In conclusion, 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. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having 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]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
When I read this passage, I always ask why the pieces of armor are assigned as they are. Why is salvation worn as a helmet and not a breastplate? Anyone who has watched combat sports knows that a blow to the opponent’s head does different damage than a blow to the body or one of the limbs. This is because the head houses the base of the nervous system, which controls every part of the body. It is where our proverbial light switch is found. While a blow to the body can knock out the opponent’s wind, a solid strike to the head can shut down the entire body. If you want to turn out someone’s lights and put him to sleep, go for the head.
A helmet protects against the knockout blow that makes us weak in the knees, unable to see clearly or concentrate. That salvation comes in the form of a helmet indicates to me that it is what protects our spiritual nervous system. It keeps us spiritually conscious, level-headed and alert. The helmet of salvation protects the hub that feeds and controls the entirety of the spirit. Our salvation is not only our deliverance but also our preservation. To wear the helmet of salvation is to confidently trust in one’s salvation to deliver and preserve the spirit in battle, keeping it alert and in control of the body.
It is vital to understand that our weapons of warfare are not items that we wear or carry. They are behaviors and attitudes, the manner in which we walk out our faith. Donning the helmet of salvation is living in full faith that the redemption we receive from Jesus Christ is all-powerful to keep us through all circumstances. If we wear our salvation this way, none of the enemy’s blows can shake us. Father, teach us daily to live our redeemed lives as you would have us live them, in complete confidence and power, to the glory of Your name.