Today was a lesson with my children that I hope I never forget. We talked about the armor that God gives us. I think it is worth it to write it down.
I figured my son would get a kick out of this lesson. On the worksheet was pictured a Roman solider in full gear. So we read the Scripture Eph. 6:13-17, and Katie (my oldest daughter) asked how can the Word of God be a sword...and that was all it took to get us started!
First we put on the helmet of salvation. Emily said since we believe, we are sealed and so we wear the helmet all the time. However, I know this is not true. Sometimes we forget that we are saved. We forget that God has sealed us up so that no one and nothing can take us away from Him. We forget He has given us a new name. When we forget that, we forget to put on the helmet that leaves our minds vulnerable to the evil one. He starts to whisper that God won't forgive us for that sin...that we are not worthy of the thing called salvation. He twists us around and makes us think that we must earn what was freely given. We must remember the helmet of salvation.
Then we have the breastplate of righteousness. In our class, righteousness means "right with God". We can forget to put on the breastplate if we do not do what God asks of us. If we turn away from what God wants because it is too hard, it is uncomfortable, or we think it is not possible. When we forget the breastplate, we leave our hearts vulnerable. The evil one starts to tell us that God does not love us, and that He might leave us. God's love is the basis of our faith...if we forget the breastplate, then we forget to treasure God's love for us.
Next comes the belt of truth. What do belts do? They hold up your pants. My children decided that we would all look pretty foolish if we had our pants around our ankles. When we forget the belt of truth, we forget that God's Word is true. The evil one finds ways to make us look and feel foolish when we get caught in our lies and "half-truths". Always buckle on the belt of truth to keep the truth of God close to you.
Then we have the sheild of faith. We use our faith to sheild us from temptation, from lies, from harm. When we forget to have faith in the God we cannot physically see, then we allow temptation and lies to creep into our lives. We are pierced by arrows of hurt that are flung by the evil one. When we hold up our faith, nothing can get through.
The sword of the spirit. The Word of God. Nothing cuts through lies faster. Nothing slayes the enemy quicker. We must know what God says to us and for us, in order for us to be able to live in the world without falling pray to the lies of the evil one. When we are tempted, just like Christ, all it takes is the sword, the Word, to cut that temptation down to size. When we forget the sword, we leave ourselves open to assault without a weapon to fight it.
Finally the shoes of peace. We when go forth in this world it is not with that of a warring nature, but that of a peaceful one. When we stop needing to fight with our neighbors, our family, our friends, and even ourselves, we become peaceful. It is so hard for the devil to get through to those who are at peace. I think it makes him jump up and down with fury, that he cannot ignite us with harmful passions. When we put on the shoes of peace, not only is our life better, but we improve the lives of those around us with our peace. Does this mean that peaceful people agree with everyone? No. It does mean, though, that a peaceful person accepts their faith, without needing approval from others. It means you can disagree and teach others the way, without being sidetracked into warring emotions.
Everyday, get up and think that you are putting on each piece of the armor. Everyday, think to yourself, these are the weapons God has gifted to me in order to make it though this life. If you can do this, if you can live a life of peace and faith then you will become a brilliant light in the darkness. People will surround you and want to know your "secret". Then you will be able to carry on the Great Commission...to tell all the nations the Good News...that Christ is risen, the grave could not hold Him, and for the price of your faith and acceptance in Him, you can have life everlasting.
Be that light! God has given you all you need to be the "lamp on a stand"!