Grace x Strength exude calm and the importance of being centred and grounded. They maintain that their peace comes from God and they incorporate the importance of this into their Christian Yoga videos. I am sure that even the most serene looking Christian Yoga teachers in this group also have struggles and days where they aren’t feeling calm. Having days of stress and experiencing the battle that rages inside of us, often in our minds doesn’t make us less of a Christian and doesn’t mean we have failed somehow, if this was the case God would not have felt it necessary to talk to us about needing the armour of God and needing to not only be mindful of it but intentionally PUT IT ON daily.
Do you get yourself dressed in the morning? Do you think about what you’re going to wear, even for a moment? Of course you do, you wouldn’t dream of leaving the house undressed or unprepared. Similarly we need to think about starting our day before we leave the house by putting on each part of the armour of God. This will make more sense as we read on.
In the bible Ephesians Chapter six verses 10 – 17 talks about the importance of being strong in the Lord and putting on the whole armour of God. This armour consists of;
1. Belt of truth
2. Breastplate of righteousness
3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
4. The shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one
5. Helmet of Salvation
6. Sword of the Spirit
The belt goes around your waist and is pretty essential to holding your trousers up and keeping everything together. The belt holds us together, holds together our passions, holds us together so we don’t stray. You can hang things off your belt, the belt can also hold the sword of the spirit. There are many verses in the bible about girding up your loins, men typically wore tunics in biblical times which would have gotten in the way if they needed to run, fight, do hard labour, or be ready for any of the above so they would fasten a girdle to their waist and tuck in the loose ends of the tunic into it “girding up their loins”. With the belt of truth around our waist we can gird up our loins for action, this allows us to move freely. With the belt being a belt of ‘truth’, truth holds everything about you together and if you have truth then you are ready for anything at any time. God is truth and He is in us. You put around your loins the belt of truth, you ‘put the truth on’ you surround yourself with truth and that holds up your whole body.
This covers our heart. When we think of the heart we think of the seat of our emotions. The breastplate of righteousness covers and protects our heart, our emotions, affections and passions. It is the breastplate of ‘righteousness’ your heart is righteous before God, you are declared righteous, the breastplate protects from the arrows of the enemy.
Your feet are ready to take the gospel, you are wearing those shoes so you’re ready to take the gospel anywhere and everywhere. This shows a willingness to go. When we think of our feet in the context of this article and this Grace x Strength website, we think of taking time aside to stand on our mat, stretch and breathe and meditate on God and his love, being still in His presence we centre ourselves, we are centred on God, we know His peace and stillness, we then go out into the world and we take His peace into the world and we are peace. That peace reaches those who aren’t centred and are fragmented.
Faith protects everything, the shield of faith is a total protection of anything that might be exposed. The Roman army would hide themselves under the shields, the shields would go over top side and back making a protective covering for all the soldiers. They would move together as one great big armoured machine. This created protection on all sides including a protective ceiling. There is individual faith and there is collective faith, this reminds us of the importance of working together. Faith extinguishes all the fiery darts that the enemy could throw at us. How important faith is.
2 Corinthians 10:5 mentions taking every thought captive. This helmet covers our head, our thoughts, our mind. As we know the mind is a real battlefield. With the helmet of salvation on we are reminded to take every thought captive. The mind is like fertile soil and can grow good thoughts and ideas or unhelpful thoughts and ideas. As mentioned in Romans 12 1-2 our whole bodies are to be presented to God as a living sacrifice and this includes our mind. When we asked Jesus into our hearts we received God’s gift of salvation, this beautiful covering of salvation in the form of a protective helmet protects our mind and keeps it safe and mindful of Christ and His wonderful saving Grace, this amazing helmet of salvation successfully keeps out the negative arrows of the enemy.
The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Christ is the Word and you use the Word against the enemy to combat the enemy’s words. The sword is our offensive weapon and vital in our spiritual warfare. When the enemy would try to tempt Jesus His sword against the enemy’s tactics was the Word, Jesus would answer “It is written”. We can speak aloud the word of God when negative thoughts/flaming arrows fly towards us, we can quote verses of truth that will dispel the lies of the enemy, in this way the sword can also be used as a defensive weapon to protect us from the lies of the enemy, remember the enemy is the “father of lies”, you have sword, use it. Of course a soldier is trained to use a sword, we too can be trained to use our sword, memorising scripture is a great way to recall verses to mind and having a sensitivity towards the leading of the Holy Spirit. If we have absolutely no idea how our sword works and no idea which way is up or down we may have the sword but it will do us no good at all in the battle.
The next verses after the sword of the Spirit verse mentions the importance of prayer and praying for each other. Your greatest weapon is prayer. Praying for God’s people. Prayer is needed in this fight. At the start of this article I mentioned treating the putting on of the armour of God as important as getting dressed in the morning and intentionally putting on each part of the armour mentally and prayerfully before we leave the house. I hope that now we have read through the thoughts on the different parts of this armour that this idea now makes sense. You may already be incorporating a mindful time in the morning set aside for your mat, your stretches and meditating on God. Perhaps we can also include in this putting on the whole armour of God imagining each section of the armour and asking God to clothe you in each piece. You can copy out the parts of the armour 1 to 6 and stick it up somewhere or to your mirror even! This subject has been a wonderful blessing to me and I hope it is to you too..