Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Ephesians 6: 11

 

Imagine a medieval knight as he is preparing for the joust who decides that he will leave off the cuirass, the breastplate, of his suit of armor. After all, it’s a hot and humid day, he feels especially self-confident that morning, and the field of opponents doesn’t look all that frightening. Now come ahead to today and envision a soldier preparing for a day of patrol who thinks that his wit and skill will suffice to keep him safe; so, he doesn’t bother with the helmet or the body armor that he has been provided. In both instances we would say that the person on view was being foolish and was needlessly putting himself at risk.

 

Paul was aware of the same sorts of tendencies in the people of his days that we can see in others throughout history and that we encounter in ourselves today. We think that when we reach a certain level of skill, experience, and competency that we can do life on our own. Certainly, God’s Word and His Spirit’s leading have provided us with useful instruction and are helpful in times of crisis, but as people who have traveled some real distance with Jesus, we can take on the routine of life on our own. This sort of thinking and the approach to life that follows after it can lead us into a dangerous street that is mined with Satan’s deceptive traps and dangerous compromises.

 

In light of the well-documented history of human failure, of personal experience of the bad effects of leaving God’s righteous path, and the reality of Satan’s relentless drive to attack God through His people; it seems ridiculous and foolish to do anything other than what the Apostle counsels. The Lord provides His people with a perfect protective covering for us to wear through all of our days. Yet, like most aspects of our relationships with Christ, we need to decide to use what He is providing. This armor from heaven is put on and held in place through deep and intimate prayer, by diligent study of God’s Word, and in the supportive accountability of the body of Christ. Although Christ’s armor will not protect us from all of the blows and injuries that living in this world will cause, it will protect our souls and our witness so that our lives will stand as living testimony to Christ’s redeeming victory.

 

 

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