. Really think up the verse below. Stay with God in prayer as you lean into this scripture from Ephesians 6:10-18.

“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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

The “belt of truth” reminds us of who holds us together and where to go for guidance, strength and direction. Roman warriors used their belts to hold their weaponry. So, our “belt of truth” is essential in holding our greatest source of spiritual power: God himself. What God says and does matters more than any other voice or verdict. Holding onto God, our battlefield takes on an entirely different view.

The “breastplate of righteousness” reveals truth about grace and about us. In battle, the breastplate protected vital organs from being damaged, including the heart. Scripture speaks to our heart as many things: deceitful, wicked, foolish, etc. Scripture also tells us that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Jesus can cleanse our heart and make it right with God.

Sandals were a vital part of a warrior’s gear, offering stability and comfort. A good pair of sandals often had spiked soles to assist the soldier in holding his ground. Similarly, the “sandals of peace” give us something to dig our souls into, providing stability and comfort; assurance that God is with us, even when there is unrest around us. May we ask God to help us go forth in courage and encouraged as we share his peace.

Shields came in many sizes for the warrior. They could be joined side by side to form a wall against the enemy, or they could be used to individually maneuver to fend off arrows and attacks from all directions. Not surprisingly, our “shield of faith” represents our faith which keeps us living by faith in all our comings and goings. This powerful shield positions us behind God, quenching Satan’s lies, condemnations, fears, negativities and temptations. We can also band together with other believers and connect in our faith, side by side, in fellowship.

The “helmet of salvation” protected the head of the warrior and had plates to cover his cheeks. This reminds us that our smiles can be easily taken if not protected, and that our joy can be lost by one disappointing blow or by a million tiny cuts. However, this helmet goes over our head as a reminder to think upon PRAISEWORTHY things. We are saved. We are loved. We are worthy. Christ saved us, not only for eternity, but for today as well.

The “sword of the Spirit” is both a defensive and offensive weapon. Just like many of the Roman swords, the “sword of the Spirit” is also double-edged: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The Holy Spirit uses scripture to continually return God’s children to himself. In this effort, scripture is also used to comfort, counsel, and fight deception. Scripture is a powerful daily guide for wisdom and direction, especially when we add prayer to our reading.

No wonder we find little peace in our judgements, worries, and self-centered thinking. We often lose our way by choosing to exert our limited energy and perspective on what and who we cannot change rather than put on the whole armor of God and allow his unlimited power and presence to fight the true fight. In this effort of surrendering to God, we often find God changes us, the faithful warrior, rather than the battlefront.

Persevere with the full armor of God, my fellow warrior for Christ!

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. You can find her newly released books, “H.E.R.O. Faith” and “Bad Disciples” on Amazon. To submit feedback on SGLY, please contact news@amtrib. com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook. com/ tiffanychartier and Twitter : @tiffanychartier