By Nancy Virden (c)2021
It is disproportionate fear that locks us in and paralyzes the life we want. The Difference-Maker (God) sets us up with everything we need for faith, courage, and victory. In all circumstances we can declare as King Solomon did, in 10th century BC. “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). At the time, towers stood as part of the walls surrounding fortified cities. Inside, the towers were dark, making it easier for people to hide during an attack.
Saint Paul chose to use a different word-picture, the armor of a Roman soldier. About 930 years after Solomon, the Roman empire ruled much of the known world. Comparing physical war to spiritual ones, Paul first described why wearing God’s armor is necessary. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:10,11).
Paul primarily wrote about spiritual health. Our spiritual struggle, such as when someone verbally attacks us for no reason, is indeed not against people, but against Satan and his spiritual forces of evil who have unleashed abuse and violence in the world. Physically, including some aspects of mental health, we do find ourselves in a battle against flesh and blood. Once again, it is Satan who brought sickness and death into the world (Ephesians 6:11-13).
We may not know how to respond to life’s many struggles. God is with us in those dark times. He leads us through whatever we need – doctors, medicine, wisdom, healing – if we will genuinely call out to him. He offers us his armor. Wearing God’s armor is a decision we make each day, in faith, bearing in mind the vital meaning of the 6+1 pieces.
1. The Belt of Truth
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” The belt of a Roman soldier’s armor was more like a girdle and held up the breastplate. What is truth? Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32) Absolute truth does not change and awareness of it protects us from lies that cause fear. Acting on (knowing and obeying) his wisdom sets us free spiritually.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness
“…with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14). The Roman soldier’s breastplate stayed in place only once it was upheld by the belt. Righteousness is doing what is right, thinking and acting in ways that honor God based on his instructions. However, no human effort alone measures up to God’s holiness. Our righteousness is from Jesus who said he is the Truth (John 14:6).
This truth sets us freer as our faith grows. Jesus’ righteousness leads our way into God’s favor even when we fall short of God’s requirements. There is no fear of punishment when our faith is sincerely in the Savior (Romans 8:1-16).
We will discover meaning behind the rest of God’s armor in the next few posts. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
1 Corinthians 1:8
He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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