Pastorpher preached from Ephesian 6:12 today.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
His message was a warning to us that the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. And we must at all times be (1) discerning, (2) have a close relationship with Him, (3) stand firm on the basis of the victory of Christ Jesus, (4) submit to God and (5) pray.
I looked further onto the following verses in Ephesian 6.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (6:13)
The days are evil. There are so much nonsense happening and people are fighting one another for a mere pittance of power so that they can better than others. In such infighting, winning for oneself is what counts. In such a world, we who are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and soul, and mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves, will find ourselves in a foreign land, but yet so much a part of it. We are to stand firm and put on the full armour. There is a battle and we are in for a fighting.
Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, (6:14)
Here Paul repeats himself - stand firm, the second time an imperative. Whatever happens, stand firm, O Christians.
I was trying to figure out what it means by girding one's loins with truth. The word in Greek could also mean waist and that is how NIV interprets it: "with the belt of truth buckled around your waist". It refers to the leather apron of a Roman soldier which is hung under the armour protecting the thighs. It signifies a preparation for vigorous activity (O'Brien, Pillar). As a Christian, we are not expected to sit and be lax about the war that is happening about us. We are to be prepared and our vulnerabilities to be guarded with the truth that is Christ.
The breastplate is put on to protect the chest area. It is an area that is most vulnerable when we go head on in battle, and with it we protect it with righteousness, God's righteousness. We are to don God's righteousness, to be his imitators and to act righteously in all we do. Being holy will protect our lives.
and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; (6:15)
On our feet, we wear strong shoes that will bring us to all sorts of places and terrains. With these, we are prepared to bring the Gospel of Peace wherever we go as we fight in the battle.
in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (6:16)
This is one very important part of the armour, if not one of the most important. I happen to watch 300 today and saw how the Spartans protected themselves with the onslaught of thousands and thousands of arrows. They simply knelt and covered themselves with their shields. When we are out in battle, we will receive many arrows flying towards us: discouraging words, accusation, false testimonies, damaging remarks, threats, physical assault - all of which we can withstand with our faith in God our Father and Christ, our Lord.
From the movie 300, I also see that the armour is used to create a phalanx, to protect your comrade, your brethren together in the battle.
And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (6:17)
Our heads are to be protect by strong steady helmets - when we think about what is happening to us, the things said about us, and even what we read in Scripture, what should protect us is the knowledge that we have salvation in Christ Jesus. There is no other truth than the truth of his grace by which we are saved.
In our hands finally, we have the sword of the Spirit to block and strike at the right time, the Word of God to counter untruths and to spread the truth about God, about life, about death.
Photo (c) 2006 ejdzej