Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

The table was set, the game was on the line, they had practiced hard, they had fought hard to reach this point, the coach sent in the perfect play to win the game. The Quarterback calls the play and takes his team to the line of scrimmage to put it into motion, but as he turns and looks at one of his teammates he sees that he is not wearing his cleats, he looks at another and he sees he doesn't have his shoulder pads on, another is not wearing the protective leg padding, and then the QB realizes that he himself is not even wearing his helmet! He realized that even though they had practiced and even though this was the PERFECT play, he was not ready to play, his team was not ready to play...they were NOT properly equipped!

Now even for the most lukewarm of sports fans, the above scenario, seems a bit ridiculous. Who in their right mind would leave the locker room without the right equipment, who in their right mind would run out onto the field without the being protected? Well spiritually speaking, believers do it all the time.

Paul shares with us that we are in a battle, we are fighting foes that are so much stronger and more powerful than we can even imagine and that on our own power we helpless, but that God has given us protection through His grace. We have an 'armor' to wear into this battle! The battles we fight are NOT against the people of this world or the people in our lives but against the 'cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.' And because we face such an enormous foe, God had given to us an armor for this battle.

The belt of truth... Truth is not a concept or a principle, but Truth is a person. The truth we have wrapped around us is in our Savior! Jesus said, "I am the way, the TRUTH and the life, no one comes to the Father except THRU Me." John 14:6 [ESV]

The breastplate of righteousness... Righteousness is not from us doing good things but righteousness that protects us and covers our heart comes from Christ himself. Paul wrote, "...for His sake I have suffered the LOSS of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law (doing good things) but which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from GOD..." Phil 3:8b-9a [ESV]

The shoes of the Gospel of peace...The 'shoes' of the Gospel of peace represent our obedience in taking the Gospel message to the world. When we are faithful in obedience we are favored in God's eyes. Paul tells us, "...as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news (the Gospel of Peace)...'" Rom 10:15 [ESV]

The shield of faith... faith is the seed for righteousness, it is the basis for our Christian walk. Paul tells us that the righteous live by faith and the writer of Hebrews tells us that, "...faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen..." Heb 11:1 [ESV] With faith protecting us, we can survive the onslaught of the enemy!

The helmet of salvation...salvation comes from God alone, but it is His promise that salvation is sure and cannot be taken from us. Our God has offered eternal life and eternal security to all who surrender to His Lordship! I believe Paul uses the 'helmet' of salvation because it represents our thoughts and attitudes toward serving, and that when we KNOW God's salvation is eternal and we do not have to wonder IF we are saved or not, it is THEN when we can serve Him with vigor and wade into the spiritual battle with courage and zeal.

The sword of the Spirit... here Paul references a sword that comes from the Spirit. This 'sword' is Scripture! This 'sword' is the Word of God given through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! This 'sword' is powerful in battle. The writer of Hebrews says this about the sword of the Word the Lord, "...for the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit...discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart..." Heb 4:12 [ESV} We are armed with God's Word to help us in the spiritual battle we are fighting, we use to to defend and attack! God's word is our ultimate weapon in our spiritual walk!

This is OUR armor and in this armor we have THRU the Holy Spirit we are also empowered BY the Holy Spirit! However, without it we are helpless in our battle against this evil adversary. Can you imagine Drew Brees going onto the field without his helmet? Can you imagine Peyton Manning wearing shorts to play an NFL game? Likewise we must enter into the battle FULLY dressed and armored up, so that we can 'fight the good fight' and in obedience serve the Lord we profess as Savior. So that when our last day comes we will hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!"

What are you wearing into battle today?

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