When I grew up back in the 1900’s, we did not consider wearing the armor of protective gear a priority. We couldn’t wear seat belts; we had them buried deeply so they wouldn’t cause injury as we bounced on the seats. If we had seen roller-skaters sporting knee pads or wrist supports, we would have thought Space Invaders had come to life. And a bike helmet? It didn’t enter our parents’ heads to protect ours…yet somehow, I lived to write this post today…
The world of safety changed, but I must say I was a slow-adopter. It always seemed the recommended efforts to avoid being seriously injured or killed was, well, overkill. My husband, on the other hand, is gifted at seeing in advance everything that can go wrong and taking steps to prevent it. This caused a little tension from time to time as our kids grew up. Cool mom would let them go without the bike helmet; protective (and smarter) dad would not.
When our daughter was 9, we took her skiing for the first time. After outfitting her in all the necessary gear—including a helmet—we checked her in to ski school. An hour later, we returned and our little one had quite a tale to share. While on the bunny hill, a teenaged snowboarder came flying through and ran our little snow bunny over. She got mowed down—to the point that the protective helmet on her head had been cracked open. It takes little imagination to work this to a natural conclusion: Without that helmet, our lives would have been drastically affected—perhaps permanently.
Protective gear serves a life-altering purpose. While it may be bothersome to put it on, we can’t really complain if we get seriously damaged because we are too lazy to do it.
Have you had times when you felt mowed down by life? Are you in one now? God knew we’d need protection during life-altering events and He supplied it.
Armor of God
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul writes about the armor of God:
- Belt of truth (vs 14)
- Breastplate of righteousness (vs 14)
- Sandals of the gospel of peace (vs 15)
- Shield of faith (vs 16)
- Helmet of salvation (vs 17)
- Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God (vs 17)
Why do we need this? Often, we feel like we’re under attack–and those attacks come from several fronts:
- People we know and/or love are leveling fiery verbal assaults.
- There is too much month at the end of the money.
- Our employer apparently doesn’t value our contribution.
- The appliances and vehicles in our home stage an after-hours meeting to coordinate in which order they will systematically fail within the shortest amount of time.
- Disappointment becomes our expectation, not our surprise.
As protection from these attacks, God tell us to, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (vs 11). He offers a way to navigate the attacks by giving spiritual, protective gear to wear. While it may be bothersome to put it on, we can’t really complain if we get seriously damaged because we are too lazy to do it.
Tony Evans, who does extensive teaching on this topic, said, “Everything visible and physical is controlled by something invisible and spiritual. If you want to change the realm that you know, then you must draw from the invisible, spiritual realm that you do not see. Unless you know how to access your spiritual resources—in this case, spiritual armor—you cannot know spiritual victory.”
Prepare for victory
In the coming weeks, we’ll look at each piece of the armor of God and how to wear it powerfully “so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (vs 13).
As we start this journey, think about the areas in which you are feeling defeated. Where do you need God’s life-altering protection and support? This week, read Ephesians 6:10-18 in a different version of the bible each day and prayerfully put on the armor of God.
While it may be bothersome to put it on, we can’t really complain if we get seriously damaged because we are too lazy to do it.
Praying with you!