“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel . . .” Ephesians 6:19
Football season is upon us and in the south, that’s serious business. It’s a hype with anticipation that exceeds our understanding. They truly are the Roman Gladiators of our day and we are entertained by their passion to move that pigskin! They rush the field with purpose and drive that screams dedication and discipline. They know whose team they belong and they all run the right direction to win the prize (unless you’re my brother and then you might run the other way — oops! – luv ya man!). I’ve never seen a game where any of the players ran onto the field without their pads, their helmet, their cleats — the ball! Now, there’s been a time or two I’ve seen a helmet pop right off someone’s head – usually the result of a sweet tackle or block – but never are they ill-equipped.
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13
Do you know who you are? If I were to ask a group of football players that question in the locker room at half-time they would likely reply in unison . . . “Football Players!” How would you answer that question? If you are living out the promise of John 15:5 then your life will reflect who you are in the fruit it produces through the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. But knowing who you are is only the first step in victorious living! A soccer player can know who they are as well as a football player — but last I knew they require different gear . . . armor for the game! A soccer player in shoulder pads does not reflect the true identity of the game of soccer — nor does a football player without a helmet.
Through our identity in Christ there has been given a specific uniform that gives us the tools to live a victorious life. The New International Version of Ephesians 6:13 says “put on the full armor . . .”, but I personally like how the King James Version states it. It says, “take unto you the whole armor . . .” Take it! There it is — take it! A willing act of obedience to “gear up” and get ready for the battle that is waging around you each and every moment of the day. And once we’ve put it on, it feels great because it was made especially for us — custom fit armor! No blisters, no wear and tear, not too heavy, never too loose. A perfect fit! And as the war wages around us, unlike that football player, we never have to worry about our helmet popping off in the middle of battle. Why? Because we have been called to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” It’s who we are!
Have you looked in the mirror lately? If you know Christ and the power of His resurrection then what you see in the mirror will look like you’re going into battle! Every day! If you don’t see it, keep looking — it’s there!
- You ARE wearing a breastplate of righteousness because you are righteous in His sight!
- You ARE wearing a helmet of salvation because you are a child of the King!
- You ARE wearing a belt of truth, FREE in Christ because you know the Truth!
- You ARE wearing readiness upon your feet from the gospel of Peace!
- You ARE holding a shield of faith that is strong enough to deflect the arrows that burn with temptation from the evil one!
- You ARE holding, wearing and reflecting upon the sword of the Spirit who lives inside you. God’s Word is a lamp of light, the Truth that directs our every way.
Can you see it yet?
by: Mark Cruver