Are you Battle Ready?
Living as a man of God in an often apathetic or negatively aggressive environment can be a challenge. When family or colleagues wind you up or put you down because of faith in Jesus how do you react? Against a greater backdrop and darker spiritual challenges being played out in your life, how do you overcome well and gain honour for the Lord?
God’s provision to believers on the battlefield of life is described as armour in Ephesians 6:1-18. This Kingdom Kevlar reveals the essential God qualities that enable you to overcome any challenge. I have been to museums and have seen ancient armour locked behind reinforced glass display cases. What was once fit for purpose is sadly now corroding and consigned to tales of yesterday, no longer serving its intended purpose.
The Apostle Paul is clear about our responsibility in being battle ready. He invites his fellow Christians to “put on” (v11,13), “stand” (v11,13,14), “take” (v16,17) and “pray” (v18,19).
Like a devastating combination of taps on the buttons of a games console controller that ensures virtual victory, we need to engage in all these areas. I encourage you to implement the practicalities of God’s armour in your life? It is your responsibility to apply God’s eternal protective covering for your life. Live by the qualities of truth, righteousness, the readiness of the Gospel, faith, salvation and the Word of God in a real and relevant way.
If it is not true don’t say it, if it is not righteous don’t do it, if the Gospel won’t be promoted don’t go there! Faith is to be exercised, salvation is to be honoured and the Word of God used as your defence. As every man demonstrates these Christian characteristics we will live authentic, overcoming lives.
I am also encouraged that the Lord does not want us naked and afraid on the battlefield. That would not be a pretty, healthy or long lasting experience! The shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit (Word of God) remind us that we can be covered, protected and on the front foot at every moment.
The Roman Shield was full length, weighed 22lb and would often be soaked in water to help extinguish “flaming arrows” fired from behind enemy lines. It was heavy and cumbersome but was a life saver on the battlefield as it protected the unarmed flank of the soldier, and could be used to protect a comrade in arms and occasionally it was a weapon too.
“Flaming arrows” may be an image for the history books, but the tactics of the enemy to erode and destroy Godly things in our lives through doubt, condemnation, fear and apathy remain the same. Faith is a quality applauded by Jesus (Luke 7:9), necessary for miracles (Mark 10:52) and is evidence of our trust in the Lord (Hebrews 11: 1-40).
Any soldier on the battlefield without his helmet was asking for injury. Salvation thinking will protect our mind and therefore our actions and attitudes (Romans 12:1-2). To consider everything you do through the filter of Jesus’ death, resurrection and the blood, the price He paid for our forgiveness will empower us to be proactive in pursuing discipleship on the battlefield of temptation.
Allow the Holy Spirit to train you in the Word of God, it is our sword and the Spirit is our sword-master. He will ensure your cutting edge is sharp and will train you to know and declare God’s Word over your life as you engage in those moments of conflict or spiritual combat. If the Lord’s offensive overcoming weapon in his battle with the devil (Luke 4:1-12) was the Word of God then I would suggest it should be ours too.
MPower men of God, “Finally, Be Strong in the Lord and in His mighty Power!!”