Imagine you’re on a battlefield. Cannons are booming, and you feel the wave of sound assault your eardrums. Strong men all around you cry out in pain. A buddy near you yelps and falls to the ground. He grips his leg and grits his teeth. A dark red stain appears and spreads out from beneath his fingers.
If it were you in this scene, what are three things you absolutely wouldn’t want to be without? I’ll bet you can come up with them quickly.
One would be armor. There’s no way you’re going out there without some protection, right? You’re lucky if you survive with armor, so you’re definitely not going out there without anything at all.
Another would be a weapon. Some way of defending yourself. You wouldn’t go out on that battlefield without a way to fight back.
And finally, shelter. Some covering. You can’t be out in the open the entire time, or you’ll be as easy to pick out as a flamingo in a line-up.
What if I told you that every day, you’re walking out onto a battlefield without armor, without a weapon, and without any covering? That would be crazy, right? But us Christians do it all the time.
The Bible says we have an enemy. This enemy is the devil. We know that we do not fight against flesh and blood enemies, but against powers and authorities of the unseen world. (Ephesians 6:12.) In other words, demons. We know they are out to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10.) Whether we like it or not, we are in a war.
Consider yourself drafted.
But here’s the choice we do have: we can fight back. We can either be an easy target, or a mighty warrior.
How do we fight back?
Well, for starters,
1) We make sure to wear our armor: Ephesians 6:13 urges us to “put on every piece of God’s armor,” which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. Each of these items are worth studying on their own, but since I have limited room in this blog post, today I’ll just focus on the shield of faith.
The shield of faith reminds us of the many ways God has shown us His character in the past, and helps us to trust Him. Who was it that parted the Red Sea like a curtain so His people could get through? Who was it that laid the foundations of the earth and molded the mountains with His hands? Who was it that used a shepherd boy’s sling to topple a mighty giant? Remembering God’s deeds also reminds us of just who is on our side, and gives us strength for the battle.
2) We grab our weapon: It’s interesting to note that the only offensive weapon listed in Ephesians 6 is the Sword of the Spirit, or the “word of God.” (6:17.) The weapon we use to counteract our enemy’s advances? God’s Word. We should never underestimate the power of the Scriptures. Jesus Himself used Scripture to fight off the devil when he was being tempted by him in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11.) It is so, so important we are reading our Bibles daily so we can fight back against the devil’s strategies.
Finally, and most importantly,
3) We find our shelter: Many places throughout the Bible, the Lord is described as our “place of refuge,” our “shelter,” and our “hiding place.” Psalm 91:1 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
When the battle becomes too much, when all our strength is spent, when fear rules and our courage wanes-what grace to know we have a fortress to run to. A safe place where we can rest.
For our God is not a commander who lets His troops struggle alone on the battlefield. Instead, He bears arms and comes right alongside us. May we never forget that Jesus walked the very same sod we walk today. That His blood is poured out for us so that we might have the victory.
Knowing that our God goes with us, no matter how bleak or terrifying the battlefield, we can march forward without fear.
So pick up your armor, child of God. Draw your sword. Rest in your shelter. Then go forth, and win.
I Hear Ya: What battles has God helped you win lately or in the past?
P.S. There will be no blog post on this coming Monday, February 2o, as I will just be getting in from out of town. I will most likely resume blogging the following Monday, February 27.