What do you think of when I say “warrior”? What do you see? Do you see a roughly cut man with bulging muscles, sweaty and dirty? How is he dressed? More importantly, what does God say about being his warrior? Does God mean me?
I have found myself lately in a lot of turmoil. I am in the middle of a storm, a fight no doubt about it. As I read, Jesus continues to tell me to be “strong and courageous”. If I am totally honest with all of you there are times that I am tired of being strong and courageous but today doesn’t seem to be one of them. Today I read what it means to have on the Armor of God. I’ve read it hundreds of times but today, it had new meaning to me, a new boldness and strength that I hadn’t seen before. Isn’t it funny how God will do that for us? The unexpected.
Ephesians 6, Paul describes the Armor of God. Verse 10 sets the stage for us. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” There it is again, be strong, but what I sometimes think we miss is the next part, “in the Lord”. This verse says, “be strong in the Lord,” meaning have faith, move forward. What I hear God saying is, “I’ve got you, keep going.”
But what else does he say in his scripture (11) “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.(12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.”
Boy, am I guilty of this one. How often I forget that I should not be angry with the person that wrongs me but with Satan himself. He is working through others to attack not just me but all Christians. I believe this is another of Satan’s great deceptions. I tend to get so caught up in how others have wronged me that I forget to see what it really is. It is Satan, plain and simple. We must turn our anger from people to the king of lies.
(13) “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. (14) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (15)and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.(17) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.(18) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
I love this visual. Once you have done everything to stand your ground…stand again…and again…and again. I can see so clearly the warrior but this warrior is no man, this warrior is each one of us. This warrior is a Mom, sister, daughter, wife, or aunt. She is beaten, bruised and can hardly stand, but she is still there asking for more. She is unwavering in her dedication to the cause. And most importantly she gets back up to fight again. Threw her blood, sweat, and tears there is a little grin and with each time she gets knocked down she gets up to say “go ahead, hit me again.”
She draws strength knowing she is standing in truth and righteousness. I can imagine it is late at night, she is exhausted, and yet her belt buckle catches the light of a fire and glistens just enough to remind her that she stands in truth. While her breastplate is battered, it holds strong in the name of righteousness and she knows it. She has trained so long for this fight and she is ready. She is prepared for the fight and already knows the secret but more importantly has total peace in it. She knows she cannot lose. She stands tall but tired.
Her body is begging her to stop to rest, but she doesn’t. She picks up her shield knowing that it will protect her from the true enemy. Satan has plenty of arrows that he is shooting at her but it is too late for him. She is wearing her helmet that identifies her army. She is a warrior of God. She has eternal salvation that allows her to be bolder than Satan himself. She is stronger with her sword, the word of God. She will defeat this enemy and she knows it, but it will be a battle.
Her sword strikes as her words start as a whisper, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With each blow, her words and sword grow stronger, until she is screaming, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even with all of this armor and power, she does not forget why she is mighty. She whispers a prayer to Jesus just as she does throughout the battle. She has defeated Satan. She is the unexpected warrior.
My dear friends, you are the warrior. Stand and fight your fight. Be unexpected, and know that you have already won.