I have taught on this passage and tried to help people to grasp the meaning that it would have held for first century Christians.
But today as Pastor Jordan taught referenced this passage I got revelation. The reason so many people live in such defeat is because while they THINK they are putting on the full armor of God, they are actually going into battle naked as a jaybird with only a sword in their hand that they really don't know how to wield.
Let's take a look from the amplified and a few other translations at what comprises the Armor and see if you actually are wearing these items of armor or are you naked.
having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist;
How many Christians go into the daily battle with compromised integrity and unsound morals. This means not cheating, not lying, not lusting, doing a full days work. How many try to game the system by slacking off. They do not put on the band of truth. They can't.
having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart)
The idea of an upright blameless heart that demonstrates righteousness, that is practical righteousness, doing the right thing no matter what. No short cuts, No messing around. Being straight up at all times is something that many Christians cannot claim.. they are naked from the waist up.
Strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news] the peace that comes from the Good News
Some people are full of bad news. They suffer slings and arrows and never get true peace. Yes they know they have peace with God but it doesn't manifest in their lives. They live under threat and in turmoil. They are always in the prayer line without victory. They are not prepared for battle. Naked.
Lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. to stop the fiery darts of the devil.
To have a shield of faith you need faith and trust in God over all. Over the Devil. Over the things that test our faith. You know discouragement and death come. They are tragic. Money troubles with no way out seemingly. YET.. Faith is a shield if you wield it. Many say the have a shield of faith.. but let one or two darts hit them and BOOM they wilt in the battle NAKED.
And take the helmet of salvation, Put on salvation as your helmet
You would think that this one will be easy. People know if they are saved. RIGHT? YET do they act that way. Do doubts come in. Doubts because the feel they failed God. They repent and then go back and do it all again. Thy are positionally saved but practical atheists. Or at least agnostics. You gotta know and live saved.. just believing you are but not showing forth the glory of your salvation is NAKED. You know that every gang banger killed on street is preached into heaven.. and they didn't make it. They were living a lie.
the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Now here is the ONE place where Christians seem to think they have it.. except they think it's a big black book. The believed that it is a sword that they hit the devil over the head with. NO.. Read Psalm 119 in total to understand the word of God active and powerful as any two edged sword. You gotta be able to do this without a reference book. No soldier goes into battle and carries a "How to Fight" book. No he is trained, he is ready, he knows how to use his weapon, he knows the strategies. Why Christians think they are ready for warfare when they barely know the word of God to strike down the enemy like Jesus did in the desert. You must be able to say, "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee".
After all this Paul encourages people to pray. Prayer is appropriate once you are fully dressed and ready for war. The Key to that Readiness is in the beginning of this passage:
Be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.
How much is Boundless Might? Is it enough? You need power, He offers it as you link arms in the spirit with Him.
The vision of the naked warrior came in 2 seconds after the passage was read. We need to get dressed.. it's not good to try to fight naked.
Sometimes a prophetic word is a vision. Don't be this guy.