10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
How many times have you had this armor prayed onto you? I like the concept of wearing armor, being protected and strong in the battle against evil but sometimes I think that we can be quite passive in our application. We stand in front of a mirror and picture ourselves putting on these protective garments before we leave the house. However, when a flaming arrow of doubt is fired at us, do we stand or do we fall down?
The way I see it is that faith is not some shield that you can put on your arm before you walk out of the house in the morning. Faith is a conviction so strong that it changes the way you live, the Apostles believed that Christ is the Messiah and they followed him to the grave. Our faith should transform the way we live because we know the truth. The truth is a lot more difficult to discern with so many years and too many well meaning authors trying to explain what that truth is. We become passive about the truth when we try to get it from people and not from the Spirit of truth within us. In our busy lives we want a quick fix to everything so if some author can explain the truth to us in a book why do we need to spend time discerning what God is saying to us on a personal level. The whole point of creation and salvation is to restore your relationship with God…not with men who have a relationship with God. If we are too busy to be in an intimate relationship with God then we have put on the wrong armor. We are so busy protecting the arrow that we have lost the purpose of life. After the Israelites returned from the exile they started rebuilding the life they were exiled from. They pictured a Jerusalem that was safe and secure with walls around it to keep out the unclean people of the world. I wonder if anybody stopped to challenge this, if anybody considered that maybe what they did the last time was wrong. Is this not why they went into exile in the first place. There was a prophet who questioned these things… Zechariah who was killed for his message… This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. 5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.
The truth is accessed from within, it allows us to trust in the salvation and righteousness of Christ. The truth sets us free from our need to fight, win and be right…it allows us to live at peace with each other, with God and with His creation.