Day 16: The Armor of God
THE FEW, THE PROUD...
Most of us have probably seen a marine in full combat gear. The first time I saw this in detail I was blown away at the level of thought put into this armor. At first glance it seems basic, but with a closer look you’ll find details that you may have never even imagined. The level of detail put into this gear is uncanny, below are some examples of what this gear is equipped with:
Modular Tactical Vest (MTV)
The Marine Corps believes in providing Marines with the most advanced personal body armor. The Improved Modular Tactical Vest delivers not only better protection, but also enhanced maneuverability. The new protective equipment provides increased comfort, a more efficient combat load weight distribution, greater ease of weapons handling and reduced weight. The standard IMTV offers protection against shrapnel and 9mm pistol rounds. Marines are always issued Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts, commonly called "SAPI Plates," which fit inside the IMTV and provide protection against rifle rounds. 
The weapons Marines carry are of no use without the ammunition that makes them effective. An integral component of every Marine's gear is the lightweight system of equipment pouches that provides for convenient storage and easy access to ammunition of gear. 
Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
Warfighting is more than combat engagement alone. Part of being an elite warrior is taking care of those you fight alongside. The Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) ensures that in the midst of battle, Marines have the equipment to provide point-of-injury care for their fellow warriors. 
Each component plays a vital role in the survivability and effectiveness of the soldier. In the same way we, as Christians, are given armor to aid us on the battlefield against sin:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. -Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV)
ARMOR OF GOD
Over the next series of lessons, we are going to look in depth at each of these pieces of armor. Each one is significant in both our struggle against sexual sin, and in our living as Christians. The armor appears simple to some, but is infinitely complex in its application for our lives. Only those going to war require armor, and make no mistake, we're going to war. If a follower of Christ is to be free from the onslaughts of the enemy, they must be equipped with the armor of God. A soldier going to war proudly equips his armor each day before entering the battlefield. His armor is a requirement to protect himself and the soldiers who depend on him. In the same way, wearing the armor of God is a requirement for us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ depend on us to do so.
Our enemy, the devil, wants to catch you and I with our guard down. When equipped with the armor of God we can stand firm against him and, according to scripture, cause him a lot of trouble. There is a time to run, but there is also a time to fight. Yesterday we looked at 2 Corinthians 10:5. The verse immediately prior offers insight regarding this battle we fight:
Refuse to make it easy for the enemy of our souls. We are called to courageously go forth against an army of darkness. Let's tear down the walls built in our hearts and put fear in the eyes of the evil that stirs our hearts into sin. We were victims once - mere slaves in a prison. Now we are free through Christ, with nothing holding us back.
WE ARE AT WAR
No solider entering a battlefield neglects to wear his armor. There is no room to be absentminded in war, one does not simply forget to equip their armor. Yet so many Christians walk around every day exposed. We are left as easy prey for the enemy and often wonder why we succumb so easily. As we move forward with the next several lessons, find ways to remind yourself to equip each piece of armor daily. Post the verses on your phone, in your car, or as your desktop background. Find strength in your brothers and sisters in Christ, specifically those holding you accountable. Make no mistake, our enemy is armed. If we go into this war with no weapons and no armor, who is likely to win that fight?
PUTTING ON THE ARMOR
- Make a habit of praying this protection over yourself daily
My wife made me posters, each containing a different illustration of the armor of God. Using that, I am reminded daily that I am going to war, specifically against sexual sin.
- Wear it all
In war a smart enemy will hit our weakest spot. If we neglect even one piece of the armor, we will be vulnerable. Study every piece of this armor and know how it applies to your war against Satan and his schemes.
A Phalanx was a Spartan military formation where each soldier protected the man to his right and to his left. Don’t go into this fight alone. You need your brothers and sisters in Christ. At this point, you've likely taken up an accountability partner. This person should be first and foremost making sure that you're praying the armor of God over yourself daily.
Over the next few days, we will be looking at each piece of the armor of God. We will study what it means to us, how we can equip it, and how to effectively use it against temptation. Do not let this end with The Risen. Make this a regular part of your day, constantly reminding yourself of the war you face. Trust your own experiences, the moment you let your guard back down is the moment the devil hits you the hardest.
Day 16 Application
Have you failed to equip the armor of God in the past?
How will you remind yourself daily to put on every piece of God's armor?
How have you spent time with God today? Have you been in contact with your accountability partner such that you were asked tough questions about purity?
Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?