From Canada I was telling my brother in Australia how the weather on my end felt like -40 degrees C thanks to the wind chill. He gleefully replied that it was +40 on that end. Did I grind my already chattering teeth? 😉
Warnings are issued when to stay indoors when weather is severe. Wind chills can cause frost bites if exposed for too long. Frost bites can even cause the tip of the ears to fall off. So yes, we make sure that we are covered from head to toe with many layers of clothing including a muffler to cover our ears! Not to forget the sun glasses too as the sun reflects on the heights of snows causing pretty intensive glares.
We don’t get paralysed in fear of the wind chill and the marks it can leave on us, but rather we take appropriate measures of precaution to balance what needs to be done without allowing the wind chill to get the better of us.
Like the wind chill that causes frost bites, the enemy is for sure prowling around in the hope of devouring us. His roar is to make us fearful that he will bite just like the wind chill’s frost bites! Yet, we take precaution by wearing the RIGHT things and making sure we are EXPOSING ourselves to the world in wise ways.
The young David found the earthly armour was weighing him down. He threw it off knowing he had all that was required – God’s power. Goliath the enemy was slayed! It’s no point being equipped with the ‘good’ or the ‘wisdom’ of the world! It’s foolish to fear the enemy too!
If we do put on the spiritual armour (Ephesians 6), piece by piece, and if we don’t give him a foothold (like not stepping out into the severe temperatures more than absolutely necessarily), then we really don’t need to fear of being bitten!
Yes, agreed that…
…. our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms – v 12
Yes the devil’s schemes are real but we are also told:
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – v 11
Note the word FULL armour of God – not partly.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand – v13
Repetition in two verses and that in two consequent verses is the emphasis given to us to put on the FULL armour of God.
Note that the verse begins with therefore – i.e continuation of the verse above. Why the therefore? That we can INDEED take a STAND. We have the power, we have the authority and we need to remember that we are blessed to be living in GRACE after Jesus said ‘It is FINISHED’. The enemy is deemed powerless by His blood. Do you believe THAT? Really?
So we put on the armour to STAND our GROUND against evil. And follows the promise that after you have done everything not only will you stand your ground but you will simply STAND!!
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place – v14
Once again repetition takes place – in this instance it’s in regards to standing!!
The breastplate covers the vital organs – the heart, the lungs, the rib cage that protects those two. This cries out life doesn’t it? What is the spiritual breastplate made of? RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus clearly tells us to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and HIS righteousness (Matthew 6:33). The definition of righteousness is found in GOD Himself. This is held in place by the belt which is of TRUTH. Jesus says that He is THE truth.. His Word is TRUTH and we secure the righteousness with the truth.
…. and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace – v 15
The next part of God’s armour that we need to put on is the shoes – the READINESS. How can we go out and evangelise if we can’t live at peace with God’s people first? Gospel of peace is about our life which pours out into words. The gospel is about sincere love and peace – not about elevation or a good name with good works. It’s about relationship. Are you ready to walk forward?
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one – v16
After all that is put in place, we are told to take up the shield. A shield is something that we move about unlike the previous parts that stay put. Our faith is applied to areas where the evil one shoots his flaming arrows and they CAN BE extinguished. Do you believe that? Or are you going in circles in panic giving a foothold to the enemy?
- What are the arrows of the evil one? Where is he trying to lure you away to, away from God?
- Ask God to reveal the areas to you where the enemy is subtly trying to take ground?
- Is it the love of a good name doing good works without God?
- is it security in life?
- is it pornography or love of music that stirs up lust killing love?
- is it selfish ambition under the cover of being responsible? …
……… ask God whatever it is to reveal it to you!
FAITH in God is what conquers! If there is a foothold that’s due to a hole in the faith. A baby Christian giving a foothold or more is quite understandable but would a mature Christian do so? Keep on mindfully putting on the armour of God and grow in faith.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God – v17
The helmet covers our head and sits firmly. Our head is the seat of our brain, our mind which we use to think, where all our thoughts race through. We are asked to protect our thought life, our human wisdom, our mindsets with SALVATION. If we keep that as our focus, our thought life will be aligned with the narrow path that God has ordained for us not be strayed with the wide path.
Like the shield, the sword too is to be moved about using it in the direction that it is required. The sword is sharp and will cut and penetrate.. The Word of God is a double edged sword. The Spirit uses God’s Word as the sword – are you being led by the Spirit? Are you holding this powerful weapon in your hand? Are you bravely applying it to break all the ties, the schemes… and whatever is trying to hinder your walk with God? In order to do that, are you meditating on His Word day and night, burying it in your heart? You can’t take up a sword if you haven’t got used to knowing it! Wrongly applied, you can swing the sword in the wrong direction and instead of protecting yourself you can kill yourself instead. Caution is required.
And this passage starts with:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power – v 10
And I leave that with you!
Be STRONG in HIM and in HIS mighty power!