Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
Since 1971, the U.S. Marshalls Office has operated a Witness Protection Program. Since then, according to their website, 8500 government witnesses have been placed in this program. In addition, 9900 witnesses’ family members have been placed in this program. These individuals are given a new identity with all the appropriate documentation, and they are provided protection. Since the program’s start, not one person has been harmed. I am tempted to say, “If the government can provide 100% protection, I know God can protect you.” But, here is the footnote. Not one person has been harmed who has followed the rules.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul outlined a protection plan against the schemes of the devil. , There are 3 main imperatives in this text: Be strengthened by the LORD, Put on the full armor of God, and stand.
Having given these three imperatives, Paul underscored 7 spiritual weapons that we should avail ourselves to as we carry out these imperatives. First, there is the belt of truth. It is the piece that serves as the undergirding of all the other pieces. Then, there is righteousness—the protector of the heart. Then, there are the shoes of the Gospel of peace which signifies our readiness to be in the battle by sharing the Gospel. Next is the shield of faith which is the resource that carries a promise of certain victory. The fifth resource is the helmet of salvation. The helmet of salvation is not so much an appeal to be saved as it is the assurances that are ours when we are saved. Finally, there is the word of God and prayer that offer the completion of our protection.
So, why does it seem like the Devil defeats us so often? Could it be that we have not been full participants in God’s Protection Plan?