My study group is in the last week of the “Armor of God” study (by Priscilla Shirer). We are studying the helmet of salvation. Paul writes about the Armor of God in his letter to the Ephesians. Paul was very familiar with Roman body armor. He would have had ample time to study each piece while he was sitting in a prison cell being guarded by Roman soldiers. He saw the different pieces and linked certain spiritual weapons with those pieces.
We are to “gird our loins” with the belt of truth; much like a soldier would have used a belt to help secure his weapons around his waist. We have the breastplate of righteousness to guard our hearts just as a breastplate was used to protect the vital organs of the soldier in battle. We are to put on the shoes of peace as a soldier put on specific shoes to help him stand firm while fighting. Then lastly, we have the helmet of salvation to protect our minds like the Roman soldier had for comprehensive coverage to withstand a direct blow to the head. Each piece builds upon the next piece until we are completely covered for battle and able to take a stand against the spiritual forces of evil.
The armor is more than just protection though. We need additional weapons for offense and defense. We are given two important pieces that give us victory against the enemy. We have a shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. Both weapons cause Satan to flee from us because of the power these weapons provide. He cannot stand against God’s word or the faith of the people who live by it. These weapons are then ignited in power by the Holy Spirit through prayer – activating their usefulness in the battle.
I didn’t realize these weapons were found in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. I thought Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to come up with these spiritual attributes. He was inspired to write; but Paul being the scholar that he was, would have known about Isaiah’s word to his ancestors. Priscilla pointed out these weapons were introduced back in Isaiah 59. Speaking of the future King Jesus, God tells Isaiah to tell the people:
He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. (Is 59:17)
These weapons are the same ones we have for our own battles. We have the same power through the Holy Spirit to wield against the enemy. Isaiah wrote in chapter 54 that no weapon formed against us can prevail. Paul writes in Second Corinthians 10:4-5: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The purpose of our helmet of salvation is to protect the mind. Salvation is not just a onetime event. However, Priscilla points out; we have salvation through Jesus, but we also are to live out our salvation daily. We are supposed to die to our self and live through Christ – daily. Paul says in Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT): Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
One of the primary targets for Satan is our minds. Insecurity, fear, depression, confusion, etc can cripple our lives. We give in to stinking thinking and will cause us to shrink back from living the abundant life found in Jesus. We have to be able to think clearly and apply God’s word to our lives in order not to be deceived by the enemy’s schemes. God gives us this armor as part of our inheritance as His children. The trouble is we never unpack the gifts that He gives. We think we have to wait until heaven to experience God’s true salvation. But salvation is lived out here on earth to give God glory. He leaves us here after receiving the gifts so that we can be the light to others and draw them to His glory.
Priscilla summed it up for me in this thought (pg 162): “Your lifestyle should reflect your true inheritance which will enable you to live a spiritual life of lavish abundance and grace.” We have a “lavish inheritance” through Jesus. It’s time we live up to the potential Jesus gives to us through His death and resurrection. Put on the helmet and live abundantly!
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. Romans 5:5-8 (NLT)