“Take Up the Complete Suit of Armor”—Now!
1 True Christians do not share in carnal warfare. However, they are engaged in a battle and are likened to soldiers. The apostle Paul outlined clearly that the fight of the Christian is not against blood and flesh, but against “the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) Protective spiritual armor is required in order to survive this conflict. This armor must be acquired and worn NOW, while the battle is on, and not be thought of merely as something needed for the future.
2 Let us consider some of the basic equipment needed in order to wage successful warfare now.
3 HELMET: A basic part of the defensive armor; headgear designed to protect a soldier during battle. Spiritually, our mind must be protected from improper influences and ungodly propaganda. It must be fed proper, upbuilding information from the Bible by personal, family and congregational study. How much this impresses upon us the need to attend and actively participate in the congregational meetings! Also, how vital the family arrangement is for Bible considerations and discussions in the home! Individually, we must meditate upon the truth and our hope of salvation. Do you do this? The positive “hope of salvation” that God has imparted can be powerful enough to protect our mental powers just as a helmet protects the head.—1 Thess. 5:8.
4 BREASTPLATE: An armored breast protection for warriors, consisting of chains, scales or solid metal. The “breastplate of righteousness” is part of the spiritual armor of God. The need for righteousness as a protective breastplate can readily be appreciated when we consider the sinful bent of the heart. (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 17:9) Only the righteousness that is based on faith in God’s arrangement for everlasting life and that is brought about by his spirit can prevent the heart from yielding to sinful inclinations. (Rom. 6:15-20) Are you endeavoring to grow in love for God’s righteousness and to practice it in your dealings with others each day?
5 GIRDLE: A leather belt worn around the waist and hips. It varied in width from two to six inches and was often studded with plates of iron, silver or gold. Girding up the loins indicated readiness for action. (1 Ki. 18:46) Paul admonished: “Stand firm, therefore, with your loins girded about with truth.” The truth strengthens the embattled Christian in his determination to remain firm when subjected to trialsome situations.
6 SHIELD: Paul recommended the “large shield of faith” as an instrument to “quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles.” Similarly, our faith in Jehovah God, our total reliance on him, enables us to bear up under all kinds of tribulations. This faith is not a mere belief in the existence of the Creator. (Heb. 11:6) It includes unbreakable confidence that our heavenly Father will undo any hurt that we may experience, even death itself. (Matt. 10:28) Do you have this faith?
7 SWORD: In the Scriptures the sword is the most frequently mentioned weapon of offense and defense. Many were double-edged—cutting from both sides—and were kept sharp and in excellent repair. The Word of God is said to be “sharper than any two-edged sword.” Christian spiritual armor includes “the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word.” (Eph. 6:17) It can be used offensively to proclaim the truth. Defensively it can ward off false teachings and traditions of men. During the month of December put forth a real effort to use the Bible in your field service activity. Share fully in handling the “sword” aright in directing meek ones to the truth. By sharing our knowledge with others, we are enabled to ‘overturn reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.’—2 Cor. 10:5.
8 SANDALS: Footgear is also needed. The foot soldier relies upon his feet for transportation and mobility. Rapid, dependable movement is a prerequisite. As a part of the spiritual readiness, the Christian soldier has feet “shod with the equipment of the good news.” How delightful it is when our feet carry us to the homes of others with a view to helping them. Even while undergoing hardships, our active participation and regular share in making known the “good news” to others can help us to endure faithfully.
9 Are you ‘completely equipped, ready for every good work’? Is all equipment in place and secure? Will you come off victorious in the most crucial battle? Do you see the need to have all the armor now? It is a serious matter. All of God’s people must be conscious of the need to “stand firm” in these difficult days. To do so, the spiritual armor provided by Jehovah is needed. There is a place for each individual piece of equipment. Be sure you are fully equipped. Stand firm in determination to be steadfast in your faith. Come off victorious in your fight against wicked spirits each day and in the final battle impending!