This last week I was at worship practice and during the practice I had this little epiphany: I am not just a child of God – I am a warrior. God has adopted me into his family, which makes me his child. Now there are different levels of being a child. For example, I am not a baby, but I am still my parents’ child. Generally speaking though, a child is usually associated with needing help and needing to be defended. However, I am not defenceless or helpless because God equips and arms his children to be warriors, in his name.
There’s a whole passage in the bible where Paul talks about the armour of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18) In these verses we are given the enemy whom we fight against and what we have been given to equip ourselves to fight. Here’s the rub: God gives us everything that we need, to equip us to fight the battle against “… the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12); however, it does us no good unless we take the armour, put it on, and use it. A gift is no good if you just look at the wrapping and leave it on your shelf.
The Belt of Truth
Q1: Why a belt? For me, in my most 21st century childlike response to this would be that a belt holds things up. Things that are held up by truth won’t fall down.
Q2: What is the truth? Well let’s look at John 14:6.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Q3: What does the truth do for us?
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Jesus is truth. Stay rooted in him and we won’t fall – we will be set free.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Q1: Why a breastplate? A breastplate was a piece of armour used to protect the chest and ultimately the heart.
Q2: What is righteousness? Righteousness is the state of being righteous, which refers to being moral, or “right with God.”
Q3: What does that mean for us? In Proverbs 4:23 we see the importance of protecting our hearts. What happens in our hearts is reflected in our lives.
The Gospel Shoes
Q1: Why shoes? So this piece of armour is a bit different in the sense that it actually says, “as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness of the gospel of peace.” It doesn’t say, “put on the shoes of the gospel of peace,” it’s all about the readiness. When I was a child my mom would tell me to put my shoes on to get ready to go. Here Paul tells us to get ready to move.
Q2: What is the gospel of peace? (Philippians 4:6-7) It is easy to become anxious over what and where God calls us. Paul wrote these verses while he was in prison, not a very peaceful time. Yet through this he was able to declare the peace of God, which “transcends our understanding.” The gospel of peace is the revelation of Christ’s peace.
Q3: What does that mean for us? To me the readiness of the gospel of peace is just that, having the beyond comprehensible peace found in Jesus (the Word, John 1:1-2) to be ready to go wherever you are called, whenever it comes. It is not understandable, but it allows us to move forward without hesitation, ready to complete what God has for us.
to be continued…