Summary: It is easy to skip over God’s instruction trusting in past encounters with God. However, the Lord wants us to daily be prepared so that we can stand against the devil and his cunning.
An Astronaut is ready for the first time to walk in space. He has spent countless hours in simulations. He has already taken off from earth and is now in outer space. He has his space suit on and so he is protected from head to toe against the deathly cold of space. This astronaut seems to be as prepared as he can be, however he does not believe he must use all the tools of protection at his disposal. He feels he can skip a few steps along the way and still come out on top. Therefore as he steps out into space he begins to float away because he did not attach his life line.
Come on pastor, nobody is that careless. If someone’s life is on the line and they have a list of steps they must follow in order to remain safe, you can bet that nobody would skip a step or two and still be in their right mind. Oh sure we have skipped a step or two when putting together an “easy-to-assemble” product and yet we often still manage to come out on top. Yes we can put a puzzle together with a few pieces misses and still end up with a picture we can identify but nobody and I mean nobody in their right mind would risk a life just to avoid a step or two along the way!
That sounds like a rational argument, but I do not believe God would agree. He has seen first hand how his people; his own creation, have skipped His only plan of salvation, simply so they can do their own thing. There are people risking eternal life by rejecting Jesus. Even Christians have fallen into this trap. Jesus says, ‘If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers…” (John 15:6) Yet there are individuals who are willing to see their eternal life saving faith wither by staying out of church and away from God’s Word. In fact we have all followed our own list of do’s and don’ts; right’s and wrong’s over and above God’s own Word because our foolish way of thinking often seeks to cast’s aside God’s wisdom. It is our sin that produces pride within us, enough to trust in what we once heard from God instead of what God wants to share with us today. This is all the more reason why our Lord speaks to us through St. Paul and warns us to put on the full armor of God. He wants to make it quite clear that we Christians are in for one heavy battle; a battle so intense that if we skip just one step we will not be able stand against the enemy much less hold onto victory.
This warning can be found in Ephesians 6:10-18. The book of Ephesians has much to say on what God wants us to do in response to owning Faith in Christ Jesus. St. Paul directs us to seek Wisdom in Christ, to realize that we have been made alive in Jesus whereby we were once dead in our trespasses. St. Paul encourages us to remember how Jesus took us into His own family and that we should remember where we came from and continually give thanks for where we are heading. We are called to live as children of light now that our understanding is no longer darkened thanks to God’s living Word and we are exhorted to be imitators of God in all that we do and say, think and feel. Now, in the last chapter of Ephesians, Paul says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” This is God’s final admonition to us that we keep on seeking to be strengthened not by our own power or efforts but solely upon the BRUTE FORCE POWER of Almighty God.
We are just too weak to fight the good fight of faith on our own. We are up against something very dark and menacing and if left to our own devices we would not stand a chance. What is unique to God is His desire to give us all that we need to sustain this body, this life and this faith. Therefore we must lean completely upon God’s BRUTE FORCE POWER which can best be described as hurricane force winds against a feather. To God, Satan’s attacks are but a feather in the wind, but to us the Devils attacks are vicious if we chose to face him without the protection God wishes to provide.
Therefore our Lord calls us, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Here now is the Lord, the creator of all things, giving to us an armor for the sole purpose of protecting us against the Devils attacks. The Greek word for schemes is Methodeias which can be translated as tricks, lies, doubts or appeals to the old Adam. Revelation 12:12 says, “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.” We are also told that Satan is enraged and is seeking to devour us. He and an infinite number of fallen angels, now demons will seek to destroy our hope in Jesus. Therefore our Lord gives us His armor to protect us. But notice we are commanded to put on the full armor of God. It does us no good to be standing in the front lines with only a helmet or only a breastplate. The enemy would see your unprotected areas and go in for the kill. God’s equipment will provide the strength we need to hold our ground against Satan’s attacks but, there can be no skipping steps. We cannot go into this battle ill-equipped. The Greek word Methadias sounds like the English Word Method and for good reason. Satan has a method, he has a plan to attack. He is no fool. Each attack will be well planned, well timed and when it comes it will be ferocious.