Armor All

s-l225In 2018 we do not see citizens walking around with armor on, but in these wildly wicked days, we can see our police using safeguards designed after the Roman shield for current day riot control.  We may soon see teacher’s armed with guns to protect their students from crazed mass murderers.  Unfortunately, today’s humanity has been incited, or purposefully stirred and encouraged to a foaming-at-the-mouth- froth — about gun control.  Suffice it to say that in 2018 we exist in a world divided about many issues.  But Who is the divider, Who is the one responsible for people hating others for  their politics, their religion, or their sports team? God warns us “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.  Popularity in social media has become truth to millions of people. The daily NEWS broadcasts juicy gossip with the evil intent to destroy various world leaders.  As believers in Jesus, are we not adequately equipped to fight the very real spiritual war that is going on?  Are you not clothed in His righteousness, girded with the Truth? Are you not already walking with the sword of Spirit, full of unshakable confidence in your Faith, knowing that you are never alone? Yes we can be His mighty fortress, if we stand FIRM against the enemy…together.  The enemy is not camps of people, left or right. Our battle is with the unseen, the continuous spiritual battle that rages on. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 9:12 More encouragement “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:1457ffac1bea667146bf3ae40ad821ce92But why, oh why does God allow Satan to cause such havoc? The Liar tempts us to sin. He whispers lies which cause us to doubt as he creates fear in us. Why does God allow Satan to live?  The evil one is the Liar who shames us in order to crush our faith. (1 Peter 5:8) Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corin 4:4) Yes God could simply exert His power and destroy Satan right now, but His way is not our way. Consider how Jesus defeated Satan by His death and resurrection. Jesus wins the allegiance of many of His saints after they experience the emptiness of living in sin. Choosing the Light over darkness is attractive. People are drawn to Love and Truth, not the Liar.  The lethal weapon of sin and shame is disarmed by the annihilation of ‘condemnation’ for unforgiven sins by the blood of Jesus.  “Oh death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”  God’s plan is in place and working! Yeah, it’s ok to shout Hallelujah!

resurrection

He is not dead, He is alive in us – the JOY of Easter is that “He lives!”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corin 15:55.  Without sin and law to condemn us, Satan is powerless to harm us.  God is allowing Satan to live and watch while millions of people turn their backs of him. People choose Christ over the ways of darkness.  Watching every person converted by the power of the gospel — is a slow torture for Satan. Our mission is the same as Jesus said to Paul “to open their eyes, 6e77e2c707465f76b641c4e513d968f8so that they may turn from the power of Satan, and back to God” Acts 26:18.  Shame does not come from God or the Holy Spirit. “Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in faithfulness destroy them.” Psalm 54:5. Our Savior reminds us in His Word “We do NOT belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith (confidence) and are saved.” Heb 10:39 – Yes God wants us to be confident in Him and in His Word. Let us therefore be ever careful to whom we listen, or we may begin to agree with a world view, and not God’s view.  In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he spoke about suiting up with the full armor for a spiritual battle. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.” Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted 29243625_10157219981399745_5234101155566452736_nwith the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6.   Even though seasoned in His Word and ways, some Christians choose to shoot stinging arrows at those who do not agree with their superior views. A better way, is His way. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Rm 12:3. How will the world know that we are His? Is it not by the love and mercy we show to all? The truth is that our Father’s will is that not even one should perish.  We were chosen and perfectly equipped to love and pray for our enemies.

Pastor Ken identified

Pastor Ken sharing the meaning of a “side to side” crested helmet of a Centurion Officer

As Ambassadors to the King of King’s …we represent His Name, His unblemished character and His will.  We have been set apart and given the GIFT of FAITH, because God wants us to be confident “in Him”….so that we can reconcile the lost to our Father, blessed be His name, Jesus!  Today Pastor Ken Armstrong of Little Chapel held up the historical evidence of a Roman’s helmet

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Wear the helmet of salvation and be seen, be known from a far what King you represent

and his thoughts as to why Paul wrote “Put on the helmet of salvation” APPLICATION: That His adopted children will wear the helmet, and be recognized as His warrior, full of His power to defeat the enemy in the very real spiritual battle — always going on!  Satan is out to destroy the faith, the confidence that we Christians have in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Truth is that along the trade routes of Ephesus, the citizens were very aware of Roman armor ….and who wore what and why.  If a legion of 80 soldiers were marching into town, those on watch — could identify what army was coming from afar  – and by counting the distinguished Centurion helmets, be properly prepared for battle with how many legions were approaching.  71mOfzuDiwL._UL1500_The Centurion helmet was like a push broom situated on top from side to side, but the foot soldier’s helmet had a crest that went back and forth.  From a distance the seasoned soldier, the Centurion’s helmet would stick out more than foot soldier and be counted. Again WHY put on the helmet of salvation? So that we can be identified from afar as representing the King of Kings, with a legion of angels with us. The Word says that we are recognized by how we love and pray for our enemies. Let us NOT Edge Out God by allowing our EGO to hinder our duty to love one another unconditionally, just as He loves all. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”  1 John 2:10-12 – With the filling of the Holy 992980_10151996008529745_1939168465_nSpirit we are equipped to love without reservation. “The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you.  Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things” 1 John 2:27  So what is the will of God? That we are recognized from afar for the love that He poured into us, and the love we show to ALL others.  Like Pastor Ken reminded us “We are not in a war against people, it is a spiritual war and Ephesians chapter 6 is about being aware that we stand strong in His righteousness. Our Sword of Truth, His Word is alive and active in us, and with us, so we can always be confident that the victory is ours!”  Let us hold on tightly to Who is holding us up.  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Other fascinating faith posts inspired by Pastor Ken  Navigation and  True or Truth?     REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE “IN CHRIST”, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! 

3 thoughts on “Armor All

  1. From Pastor Ken “Even if that image of the armor isn’t technically true, it makes a good metaphorical point. More: The emphasis of our armor is that God doesn’t intend for us to be in battle against people. In fact, they are our mission field. The armor is designed solely to withstand spiritual forces in evil times, so that when we have done all we’re able to do, we continue to stand. (There are days when that’s all I can do.)

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  2. The question God posed to Elijah. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” to which he replied “I have been zealous for the Lord God Almighty…I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” “After the earthquake came a fire, and the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:9 -12) God knew that His faithful, fervent prophet was shaken and weary….and in the midst of a rock shattering storm, an earth splitting quake and a blazing fire, God quietly asks Elijah “What are you doing here?” Imagine what your response to God would be? God knows when our hearts are trembling and He knew that his son Elijah needed to hear His gentle, calming voice. Facing murder and mayhem, Elijah chose to be calm in the storm and trust God. He acted with a wisdom that whispers “walk this way”. Believing that my potential is monumental, and that what I have to speak, or write will bring God glory, sometimes I am overwhelmed by the commission to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” Matthew 28:19-20 Behind my poised exterior is a quaking irritation about how much I could be doing. Moses doubted his ability to successfully free the slaves of Egypt. Esther was afraid to approach her husband, but she did and was used by God in a huge way. Rahab must have found divine courage to defy her people and lower that scarlet rope to the spies. God has uniquely equipped me and He is faithful to give me strength in my weakness.

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  3. Groups of humans gather for school districts, local politics, football games, baseball, family reunions and churches. Loving individuals, no matter their group, is impossible without the love of God to displace our human tendencies to judge. We are all just too self-serving, too fake to admit the prejudices that dwell deep. We must surrender our pride and prejudices in order to “BE the church”. Jesus Christ does not demand or expect perfect behavior from His children. He knows that we will stumble, fall short and hide from the truth that is in us. Matthew 7 is a warning from a despised tax collector…to be transparent with our Father, who knows we say what we don’t mean, that at times we are just bench warmers in church, that we sing praises while wondering about a myriad of idiotic things…and he rode into town on a donkey…knowing the plotting going on in the hearts of every hypocrite…..He wanted to die for all those who had no hope, and for those who thought “when is Jesus going take the lead away from Rome?” And for those who shouted “Crucify Him”….with blood running down His beaten body Jesus asked “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”. He intervenes for all of us with like prayers for God’s mercy upon us. God’s plan for our eternal salvation is not vague, we must ONLY believe, confess Jesus as our Lord, and lean on His Holy Spirit for understanding. Our cost? To die to our ways and follow His.

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