Armor of God
by Robert Canton
We, the members of the Church Militant here on earth, are engaged in continuous war. We are engaged in a battle against Satan whom Jesus described as "a murderer from the very beginning," and "the father of lies."(John 8:44).
Pope John Paul 11, during his visit to the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel on May 24, 1987, declared," The battle against the devil is still being fought today because the devil is still active in the world." The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 409 states, "The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day." Pope Benedict XV1 remarked, "Whatever the less discerning theologians may say, the devil, as far as Christian belief is concerned, is a puzzling but real, personal and not merely symbolical presence."
Satan and his demons unleash their attack on God’s people in various ways. His goal is to inflict eternal death on the human soul, decisively, ultimately. Jesus says in John 10:10, "Satan comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy but I have come to give you life, life in abundance." The evil one attacks a person’s mind because he knows that whoever controls the person’s mind controls that person. The mind is a battlefield where the spiritual fight is being waged. He also attacks a person’s heart and conscience, also a battleground for spiritual warfare, to diminish the person’s self-worth and dignity as a precious creature of God. The enemy targets the will because he knows that once he controls the person’s will, it becomes easy for him to separate that person from God. Satan attacks a person’s body since it is made in the image and likeness of God. He is the author of suffering, and sickness and death.
During a Healing Rally that I had the privilege to conduct in Long Island, New York recently, I prayed over a young woman who was tormented by the evil spirits with fear and chronic depression and suicidal tendencies. The lady went down on the floor backwards as I was praying over her. Few minutes later, her body started moving away from the foot of the altar, as if being dragged down by unseen forces, towards the entrance of the Church. I commanded those forces in the Name and by the blood of Jesus to stop dragging her body down the aisle. Her body stopped moving halfway between the altar and the entrance of the Church. After I recited prayers for healing and deliverance over her, she felt better and very much at peace.
Jesus says, "Behold, I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you." (Lk 10:19). St. Paul, having used and experienced this power from the Lord, writes, "For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses."(2 Cor. 10:3-4). St. Paul, in his desire to impart upon the Ephesians the ways to defendthemselves against the enemy’s attacks, penned down his instructions in Eph. 6:11-17, "Therefore, put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
The description of God’s armor by St. Paul was based on the book of Isaiah 59:17, "He put on justice as his breastplate, salvation as the helmet on his head; He clothed himself with garments of vengeance, wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal." This prophecy is about the Messiah. Therefore, we can conclude that the armor of God is Jesus Christ Himself. Putting on the whole armor of God is of utmost importance, because, according to St. Peter, "your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, always looking for someone to devour." (1 Pt 5:8-9).
St. Paul used the imagery of the Roman soldiers to depict in details each specific part, and each piece of the armor which represents the different aspects of spiritual preparation that will help us in our fight against the principalities and powers. The whole armor is indeed a very powerful weapon against the enemies of our soul if we use it under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit. "Loins girded in truth" means our fight must be anchored on the truth who is Jesus Christ; "breastplate of righteousness" refers on the righteousness that we derived only in a close relationship with Jesus; "shoes of peace" is the victory of Christ which gives us a secure and solid footing as we fight the devil; "shield of faith" means our faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross in Calvary shield and protect us against the flaming arrows from the evil one; "helmet of salvation" refers to the total deliverance, in Jesus Christ, from all dark aspects in our life if we allow Him to deliver us; "sword of the Spirit" represents the Word of God, according to St. Paul. When He was tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus used God’s Words to repudiate him.
By faith, we have to wear the full armor of God everyday because it is the source of our strength and protection. As we suit up with this mighty armor, which is both offensive and defensive in nature, we should remember that Satan has already been a defeated foe. Jesus has already won the battle for us. He says, "I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on His throne."(Rev 3:21). Truly, we are "more than conquerors with Christ who loved us."(Rom 8:37).
Printed with Permission from the ICCRS Newsletter, Jan.-Feb., 2011 issue.