Summary: Preparing Ourselves for Spiritual Battle.
Putting On The Full Armor Of God
Whether we want to face it or not, the world is in a spiritual battle.
Good verses evil is the plot of many great television shows and movies because it is a prevalent force among us.
In “Star Wars”, Obi Wan Kanobi in white, representing good, faces off with Darth Vader in black, representing bad.
For years, great westerns were produced with “good” cowboys fighting “bad” Indians.
In “The Wizard of Oz”, The Wicked Witch of The West represents evil and chaos, While The Good Witch of the North stands for peace, harmony, and doing what is right. Her part in the story is to help Dorothy and her friends find what they are looking for, while The Wicked Witch Of The West tries to ruin their plans.
Today’s scripture is full of imagery of a spiritual battle.
We are to be strong Christians, not weak Christians.
There is a group of Christian guys and girls who take this scripture seriously.
They break through concrete blocks with the side of their hands.
They roll a frying pan up like crepe.
They tear a phone book in half with their bare hands.
And they actually blow up a hot water bottle like a balloon using nothing but the air from their own lungs.
Needless to say, this demonstration of brute muscle gets everyone’s attention.
But they don’t just stop there.
They go on to deliver the powerful message of Jesus Christ.
They share their faith journeys and their testimonies.
They are fighting the spiritual battle in a very unique way.
Converting non-Christians who might think Christianity is for weak people and sissies.
The 700 Club joins in on the faith statements of highlighting men and women in their stories who represent the grit of society…football players, race car drivers, wrestlers, and truck drivers.
I’m sure facing the lions was no easy task for Perpetua in the early days of Christianity.
Ephesians 6:10 begins, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” In the original Greek text, the word for “power” is “dunamis”…the word we get our English word dynamite from.
God’s power…dunamis…is explosive!
We are to put on the whole armor of God, so that we will be able to stand up and fight the devil…the evil in the world.
Our Ephesians text continues…listen carefully…”For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This is no task for the faint hearted.
We are to put on the whole armor of God.
Not just a piece, but the whole armor.
It is stated twice in this short pericope.
Here is what we are to do….
We are to FASTEN THE BELT OF TRUTH AROUND OUR WASTE.
We are not to lie.
The words that come from our mouth must be truthful.
President Clinton did not do a very good job of representing the Christian faith when he danced around his words, trying to wiggle his way
out of his situation with Monica Lewinsky in the White House.
Truth & Integrity go hand in hand.
When we strip ourselves of our hair color, our eye color, our height, our age, our weight…whether we are female or male, our occupations, whether we are married or single, whether we have children, grandchildren, or no children…
When we take away all the external images of who we are…whether we like to garden or sew, or work on the car, or fix the house, or cook, or clean, or participate in sports…
What’s left is who we are internally.
What’s left is who we are if someone would take away all our posessions…our house, our car, our clothing.
What we would have left is who we are as a person.
To me, integrity means everything.
If someone would take away all that I own, I know I would still have something very valuable left.
I would still have my integrity, because I have fastened the belt of truth around my waste.
But I am not ready to do spiritual battle yet.
I must also put on the breastplate of righteousness…
I must desire to be righteous.
I must desire to turn from any evil desires or inclinations that the evil one will throw at me.
I must desire to follow the truth of the Bible.
I must fight the world’s desires to toss scripture to the side.
This is a spiritual battle, and I am determined to win it for the side of good.
And good minus one 0 is God!
I’m fighting on the side of God.
Because only God is righteous.
What else do I need?