I woke up today morning, and quickly found my heart heavy.
It was just like any other Saturday morning. The boys were watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I stumbled out, hair askew, body creaking, and made my way over to the computer to check the morning headlines. And almost too fast for words, what had started as a typical morning became filled with darkness and sorrow.
This time, the crime was just next to my neighbors, not far from where I stay. One man had entered our neighbor’s house with the intention of walking away with money he hadn’t earned. By the time they walked out, they had taken all the money and other things from their home. . .
What is going on here? Our leaders tell us to be worried about the terrorists who cross our borders and threaten us with violence. But look around . . . it may not be the Muslim terrorists we have to worry about. We seem to be doing a pretty good job of living in the way of Cain, with brother taking up arms against brother. We find our hearts sliding down the path to fear, and our ability to trust our neighbor running out the back door with every 20 point headline screaming of the latest act of violence in our city. Is it really possible to live in love, as the apostle Paul has been saying to us? Is it really within our grasp to live in unity with one another and the rest of the world? We want safety and security, and will do anything to get it. Why then should we listen to a man writing a letter from a dark and dirty jail?
To live in this world of evil, sin, and temptation you need all the protection and help you can get. The bible says we need the whole armor of God. The spiritual warfare that we face day in and day out can ware down your defenses. Spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. The Christian armor is made to be worn; daily in all life’s situations. There is no putting on our armor until we have planned our warfare, and finished our course. No soldier puts on his armor after the battle and after everything has been thrown at him. That’s as bad as putting on the suntan lotion after you already have been sunburned and have been in the sun for hours.
Ephesians 6:11-18 ’11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
To put on God’s armor is to recognize that God has turned upside down our notions of power. For in God’s kingdom, it is the prisoners who are warriors, the weak who are strong, the lowly who are exalted. When we put on God’s armor we discover that our strength comes not in the sword but in the Word of God which fills transforms us, renews us, and sustains us. When we put on the full armor of God, our hearts and are souls and our minds are freed from the power of evil and terror that fills our world today.
So will you please take up the whole armor of God today?