Saturday, March 3, 2012

Put on the Full Armor of God

I just had a wonderful discussion with a friend. So uplifting to know that there are good people with huge hearts among us. In today's life struggles it's so easy to find ourselves in a whirlwind of overwhelming negativity. Sometimes it becomes difficult to hold up the shield that comes with our full armor of God.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph 6:13)

Sometimes life itself becomes so incredible heavy that it's difficult to hold ourselves up, let alone the ones that depend on us to be strong. I am surrounded by an amazing circle of friends and I am always grateful to feel that little tap on my shoulder and hearing, "hey, I'm here and I got your back". What's even my comforting is the feeling of God tightly holding onto my hand, and knowing that He will never let go. Sometimes when I struggle to keep my head above water, two little munchkins will look up at me and say, "Grammy, I love you so much" and "Grammy I want you", while holding out her arms for a hug. The best part is having two little beings snuggled up to you with blankies in tow, as you caress their hair and become overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord has chosen you to love and guide these little creations through a very difficult world. Glory to Him! Even when others are using evil words and threatening the safety of the ones you are protecting, God is there. He holds you up and sometimes He squeezes your hand, sends someone to whisper in your ear, or sends a friend to your door. How amazing is that? He always rescues, not by making you feel dependent on your own inadequacy's, but by His faith and His love for each of us and hope for the future and strength in His word.

So...what exactly is the full armor of God?" It is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness and peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

When a country gets ready for battle (usually) they go with the right equipment and the best there is. You would not send a soldier to fight in a jungle wearing swimming trunks and carrying a water pistol. How can expect to "repel" Satan wearing flip flops and toting a missalette?

The FULL armor of God is sparked by prayer. The soldier's belt is equipped with tool (knife, holster, pistol, extra magazines, hand grenades) and is securely fastened at his waist - easily accessible. It is the foundation of all the equipment used in battle. Jesus is our foundation when we stand against Satan. The breastplate is similar to a bulletproof vest (only not nearly as lightweight as today's Kevlar vests). Remembering that our own efforts and good works will not protect us, we must make our focus on the cross - the righteousness we seek is found in Christ. Our preparation for battle must also the Gospel - the life, death and resurrection of Jesus brought us peace with God. This redemption allows us to fight with boldness, perseverance and peace! The shield - which was generally used as protection and when overlapped one with another, could form a "wall" of protection against the enemy. It also would protect them from flaming arrows shot into the air - we cannot rely on our own abilities in this battle against Satan - by Christ alone are we protected. Our helmet is the source of total deliverance - Jesus IS our deliverance! The sword is the Word of God - it is a powerful tool when used against the enemy and under the direction of the Spirit it has great power.

In all of that, we see that Jesus is our armor! He is our truth, our righteousness, our preparation and peace, the focus of our faith, and he IS the Word of God!

My friends, we are already at war, fighting an enemy who is crafty and clever. Without the protection and guidance of Jesus, we are doomed to fail. You may not have been called to fight at this point in your life, but the time will come and you must be prepared. Start shining up that armor so that when your turn to do battle when the enemy arises, you will already have on the full armor of God!

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

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