I apologize about the long time since my last post, life has become rather hectic. Finally after a long wait the here is the promised post on the Armor of God and the Preparedness Mindset.
Often in preparedness circles there is talk of hardening your home against external threats, of armoring your vehicle, and about having body armor. Not for offence, but for defense. Keeping yourself and your family safe from those who would want to do them harm. But none of these will protect your family from the unseen dangers of Satan and his efforts to destroy from the outside in. Thus to truly protect yourself and your family you must be prepared to defend your heart and soul.
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13, NASB)
What is this armor that Paul (the writer of Ephesians) is talking about? This isn’t literal armor that you can buy at a store. It is the armor of the heart that has the ability to protect your family from the arrows of the enemy like depression, lying, and so many other items that can take away your reason for surviving. Let’s look at each piece of armor and how it applies to the preparedness mindset.
“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth” (Eph. 6:14a). Girding your loins holds the connotation of making it so that you could run and more quickly. Applied to truth we need to not just know the truth, but we should be too familiar with it that we can uses it at a moment’s notice. Just like you should be familiar with the layout of your home and land so that you can move freely in any situation, knowing where all of your important items are. You should be familiar with what the Bible says and specific scriptures are found. This is important in survival situations because you may not have access to preachers or the internet, so the spirituality of your family will rest on you.
“and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14b). A breast plate protects from direct physical attack. This is described in another passage as “the breastplate of faith and love” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Righteousness is that faith in Christ and love for others that makes us want to follow the statutes of Christ and serve others. This is essential for the Christian preparer because this is what makes you want to act morally. This will protect you from the desire to take what others have. Also it is protection from the dangers of moral decay that will run rampant in a post-calamity society.
“and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15). The right footwear is essential for any occasion, especially for a soldier. If your foundation is not firm then you will be pushed and toppled by everything that comes your way. This is true spiritually as well as physically. You must prepare yourself by rooting yourself in the gospel that is taught in the Bible. The word gospel means “good news.” That good news can be seen in the teachings of Christ (Romans 10:15-17). The message that Jesus taught was one of loving others more than yourself, and obedience to the will and commands of God. If a crash comes, peace and good will to others will be in short supply. And people will be using scripture to justify any action that they can. You must know the teaching of Christ well enough that you are not pushed off of your foundation, and caused to fall.
“in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). Just like a riot shield protects from projectiles and other threats, a strong faith will protect you from the spiritual attacks that are thrown against you. These attacks can be things such as despair about your situation, or doubt about what is right and wrong. This shield will stop many attacks before they get close enough to hurt you. But this faith has to be in the correct place, that is, your faith must be in Christ and his word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). When the world falls apart, morals will be rare because people will revert back to personal survival mode. If you have a strong faith before this happens then you can be free to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
“And take the helmet of salvation” (Eph. 6:17a). This is the most important piece of spiritual armor. Just like a Kevlar helmet can turn what could have been a deadly head wound into a minor headache, without salvation you will not be spiritually alive. Salvation is the ultimate protection, because it ensures that even if your body is destroyed your soul will live on forever in heaven. This gives you a reason to do all the things we have been talking about. If you do not have salvation then, in the end, none of the other things will help you. In a true survival situation the mortality rate will be huge; many people will not make it past the initial calamity to get to the survival situation. Thus, it is essential for your preparedness that you put on the helmet of salvation before the fatal head shot occurs. To learn more about how to put on the helmet of salvation refer to the soon to come “Helmet” section of my blog (If it is not up yet it will be soon).
“and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” You may notice that, up to now everything has been defensive in nature. This is the only offensive weapon that we are given. This one weapon is the Bible, God’s word. Just like a physical sword this is a personal weapon, you have to get close to your opponent to use it. And also like a sword it takes skill and practice to effectively use the Bible. If you never pull out your Bible until the time comes to figure out what God wants you to do or to show someone what is wrong and what is right, then you will be just as likely to hurt yourself as to teach anyone anything. If you want to know what the Bible says about something, or how you should react to choices you have to make, then you have to practice with your sword. That means get it out and study it daily. Challenge yourself by picking a belief that you hold and prove it by the Bible. Or even better see if you can legitimately disprove that belief with the Bible. This will give you an understanding of what you can expect from others, and you might just learn something!
Paul ends this section with a petition to pray always, being on the alert with perseverance. We as people with the preparedness mindset must never let a piece of our armor fall off, because you never know when bad things are going to happen. We must all endeavor to put on the full armor of God so that we can be prepared, not just physically, but spiritually also.