The Armor of God Equips You to Persevere
Do you want to know how to persevere? Study Ephesians 6:10–18.
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. (verse 10–12 Amp.)
Your spouse is not your problem. Your boss isn’t your problem. No person around you is your problem. You are in the middle of a spiritual battle, and a host of spiritual forces is arrayed against the will of God for your life. That may be difficult for you to wrap your mind around, but it is one of those eternal realm truths that you can’t validate by sensory perception. You have to take this as truth because it’s what the Word of God reveals.
Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. (verse 13)
Because of the forces arrayed against you, there’s only one way you’re going to be able to deal with the adversity you face. You’re going to have to persevere. Now, if you want to be able to persevere regardless of what the enemy brings against you, you need to put on the armor of God. Studying each one in depth would take a lot of time, so for now, let me just run down the list.
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins… (verse 14).
First of all, you have to be sure you’re standing on the truth. I’m not just talking about a little truth, but the whole truth: the Word of God. The truth of God’s Word must gird your life. Whatever the adversity is that’s coming your way—a marriage problem, a school problem, a business problem, whatever—the Word says something about it, and the first thing you have to do is be sure you’re girded about, or supported by, the truth of God’s Word.
…and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God… (verse 14).
Secondly, you have to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate covers your heart, out of which all the issues of life ultimately flow (Prov. 4:23).
Your heart is the part of you that is created in God’s image and likeness and created in righteousness and true holiness. You may not be living too well right now, but God says because of the blood of Jesus, He sees you as righteous. That is the real, spiritual you. If you’re going to be able to persevere when times get tough, you have to be settled in your right standing with God.
And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. (verse 15)
You’re not an island unto yourself. This isn’t just about you. It’s about getting the Gospel into the world around you.
Our lives should be a written epistle to those around us. Others should see what we are standing on and recognize the same principles we’re standing on will prosper them. That’s what will happen if the Gospel of peace is made known through our lives.
Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. (verse 16)
The fourth thing we see is that you have to be established in your faith. Your shield of faith has to be up. If it is, it’ll quench all the fiery darts that come your way. Faith doesn’t just happen, though. It is sustained by hearing the Word of God continually.
And take the helmet of salvation… (verse 17).
The helmet of salvation covers your thought life. You have to cast down vain imaginations and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and the truth of your salvation.
…and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.(verse 17)
The Word of God becomes a sword when it’s in your mouth. You’re going to have to speak the Word of God to and about the adversity you are facing.
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). (verse 18)
This is God’s definition of perseverance: praying always, casting down vain imaginations, keeping the Word of God in your heart, hearing the Word so your shield of faith is up, working to be a blessing to someone else, being mindful of your right standing with God, and being sure that you’re gird about with the truth of God’s Word. When these things are in place, you can “stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]” (verse 13).