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Not Half

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13

Someone a lot smarter than me once said, “When you read the word ‘therefore,’ find out what it’s there for.” They were trying to get me to slow down and think about why the author put that word there. It’s like driving up to a flashing yellow light. We need to be on the lookout before moving forward with caution.

And since God’s the author, we need to sit up straight and give him our undivided attention. When he uses the word ‘therefore,’ we need to slow down and look for what he wants to say even more than normal.

There’s no mistake that the word ‘therefore’ comes right after the command to wrestle. To fight. To struggle with evil and the evil one.

Struggling is coming. Or you’re in the middle of it right now. Or you’re just getting out of a time of struggling. A time of wrestling. A season of life when you’re fighting with your enemy.

In order to not just fight the enemy, but to survive his attacks, we must put on the full armor of God. Not part of it. Not just the pieces we’re familiar with. Not just the weapons that we’re good with. Not just the popular sections of the armor. All of it.

And all of it means all of it. Period. There are no half measures when it comes to standing against the enemy. You have to be fully protected, fully equipped, fully ready for the attacks. Nothing less than the full armor of God will get you through it.

Don’t think the enemy can’t see your weaknesses. Don’t think they’ll attack where your defenses are on alert. Isn’t it possible that they will strike when your guard is down? This is what God is talking about when he speaks to Cain just before he commits murder.

But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

Genesis 4:7

Sin and the enemy are sitting by the door of your life. They are hunkered down, ready to jump on you and yours. The enemy is just waiting for the best possible moment to attack. When we’re at our weakest. Most open to attack and defeat.

The enemy doesn’t sleep. They don’t take vacations. They don’t go home early because they have a temperature. They don’t leave early to get a jump on the weekend. They don’t plan their vacations to take advantage of three-day holidays.

One last thing. Did you see that we’re not going to defeat the enemy? We’re not commanded to conquer. It doesn’t say that we’re going to kill off the enemy once and for all. That’s not our job.

  • Our job is to stand – When we stand, we don’t just stand when it’s convenient. When we’re refreshed after a good night’s sleep. We don’t just stand from 9 to 5. We don’t just stand when someone’s approaching. We are to be actively standing all the time. Alert. Watching. Ready.

  • God’s job is to defeat – Jesus clearly understood and taught this to his disciples. What did he say in the Lord’s Prayer? Deliver us from evil[1]. Who does the delivering? God does. The battle belongs to the Lord[2]. When it came to kicking evil spirits out, the power comes from God.

When are we going to get this through our thick and hard heads? God does the fighting that leads to defeating. God is the only one powerful enough to win against such a powerful enemy. Our job is standing.

But standing is not doing nothing. We have the full armor of God not just to look good while standing on the sidelines. God didn’t give us his full armor just for a photo op on the red carpet of life. The full armor is to be actively and skillfully used so we can stand.

Armor isn’t something that we see a lot. Unless we have a friend or family member in the police of military, the idea of armor probably isn’t something we think about. We don’t see people on our phones or someone walking down the street with all sorts of different pieces of armor hanging off their body.

God says that the day of evil is coming. Not if it comes, but when it comes. Are we on the lookout for the day of evil? How often does the thought enter our heads that the day of evil is coming, and we need to be ready?

In this day, in these times, God’s full armor is more important than ever before. God is looking for his people to be fully clothed in his armor, standing ready.

How’s your armor doing? How many pieces have you put on and practiced to the point that you’re skillful? Are you standing ready?

Noodling Questions

  • Is God’s armor for everyone, or just a select few? Why?

  • How effective do you think you are at standing?

  • What makes it hard to keep standing?

[1] Matthew 6:13 [2] 1 Samuel 17: 47


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