Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Armor Fits!!!

I was thinking again about King David and his youthful days. Particularly the part where he is about to fight Goliath. In leading up to that moment, then King Saul wants to help out, even honor David by allowing him to wear the King’s armor. But unfortunately, the armor didn’t fit him well and he couldn’t really use them. So David declined and he was right to do so.

What about us? Are we ever given the King’s armor? Yes! Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the full armor of God. Now the big difference between the armor that God gives and the armor that someone like Saul gives is the fact that what God gives fits. Do you really think God would give you armor that didn’t fit?

Ephesians 6:13 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.

He won’t give you a belt for a 48 inch waist when you’re a 36—you’re still able to buckle it. Even though it’s His righteousness and not ours, the breastplate still fits snug and “in place”. Our feet have been “fitted” and we’re able to go for great distances as required by the gospel. The shield of faith is one that we can lift up and carry and still hide behind. It grows as our faith grows. Our head is covered with the helmet of salvation—it’s going to be better than anything the Army or Marines can hand out.

There is only one thing among God’s armor that may not fit properly. Can you guess what it is? It’s because it doesn’t depend on us. It is what it is.
The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

Our weapon, the sword, is one in which many people say—“it’s too big. I don’t understand it.” There are many reasons people give for why they are not more familiar with the Word--I'm sure you can think of or have heard many.

It’s like we’re a young David trying to wield the King’s sword. The problem is not with the Sword, the problem is with the one trying to wield the sword—we’re “not used to them” as David puts it.

David would have lost trying to fight a battle with a sword too big for him. I’ve held a few that weren’t too big, but just the weight and movement of them throw me off balance, and I would be quickly defeated by someone with even some ability with a sword (which may be why so many Christians are so easily swayed by cult groups who “explain” the Bible to them)

Of all the armor and weaponry we are given in Eph. 6—the Sword is the only thing that does not conform to us—we must conform to it—we can’t make it shorter or longer, we can’t take out the parts we don’t like. Instead, we must become more and more comfortable wielding it—through reading, study, memorization—familiarity. It’s just like a warrior training with his sword—or the old samurai who sees his spirit or fighting ability in his sword.

I remember hearing that during the filming of Lord of the Rings that “Aragorn” or Viggo Mortensen practically lived with “the sword of Elindil” and carried it with him wherever he went—even though it was a very large sword.

In the end of filming, apparently, they gave him the sword to keep. It had become his. The first day, it was awkward, the last day—he knew exactly what to do with it.

We must become more familiar with our sword, given by God, so we can know how to use it effectively and in the right circumstances. It is a gift, it is an honor to be given the sword of the King.

But when David was given the sword by Saul—he didn’t know how to fight with it. And just like him, we’re tempted to put those things aside and use our own weapons.

But there’s a problem…we’re not fighting against a giant or any other human being or institution or nation— Eph 6:12 “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.”

Our weapons won’t work in the real battle—not the best gun, sword or tank. Jesus fought off the attacks of Satan with His knowledge of the Word of God. He wielded it effectively in the moments of temptation. It gave Him confidence in facing His execution. It gave Him words to share from the Cross—Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

May we all put on the armor of God and may we all learn through diligence and training how to effectively wield the Sword of the Spirit.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Ephesians 6:10-18. This is exactly the lesson I taught this morning to my Sunday School class. I started thinking about this subject on Thursday. What an incredible admonition and encouragement. Could we be on the same wavelength, as they used to say? The only problem I had was that I had all girls today and they drew their armor on pink and purple construction paper and decorated their swords with hearts and flowers. Love, Mom