Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20
As Paul takes leave of his people, he is sees a giant struggle that lies ahead of him: house arrest with a Roman guard chained to his wrist. 24/7.
Now, life in the ancient world was different from our lives today. They widely believed in demons, devils and evil spirits. The air was full of these elements just waiting to pounce upon us as God’s people, seeking to derail us from our walk with our true God.
Looking at his guard and the armor he wore, Paul makes a great spiritual comparison to how the guards’ armor reflects our armor in the battle against evil forces.
- The belt around his waist is the belt of truth. As Christians we can move freely and quickly because in any of our life’s situation He knows the truth. Our God walks daily in all our lives’ actions and situations.
- The breastplate of righteousness covers the chest. Words are no defense against accusations that are hurled against us, but a good life displays a true person.
- There were the sandals of preparation. One’s sandals are a sign that one is equipped and ready to go out and spread the good news. This means all persons, male or female, lay or clergy have a few sermons just itching to be shared.
- There is the shield of faith. Paul is not thinking about a small round shield, but a full body shield to protect one as the fiery darts of evil are thrown at us. The dart is a long stick, a point dipped in oil, lit with fire that seeks to destroy the words of God.
- There is the helmet of salvation. We must always remember that it is not something that looks back to our sins, but something that means God’s forgiveness of our past and strength for the present and the future.
- There is the sword of the Holy Spirit, “which is the word of God.” The sword is not a 2-edge sharp weapon that may cause death, but the presence and words of God that can pierce the darkest sin and evil that seeks to destroy us as Christians.
- Paul’s final weapon is prayer. Paul states 3 types of prayer:
- Constant Prayer
- Intense Prayer
- Concentration Prayer
As they say, “a limp prayer never got us anywhere.”
The Jews had this saying. “Let a man unite himself with the community in his prayers. Always pray for others before praying for oneself.”
Finally, Paul, after praying for others, prays for himself. He does not ask for comfort, or for peace. He allows God to move in his life as God sees fit, not as he desires. We would do well to remember that.
No Christian leader and no Christian pastor can go on unless their people are ever upholding them in prayer. Thank you all for your support, and please keep the prayer for the ministry here. Amen!