Friday, August 27, 2010

The Armor of God

A friend asked me this week, “What do you know about the Armor of God?”

I’d read Ephesians 6 many times before. I even have some of it highlighted in my Bible but I had to admit that I couldn’t remember much about the Armor of God. It wasn’t a scripture that I’d been able to connect with in the past. The helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shoes of peace, shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit didn’t really spark any understanding in me, a devout peacemaker. When she explained it in a way I could connect with though, it began to open up a new understanding in me about some of the precious gifts God has given me to face everyday challenges and the spiritual warfare that often hides behind them.

God has gifted us with salvation, with wholeness, with completeness in him through Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. God’s salvation embraces us to guard against Satan’s attacks in our thoughts, on our will and our emotions as a helmet protects a soldier’s head. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 speaks to this as well: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NIV)

When we give our lives to Christ, we are washed clean and clothed in his righteousness. We stand confidently in God’s presence because the Father sees not our sinfulness, but only Christ’s right-standing, in us. As a child safely curled up in her daddy’s lap, we need not hesitate to bring our pain, our overwhelming struggles and our fears to our Heavenly Father. We can call him from the darkness to scare away the monsters from our lives and know he will be there to comfort us.

In John 14:6, Jesus tells us that he is the truth. We have been given the truth to secure and embrace us. We have his life to learn from and to imitate. We have his death to free us and his resurrection to lead us into the new life he is creating in us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you, not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV) True peace, the kind that Jesus gives all his followers, the kind that endures and overcomes the storms of life – that kind of peace comes only from God who has the power to control all things, infinite wisdom and enduring love. Do not be afraid, be confident in Christ.

Faith is our shield. Our confidence in God, our trust in Jesus, our belief in his grace repels all doubts. When we are faced with things we don’t understand or that confuse us, we have our faith to know and rely on that God exists, that he loves us and is active in our lives. Faith deflects doubt and gives us something sturdy to lean on as we stand against the challenges in life.

Finally the Sword of the Spirit is God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that All Scripture is God-breathed and useful in showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes and training us to live God’s way.(Msg) This precious gift is meant first to guide us in our own repentance and teach us more about who God is and who we are in Christ. Second, it is our guide and our authority in dealing with the everyday challenges we face.

This was my introduction to the Armor of God and it has left me wanting to know more. So I’ve determined to make the time in the next few weeks to meditate on this passage so that I can better appreciate these amazing gifts I have been taking for granted. I hope I have encouraged you to take another look at this wonderful scripture as well.

Blessings All!

About the pictures:
Blackwater Falls (May 2010)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

A wonderful message surrounded by equally wonderful photos!