Have you ever seen the soldier in Ephesians 6? He has on quite an array of equipment. And this is good, for the war in which he finds himself not an easy one to wage. Pay attention to the pieces the soldier carries. To begin with, the soldier carries the belt of truth (v. 14). Pulling tight the belt of integrity and honor, nobility and honesty, trust and authenticity, is a very important action for personal order. But notice the second thing. The soldier also bears the breastplate of righteousness (v. 14). It is no small matter that this covers the soldier’s heart, for it is righteousness that keeps the heart clean and strong.
Verse 15 tells us that the soldier’s feet are fitted “with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” They must be light enough to travel swiftly, though sturdy enough to keep one’s footing. In this fast-paced world so desperately needing a Savior, feet ready to travel with the gospel is crucial. This soldier is thus equipped. He also carries the shield of faith (v. 16). Paul adds that this shield helps the soldier “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Amen! Isaiah says in Isaiah 7:9 that if “you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” This shield is essential to combat! So are the helmet of salvation (that it covers the brain reminds me of the need to let our minds embrace truth about ourselves and our redeeming God) and the sword of the Spirit, which Paul readily admits, “is the word of God” (v. 17). A good soldier must be adept with the sword.
Did you notice what this soldier is not given? Pay attention here! There is nothing to cover his back. Indeed, one gets the quick impression that this soldier is never to run. Turning away and backing down from the fight is not even a consideration to be had.
You must know, of course, that you and I are to be this soldier, which causes me to ask: are you wearing your armor and equipment? Or have you tossed all aside and run? Think about it.
Too much is at stake to forge ahead ill-equipped.