Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Calvary"1 (Lyrics)
As I strap on my neck brace, I think about the comfort and support that it provides. It's lightweight, made of foam rubber, and covered with a cut-off sock to keep it clean. I have minor neck problems that are aggravated by sitting for long hours at a sewing machine or computer, so its support alleviates agonizing headaches. I wear it at home and while driving the car and riding in airplanes.
When friends visit and see me wearing it, they exclaim, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing new," I assure them. "It's there to keep me from having more problems."
Ephesians 6:11-12 – Put on all of God's armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (NLT)
As I put my neck brace on this morning, I thought of Paul's admonition to put on God's armour. It, too, brings comfort and support — and sometimes concerned or obnoxious comments from friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
If I could be so bold as to change Paul's order of armour, as given in Ephesians 6:13-17, the first piece that we each need is the helmet of salvation. A helmet physically protects our skull. Salvation protects our brain, our soul, our life. If we have accepted the grace of God's salvation, it changes our thoughts, our desires, the way we operate our life, and our perspective on life.
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NIV)
Secondly, we need the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God — God made visible for us. After we accept Jesus into our heart and life, we need to be able to fend off the attacks of the devil and the world. Daily time with the Bible — the Word of God that we have in abundance — makes this sword strong and gives us the strength to use it. From this flows the knowledge and ability to put on the belt of truth and the shoes of peace, the strength to don the body armour of God's righteousness, and the power to hold up the shield of faith.
If we are feeling the need for some strength, power, peace, or support, let us spend time in His Word and communicate with Him on a regular basis as we would a friend, letting the Word of God change and protect our hearts and minds. As with my neck brace, God's armour is essential to our lives as His children.
Prayer: Father, help us to be faithful in putting on Your armour, in donning the helmet of salvation, and in keeping the sword of the Spirit sharp and ready for battle. We need the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, the body armour, and the shield to stand strong for You in the daily struggle against the world and its desires. Amen.