“Put” – enduo: to clothe or be clothed with (in the sense of sinking into a garment)
“on the full armor” – panoplia: complete armor; taken from two words which mean “every” and “weapon” – a set of offensive and defensive armor (weapon), i.e.: everything needed to wage successful warfare; figuratively speaking in this contest it’s the full resources the Lords gives to the believer so they can successfully wage spiritual warfare. In this way they do not fight for victory, rather from his victory.
“of God” – theos: the Creator and owner of all things
“so” – pros: advantageous for; moving toward a goal or destination
“that you will be able” – dunamai: I am powerful; am able; I can, have the power; able (enabled by God), empowered
“to stand firm” – histeme: to make stand, to stand; one who in the midst of the fight holds his ground/position against the foe
“against” – pros: advantageous for, toward a place
“the schemes” – methodeia: craft, deciet, scheming, craftiness; Root of the English word method; properly, a predictable (pre-set) method used in organized evil doing (well-crafted trickery); methodia comes from methodos, a “way of searching after something, an inquiry; a method; to employ craft”
“of the Devil” – diabolos: slanderous, accusing falsely; often used as a proper noun, The Slanderer, The Deciever; unjustly criticizing to hurt and condemn to sever a relationship; literally someone who makes charges that bring down (destroy); Satan is used by God in this plan – as a wind up toy, playing out his evil nature.
Last week we saw much about strength, and that it’s not really our own strength, but rather it’s the Lord’s strength that we draw upon. We’re able to draw from and channel His strength through the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When we discipline ourselves to seek the Lord through His Word great things begin to happen – a Shield of Faith forms, a Breastplate of Righteousness protects, God’s truth forms a belt around your waist that will secure you and hold you fast on His path, and as we walk His path our feet carry the Gospel of Peace, which brings the Helmet of Salvation, and prayer.
I’m so excited to dive into each piece in detail but until then we have to keep setting up the scene for this magnificent set of armor. It’s like any story, the scene must be set in order to fully appreciate the climactic portion. If you walked into a movie that had already been playing for 45 minutes you might eventually figure out who’s who and what’s what but you’re missing the why.
This word “put” in Greek, is the idea of clothing oneself, or sinking into a garment. A couple of pictures come to mind when I think of sinking into something. The first goes along quite nicely with this description because after a long day of work, when I get home, I want to get into my comfy clothes. I’m sinking into relaxation, comfort and freedom – I hold my comfy clothes in high regard. But it’s just not simply putting on some clothes. Along with sinking into these wonderful, old sweats comes a nice cup of tea or coffee, a good book or tv show, or even sitting down with a dear friend. It’s as if the point here is to fully immerse yourself in the strength of the Lord; it’s a way of life, not just a singular action. It’s a whole heart, whole body, whole life commitment.
The concept of wholly submitting or sinking into the Lord is the second image that comes to mind. When you hear the word sinking, without the context to clothing, what picture comes to mind? Allow time for people to answer. Quicksand and water come to my mind. And what’s happening when something is sinking, or has fully sunk? Allow time to answer. It’s fully engulfed, consumed, disappeared, immersed, overwhelmed, humbled. Think about those synonyms in relation to what Christ would us do with our lives.
I’m not sure about you, but there is no place I would rather be than fully and completely submerged in the presence of God. To the point where I disappear and all that’s left is God’s light.
I used to think that putting on the Armor of God was like putting on clothes in the morning. But what do we do with our clothes at the end of the day? We take them off. At the end of the day is when I most need the Armor of God! I can no more remove my head and expect to keep living physically, then I can remove my salvation and expect to keep living spiritually. It’s the same for every other piece of the armor. They are life sustaining articles in our walk of faith.
Look at the verse again. It says we put on, sink into, become one with the full, whole, complete Armor of God.
As I mentioned last week, in the first part of our study, the word used here for “full armor” is panoplia. Meaning it has every offensive and defensive weapon to wage complete and successful warfare against your enemy. God doesn’t send us into battle without all that we need, that would be against His character. He didn’t equip us with faulty equipment to go out and fight against the schemes of the Devil. So this idea that our back is not protected is rubbish. God loves you too much to leave you exposed and weak. He always gives us every resource we need to prevail in every form of spiritual warfare, we just don’t always choose to use them. One commentator said this, “To put on the “armour of God”…is declared to be to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Romans 13:14]. Hence its completeness corresponds to the divine perfection of His true humanity.”
If you’d turn to Romans 13:12 with me. Here we see we are to put on the armor of light. Enduo, to sink into a garment. But the word for armor here is different. This is not referencing a set, this is talking about the weapons, instruments, and fighting tools. Walking in God’s Light is just a part of our faith, there’s so much more to it. I got to thinking, ‘What are the other weapons we have?’ In the movies House of Flying Daggers, there is a scene where two of the main characters are fighting (let’s be honest, the whole movie is the art of fighting), but in this particular scene they are at a training arena. Lining the walls are racks and shelves of different weapons and tools to use in their kung fu/karate/etc. That’s how I imagine it is for us. We need to learn how to discern which weapon to use at the proper time. Here’s a short list of what I found:
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 – Divine power to demolish strongholds
- 2 Corinthians 6:7 – Weapons of righteousness
- Romans 13:12 – Armor of Light
- Romans 6:13 – We offer our lives as an instrument of Righteousness
- Isaiah 58:6 – Fasting is a way to freedom
- Just about any Proverbs – gives advice on a righteous life
The commentator Eillicot wrote this, “We are “to grow up unto Him in all things” (Ephesians 4:15), to put on His image in all the harmony o f”truth” and “righteousness,” of “peace” and “faith,” to receive and use His “salvation” and wield the spiritual energy of His “Word.”” Do you know, we are so blessed to have the full Scripture at our fingertips. We get to discover the intricacies of God’s Word and see how it all relates and ties together. Some people are so skeptical about the validity of the Bible, even those who claim to be born again Followers of Christ. As I research God more and more, as I learn about Him and give my heart to His teachings I am continually amazed by His majesty.
As we move through this verse we come to the ‘why.’ “…So that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” I am so grateful that it’s not our own power we are using to stand against the enemy of our souls. Because I’m sure we have all been in a place where we have battled and fought, and waged war in our own strength. It’s exhausting, impossible, overwhelming, chaotic. However, when we are choosing to stand firm in the Lord we are completely ready to battle; we’re fighting from HIS victory, instead of fighting for victory.
Let’s unpack this idea of the devil scheming against us; let’s shed some Light on his darkness. Ephesians 5:13 says that “everything exposed by light becomes visible” and if we can see our enemy clearly, we can fight all the more effectively. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” To me, learning to clothe ourselves in His armor, stand in His strength, wield His weapons, and fight His enemy is an exercise of submission.
According to BibleHub.com this word scheme, methodeia, means “craft or craftiness, deceit; it’s the root for our English word method; properly, it’s a “predictable (pre-set) method used in organized evil-doing (well-crafted trickery); methodeia comes from methodos, a “way of searching after something, an inquiry…” Excuse me a moment while I digest all of this…
Our enemy is skillfully, tactfully, thoughtfully, and predictably examining our lives, inquiring of our lives, so that he can take us down.
Satan knows he looses in the end. In the meantime, he is going to work endlessly to keep souls from entering into the Kingdom of God, and to keep Jesus’ followers from knowing the truth. Oh the enemy would love nothing more than to keep you in a state of atrophy: a state of degeneration, decline or decrease from disuse. If you don’t exercise your faith through the spiritual disciplines then your faith will become so weak from disuse, you’ll fade away. That is the opposite of what God calls for our lives; we are to be a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14). We must use every resource that God gave us in order to fight with Him against our enemy.
In order to fight with God, we must be submissive to His battle plan. We have to lay down our pride, ego, selfishness, any darkness that resides in us, in order to fully cooperate with His will. You have to figure out for yourself what might be hindering you from fully submitting to Him. I’m encouraging you to take some time listening to God about what you need to lay at His feet. Pray and read the Scripture, seek wise counsel, pray and read Scripture some more, confess and repent, then live in freedom.