Armor of God

This is the passage we discussed on Sunday:

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints 

                Let me give you a few thoughts on the application of the message.  How do you apply the armor of God?  It’s great to “know” the armor, but how do you apply it?  I barely scratched the surface on what to do.  How do you apply the armor of God to marriage? To raising children? To your work environment? To living with neighbors?  To being good citizens?  Let me just take one area like raising children.

                Put on the belt of truth, because you need to know what God says about child rearing.  The truth will set you free to raise children to godliness to bless them to the fourth generation. The belt of truth keeps your toga and all other distractions from hindering you from moving in God’s perfect plan. The truth organizes your life so that you can move around the battlefield and ensure your children learn God’s truth and be ready to raise their own children when they launch from home.  The belt of truth equips you to deal with the lies, the deceptions, the relativity and compromises of the devil and the world.  Only God’s belt of truth equips you to discern righteous thoughts, words and actions.  The belt of truth gives you discernment to know when to discipline and how to discipline children.  It gives you discernment to know what their real needs and desires are.

                Put on the breastplate of righteousness, because it directs your thoughts, words and actions to reflect the holy standards of Jesus Christ.  When you put it on, you are affirming that you will run from sin and pursue righteousness, holiness and truth, instead of compromising in the world.  The breastplate guards the heart from where all sorts of sinful tendencies arise.  The breastplate helps you model holiness for your children and give them something to reflect in their life as they learn about God’s Word.

                Put on the sandals of peace, because we need to be ready to share the gospel with children.  It’s not the church’s responsibility to evangelize the children, but we will.  People who are not ready with the gospel are walking around barefoot on a rocky world.  That’s painful.  The sandals of peace keep children focused on Kingdom issues rather than pursuing all the worldly desires of life.  Sandals of peace keep the family focus on God’s saving grace and reaching neighbors for Christ rather than barring the door from neighbor contact.  Children need to see parents and leaders who are going out of their comfort zone with the gospel – sandals of peace.

                Put on the shield of faith, because every step is observed by the enemy and he is going to send fiery darts at you to neutralize you in the battle.  He doesn’t want you teaching your children truth.  He wants you distracted thinking the children will figure it out for themselves.  The enemy wants you isolated so you can’t interlock your shield with others in order to work together to raise godly children.  Use that shield of faith to ward off every demonic attack to steal the hearts of your children.

                Put on the helmet of salvation, because if you aren’t confident of your salvation, you’ll either end up working in human power for salvation or you’ll doubt your salvation and not want to venture out to disciple your children or win them to Christ.  The helmet brings your thoughts captive to Christ.  The helmet ensures you cast your problems on the Lord.  The helmet of salvation gives you confidence as you go into battle each day that you have already gained heaven, so now you can be bold about diligent work being equipped for the kingdom and serving to build the kingdom.  You are protected.  Do not let your children go unprotected in the world.

                Use the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, because that is God’s weapon to fight for the sake of your children.  Do not let anyone pull your children away from God’s truth.  Do not let your children wander off God’s path.  You blaze the trail with God’s sword.  You ensure the path is clear when you lead your family through the valley of the shadow of death.  That sword will protect you and your children need to learn how to use the sword well.  They need to learn every book of the Bible, promises to claim when they face trouble and passages of Scripture that will give them comfort and confidence as they launch into life.

                Put into effect prayer, because that is your communication to headquarters in heaven.  Prayer is your dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit.  Prayer is your mark of humility to unleash the ruling power of Christ in your life.  Prayer is the dynamic your children need to learn, so they will be effective soldiers for Jesus Christ.  Children will learn to pray when parents pray with them.

                I’ve only scratched the surface of applying the armor of God to raising children. This is the intention of the Message Based Discussion Questions.  We need to discuss how to take the “what” of learning in Scripture and apply it to the “how” and “why” for living. How would you use the armor?  How would you use it in marriage? Work? With neighbors?

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