Summary: God has armed forces that can defeat the devil’s tricks. Thank God for our military, but also thank God for God’s army!
God’s Armed Forces Text: Ephesians 6:10-18
( Illustration: Have a person get into a bucket ’called the sin bucket’ let him or her act out how easy it is to get into the sin bucket, and how no one can get you out but Christ.)
10). In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provide]. 11). Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12). For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the repression, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13). Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14). Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral righteousness and right standing with God. 15). And having shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. 16Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench, all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.18Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
Story about Jimmy Carter: Admiral Hyman Rickover, who was once head of the United States Nuclear Navy, personally interviewed every officer on board his nuclear submarines. Among them was former President Jimmy Carter. This is Carter’s account of the interview: “ He looked straight into my eyes. He never smiled. I was saturated with cold sweat. Finally he asked a question and I thought I could redeem myself, “How did you stand in your class at the Naval Academy?” I had done very well so I swelled my chest with pride and answered, ‘ Sir, I stood 59th out of a class of 820!’ I sat back waiting for congratulations- which never came. Instead, the question: ‘ Did you do your best?’ I started to say, yes, sir, but I remembered who this was and recalled several times at the Academy when I could have learned more about our allies, our enemies, weapons, strategy, and so forth. I was just human. I finally gulped and said, No, sir, I didn’t always do my best.’ He looked at me for a long time, and then turned his chair around to end the interview. He asked one final question, which I have never been able to forget or to answer. He said, ‘Why not?’ “I sat there for a while, shaken, then slowly left the room.”