This is my husband's favorite Scripture, and is befitting of his name, which means "Peace-Loving Warrior." And I think it is appropriate after the dire warnings of yesterday's post. Because, you see, we are in a battle---not only for our American way of life, but for our Spiritual lives, as well; our very souls. And as hard as it may be to accept for those of you who are not Believers, there are evil forces, not of this world, that are arraigned against us. In case you haven't noticed, the nature of man is sinful. And these malevolent forces combine with "the bad guys" here on earth to cause mayhem, crime, murder and wars. Alone, we can't defeat them....we never will. It takes more than just trying to be nice and hoping they will leave us alone. We must prepare for battle and "put on the full armor of God."
As any red-blooded male will tell you, when faced with an enemy, you must stand your ground. You have no chance of winning if you are not willing to stand and fight. But mere mortal men are no match for the Evil that wants to enslave us. But we who believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ have been given armor to help us in this battle.
The image we have is of a valiant Roman soldier, fitted for conquering the world, and protecting himself against losing his life. But, our armor is for defeating Evil, winning the battle for our souls and gaining our lives in Christ. We are given:
1) The Belt of Truth, which is symbolic of the belt that held the soldier's sword. The Truth of Jesus (or His character, moral qualities, integrity and honor) will hold us as we stand.
2) The Breastplate of Righteousness, which again, represents the character of a warrior who is justified in his defense, and represents our attempts to be moral and right in how we live our lives.
3) Feet Fitted with Readiness that Comes with the Gospel of Peace, which is suggestive of the protective and supportive footgear of a Roman soldier, but in this context, means we are protected and supported with the peace that surpasses all understanding and of which only those who know Jesus can fully grasp.
4) The Shield of Faith; Roman soldiers used a large shield covered with leather that could be soaked in water and used to put out flame-tipped arrows. We have the protective shield of our faith to extinguish the harming arrows of Satan and his dominion; if we believe and trust in God, we cannot be harmed.
5) The Helmut of Salvation is not only our protection that comes from receiving Jesus as our Savior, but a striking symbol of our victory over Sin.
6) The Sword of the Spirit, which, in the case of a Roman soldier, was his weapon against his enemy. Our sword is the Word of God, and reminds us that our battle is Spiritual, and is fought in God's strength, not our own.
So, as my Peace-Loving Warrior husband would submit, we are in a battle for our eternal lives, and as mere mortal men, we don't stand a chance of winning. But if we take our stand with the instruments of battle supplied by our Heavenly Father, we will not only be victorious, but we will be invincible. Amen!
Sundays are for worshipping, and I intend to observe this on my blog. My wish is that those of you who choose to read these Sunday posts will be blessed by the message you receive.