Because He Said So!
Soul Armor, Piece Six. Ephesians 6.10-17 The other day I checked in with a friend several states away who is really feeling the pressures and hardships of life - loss of a loved one, bleak medical diagnosis of her brother, stresses of guiding young adult sons, and on her job, product that her company sells and was needed for a life-saving surgery did not show up on time for surgery! 'What next?' she asked. The only thing I could give her is what I have and hold onto myself: the truth of Scripture. I told her I was praying this over her: "May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Spirit." Paul's prayer in Romans 15.13. And then as I closed out prayer time with my corporate brothers, I prayed the same over them, their business, their families, etc. The Bible is God's gift to us - something we can feel and touch - from his heart and mind to our own. You know ...who God is because the Bible describes him—his heart, his mind and purposes. ...what he thinks about you because his Word tells you that he made you in his image and he loves you ...how the universe came to be - Jesus spoke it into being, his Word says1 ...God’s plan for mankind and his redemption because his Word spells it out ...that Jesus fulfilled prophecies written more than 700 years before he was born, because his Word contains the prophecies and their specific fulfillments One last piece of soul armor . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word. No Roman soldier would go into battle without his sword. The machaira, (Greek word for sword) was anywhere from six to eighteen inches in size. It was the common sword carried by Roman foot soldiers and the principal weapon in hand-to-hand combat. Carried in a sheath or scabbard attached to their belts, it was always at hand and ready for use.2 Look again with me one last time at this powerful, equipping passage, this time in first person: My children--this world is not easy to navigate at times, but I will equip you with all you need. ->Find your strength in Me for My power is limitless. Put on all of the armor I have given you, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the evil one. For your battle will not be against the things you see but what lies behind them and the source--the evil one himself. Take up all I have given you so that you will be equipped to stand during evil days, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, (knowing you are Mine!) and the sword of the Spirit, which is My Word, your Bible.3 Take note that we are to put on the WHOLE armor of God, not just one of the six pieces that we have been considering for the last week. Our effectiveness in standing against the deceptive, distracting, destructive, divisive, devilish and deleterious ways of the evil one demands we arm ourselves with all six elements—truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God. The Word of God as armor is both an offensive and defensive weapon in our daily living. The Holy Spirit gives the words from Scripture power and makes them effective, as we speak them and as we receive them. Words from Scripture are not just linear black marks on a white page. First, God’s Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit,4the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”5 How beautiful it is! How right, how apt, inspiring and instructive is the Word of God. And so the believer must clad herself with all six pieces of soul armor; the follower of Jesus Christ must don the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. (If you missed any of the briefings on the six, please refer to www.pastorwoman.net, Morning Briefings page, where the most recent briefings are posted.) Because his Word changes us, it is Jesus' Fault: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J-6zBWJWhQ Christine! 1 - Psalm 33.6 2 - John MacArthur, “The Believer’s Armor: God’s provision for your Protection” 3 – Ephesians 6.10-17. New King James Version amended to be in first person 4 – 2 Peter 1.21 – Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit 5 – Hebrews 4.12