Summary: Security systems. Car alarms. But are you still vulnerable? Defenseless? Feel like you are under attack? Are you dressed for battle? Let's learn the "Art of War!"
The Art of War
Pt. 4 - Warfare Wardrobe 2
In January of 2006 an article was published in the USA Today. It said . . . "After Army and Marine Corps generals were summoned Wednesday to a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill, the brass emerged with vows to improve body armor for all U.S. troops in Iraq. Members of Congress were reacting to a newly reported analysis by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, which concluded that 80% of the fatal injuries to Marines in the study might have been prevented by additional armor coverage. Side armor, a special concern, is just beginning to arrive in Iraq. The occupying U.S. troops soon found themselves facing deadly new tactics with inadequate armor on both their vehicles and themselves. This tragic miscalculation has had tragic consequences. To date, 1,510 soldiers and 633 Marines have died in Iraq, many of them killed by rifle shots or explosions in which better armor could have made a difference."
Better armor could have made the difference! In our case any armor could make a difference because as much time as we spend for personal protection in regards to our valuables we seem to forget that we are in a spiritual battle that also requires defensive measures to be taken. Too many of us fight naked. We never stop long enough each day to inspect our armor much less put it on.
Paul, using the Roman soldier he sees daily, begins to tell us that we have armor for the spiritual battle that we face on a daily basis. We have a wardrobe for war. Paul starts with the belt of truth because it is what everything else hangs on. He deals with protecting our heart with the breastplate of righteousness and then deals with our footwear. We should walk in peace. Let's look at the rest of the protection we are provided.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (Message)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
It is interesting to me that the shield, helmet and sword of the Word are all grouped together. They are connected. They are linked. See if you can see the connection as we examine the shield and our helmet today.
Paul states that it is the shield that blocks or deflects the fiery darts of the enemy. I also want to just stop a moment and make sure you read it carefully . . . It stops every fiery dart. For some reason in our own life we begin to believe that there are some darts that are just too tough to stop. So because we believe that lie we take the hits repeatedly and never put up any resistance. Oh, that sin, that addiction, that challenge . . . That is too much for me.