Turnout Gear and The Armor Of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For 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. 13Therefore 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. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And 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 saints.
Years ago as a firefighter, I meditated on the correlation between the armor of God and the turnout gear that I used. Much like our physical bodies need protection from the danger of the fire, our spiritual lives need protection from the attacks of Satan’s army which are referred to as “minions”.
Here are some of the correlations I can see and have experienced in my own life. In verse 11 above the Apostle Paul tells us to “put on the full armor of God”… in order that we can take a “stand against the devil’s schemes”. Department or OSHA regulations aside, none of us would ever attempt to fight a fire without our full turnout gear. Protection from the spiritual threat is just as important, if not more so, than protection from the physical threat.
Verse 12 and 13 goes on to explain why we need this spiritual protection. Satan and his minions have one goal in mind, to get us to rebel against God and take their side.
“The belt of truth” and “breastplate of righteousness” in verse 14 are similar to our red suspenders, bunker coat and pants. For the soldier of Paul’s day the belt held all the other pieces of armor together and in place, it was an important piece of the armor. Similarly, the suspenders we wear on our bunker pants also are, dare I say, critical to holding up our pants.
Why is the belt of truth important in our spiritual armor? Truth makes us secure in Christ and makes all the other pieces of armor effective. Everything of the good news (the gospel) is the truth. God designed truth. It is the wisdom we live by. Even as a firefighter, our lives depend on truth. The truth of the gospel and the truth in Christ’s work for us.
The breastplate of righteousness keeps us secure against condemnation from the enemy. Those past failures would haunt us were it not for the righteousness provided for us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. To be righteous is to have a right standing before God. It is being justified and free of condemnation. Romans 8:1
The protection of our feet on a fire scene provides protection from the hazards and allows us to be swift in rescue and extinguishing the fire. In verse 15, similarly, the spiritual shoes, referred to as the gospel of peace, allow us to swiftly defend and spread the gospel by preparation and study of the Word. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
The shield of faith to the soldier is similar to the fire hose for the firefighter. The fire hose extinguishes and protects the firefighter from the flames of the fire. Without the fire hose, all of the other gear we wear will not protect us from the heat and flames. Just like the soldier’s shield that can protect him wherever the threat is, we move the hose and fog the fire wherever it lurks in the building.
The shield of faith protects us in the spiritual realm from the “flaming arrows of the evil one”. Our faith is part of our strength to fight these spiritual battles. Without faith in God and His word in the Bible, we are powerless against the enemy.
The head gear the firefighter wears, helmet, flash hood, and SCBA, gives him the ability to, not only enter a burning building unhindered by the smoke and flames, but to also believe he will extinguish the fire and safely exit out of the building. Similarly, the “helmet of salvation” provides the believer protection from the mental attacks of the evil one and gives him the confidence that he is not only saved presently, by accepting Christ’s work on the cross, but saved in the future at the return of Christ.
Of all the armor listed in this passage, the “sword of the Spirit” is the only item used as an offensive weapon. Like the fire axe or Halligan tool used to force entry to the danger, the sword of the spirit helps us push the attack against Satan.
Brothers in Christ, the next time you gear up to fight the physical fires of this world, let it be a reminder to not neglect your spiritual gear (armor), for if there was one place that armor is needed, it is in the firehouse where the sometimes idleness can provide Satan a foothold.
If you are ever in need of someone as a sounding board or someone to pray with you, don’t hesitate to give me a call.
An Invitation to Join the Presidential Prayer Team
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On his own, Hunter engraved and minted a special coin to serve as a reminder to himself and others to uphold our President in prayer. He gave the coin freely to his friends and associates. As they carried it in their pockets or purses, more and more of them began requesting additional reminder coins to pass on to others, while testifying of the concept's effectiveness. He then began to envision a nationwide prayer effort for the President, built on the same principle of not only asking people to pray, but giving them simple items that would be a reminder. That's when concept for The Presidential Prayer Team was formed.
The Presidential Prayer Team is a unique effort to mobilize 1% of the population-2.8 million people-to pray daily for the President. This effort is non-partisan and invites participation by anyone who prays to the God of the Bible. The Presidential Prayer Team is an independent, nonprofit organization with a single purpose and goal. The goal is simply to incite daily prayer for the Office of the President. It will also provide information on the daily prayer needs of the President and our country's leadership, both for this administration and future administrations.
EndorsementsFranklin Graham, Bill McCartney, Jack Hayford, Joni Eareckson Tada, Henry Blackaby, Paul Cedar, Ted Haggard, Cornell Haan, Len Munsil, and Ed Silvoso are among those endorsing the Presidential Prayer Team's goal to encourage millions to pray daily for the President, the Cabinet and the nation.
Free Gift for JoiningJoin the Presidential Prayer Team (there is no fee) and you'll receive the official blue and gold foil decal (shown below) to proudly display in your window or on your car. It will be a constant reminder to yourself and others to pray for the President. Every member also receives weekly email prayer updates. There is never any obligation and all member information will forever remain confidential.
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