Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things- Philippians 4:8 ESV
I am convinced all Christians should make a regular practice of “praying on” the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18.
We have to understand that the armor of God is not magical incantation we say that shields us from Satan or his schemes. Nor, is it meant to be a rote prayer we pray in hopes of keeping the devil at bay.
Words in and of themselves do nothing to defeat the dark forces at work in this world (Ephesians 6:10-12). The passage only contains power if we understand what it’s instructing us to do and then do those things.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say, I made a regular practice of asking God to put the shield of faith in my hand (Ephesians 6:16)). However, instead of doing the things I know will grow and cultivate my faith, I passively do nothing, or worse—I actively avoid doing things that will help me to grow in my faith. If that were the case, asking God to put the shield of faith in my hand is a pointless exercise, a waste of my time and God’s. Words without obedient action have zero power (Luke 6:46-48, 1st Thessalonians 1:5, 1st John 3:18).
In order for the armor of God to work we have to understand what each piece is, what it does and what we have to do to possess it. Then we have to actually do the things that make us spiritually strong and give us protection from the schemes of the enemy (Ephesian 6:10-12, 1st Peter 5:8).
This reality is perhaps truest of the helmet of salvation.
Ephesians 6:17 tells Christians to take hold of or to put on “the helmet of salvation”. Christians NEED the helmet of salvation because our world is literally plagued with disinformation and deception that can leave us unable to think biblically. If we cannot think biblically we will not see life, people and situations the way God sees life, people and situations.
When our minds our protected from the lies of the enemy we are empowered to think like God thinks. We know what’s real and true in a world of disinformation, propaganda and deception (Isaiah 5:20). The helmet of salvation gives us discernment (Malachi 3:18, Proverbs 10:13). Discernment keeps us from being sucked into worldly philosophies that have taken our world captive (Colossians 2:8). Philosophies like sexual hedonism, run-of-the-mill hedonism, radical gender ideology, the death movement, Marxism and progressive Christianity.
When we have the helmet of salvation we see through all the corrupt and faulty ideas our world’s system is built on (Psalm 119:125, 1st Corinthians 3:19-20, 2nd Corinthians 1:12). Many of the philosophies popular today SOUND good, sensible and compassionate, some appear on the surface to be life-giving and beneficial. Nonetheless, because these beliefs and values are a byproduct of a fallen world they will inevitably lead a person to hell, literally and figuratively (Romans 1:18-32, 2nd Peter 4-10).
When we have the helmet of salvation in place we think biblically, we reason through the issues and problems of life from God’s perspective rather than with worldly wisdom (1st Corinthians 3:18). We have the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:16). The helmet of salvation provides us with the spiritual eyes to see through lies of the culture. When we see the world clearly, we automatically have the power to walk in holiness. The helmet of salvation empowers us to think clearly about God, life and eternity. Then we are able to effectively share those beliefs with the unsaved people God places in our path (1st Peter 1:16-17).
Here’s the thing though:
No Christian can or will put on the helmet of salvation unless they make some intentional choices about how they live their lives and what they allow into their minds. This is because the helmet of salvation comes about as a result of wise and righteous living. We get it when we ask God to give us discernment about the things we hear, see and are exposed to. We reap the helmet of salvation when we sow the spiritual in our lives (Bible reading, prayer, obedience) and shun the carnal.
We take hold of the helmet of salvation when we choose to believe what the word of God says rather than what our hearts tell us or the world says (Proverbs 3:5-6).
We live in a time and a place where we are constantly bombarded with choices and ideas that make it very difficult to think biblically. Possessing the helmet of salvation is as much about what we choose not to do as it is about what we do. The shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, the popular media we consume all impact how we think and what we believe to be true.
If we wish to possess this particular piece of armor we must make hard choices about what we allow into our hearts and minds.
When we choose wisely God puts helmet of salvation in place. Our ethics and values are shaped by the word of God and the Kingdom of God. God’s will is done in us and we are empowered to live out the gospel in such a way God is glorified in us and the Kingdom is furthered through us (Matthew 5:14, Matthew 6:10-11)
There is no greater reward than that.