Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Armor Is for Battle

Therefore, put on the full armor of God…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Eph 6: 13-18.

Dexter and his wife, Angie, had enjoyed the benefits of private practice for 10 years. They loved their home, neighborhood and near-by family.

Then God made them restless and asked them to change direction in life and serve Him in the inner city. Dexter’s partners did not understand, nor did his family. They moved 500 miles and rented an apartment near their new ministry. They were risking much but riding high on the conviction and presence of God’s Spirit.

It was incredibly difficult. Their tenth grade son began to run with the kids at school and was suspended for having marijuana in his locker. Angie developed a depression as she longed for her family. Dexter loved his work, but grieved each day for the suffering in his wife and son.

It’s really neat when God speaks and you take the plunge into the rushing current of His will. It’s invigorating, like you have finally become what God created you to be.

It is certainly invigorating, but, as we dive into God’s will, we should do so with eyes wide open.

When we live out a call from our King, we would be foolish if we forget that we serve Him on a battlefield. When we serve God fully, we serve Him as C S Lewis described, “in enemy-held territory”. If we fight for the Lord, we must expect to feel the sword of the enemy: “In this world you will have tribulation…”

Thank God he has supplied us with armor that protects us time and time again, knowing full well that, even with the armor, the farther we advance, the more likely we will be wounded.

So, how do we continue the charge and survive?

Dick Swenson once told me, “The Church must be both an army and a hospital.” We, the Church, must be ready to bind each other’s wounds as we struggle for our King. For, unless we function as a hospital, our army cannot survive.

Just so, unless we function as an army, the hospital is wasted; there is little need for a hospital if no soldiers are wounded in battle.

God has created us to charge into battle for Him. So, we need to armor up and charge, just as Dexter and Angie have done. If we stay in the fight long enough and threaten the enemy, we will be injured; yet, together we will survive; we will overcome; and He will be glorified. The victory is sure.

Dear God,
Help me to step into battle for You. Please protect me and protect the ones I love. Whatever comes, let it bring You glory.

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