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(Part 56)


October 30, 2014

Today’s readings:
Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 144:1-10

Every Christian is called to mission, which engages us in spiritual warfare. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Eph 6:12). Thus engaged, we are warriors. The Lord is our trainor. “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war” (Ps 144:1). The Lord is our protector, as He is “my safeguard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge” (Ps 144:2a). The Lord gives us the victory, as He “subdues peoples under me.” (Ps 144:2b).

As the Lord’s warriors, He provides us what we need. He empowers us. Thus, “draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.” (Eph 6:10). He equips us. “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” (Eph 6:11). Many Christians who try to evangelize either are not fully aware that they are automatically engaged in spiritual warfare, or are not properly equipped. Thus the enemy is able to overwhelm them. But if we are to experience the victory that is already the Lord’s, then we are to “put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.” (Eph 6:13).

What are the elements of the armor of God?

  • Truth. As warriors, “stand fast with your loins girded in truth” (Eph 6:14a). The enemy Satan is the father of lies. On the other hand, and in stark contrast, Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6a). We must always speak the truth, especially to one another in community. This includes the hard teachings of the gospel.
  • Righteousness. As warriors, be “clothed with righteousness as a breastplate” (Eph 6:14b). Righteousness protects the heart. To be righteous is to be holy, to be determined to be rid of sin in one’s life, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to have the heart of Jesus. With such a posture, we protect our hearts from the temptations and invitations of the devil.
  • The gospel of peace. As warriors, have “your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:15). Evangelization must be our lifestyle. We must be ready to proclaim the gospel, whether in our normal day-to-day environments, or as we make ourselves available to go out on mission. Mission-ready!
  • Faith. As warriors, “hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Eph 6:16). We will be tested, rejected, ridiculed, oppressed, persecuted. We need to stand fast on our faith in Jesus, looking to him as our be-all and end-all. Especially in the great trials and challenges that come our way, we simply trust in Jesus.
  • Salvation. As warriors, “take the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17a). This protects our mind, our thinking. We know we are saved, if only we cling to Jesus. We fully trust in his promises. We will make it to heaven. And our Lord wants us to bring as many others with us.
  • The sword of the Spirit. As warriors, wield “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6:17b). The word of God is the Bible. In fact, “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Heb 4:12). This is why LCSC promotes the LBS. Catholics are notoriously unknowing of the Bible. Such a Catholic goes into war without a sword.
  • Prayer. As warriors, “with all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.” (Eph 6:18a). Prayer is our lifeline to God. Prayer allows the Lord to guide us and give us wisdom. Prayer strengthens our resolve and enables us to persevere. Prayer draws us ever deeper in our relationship with God. We pray in tongues at every opportunity, in order for our spirit to connect with the Spirit of God.

And so we are warriors. As warriors, we are empowered to witness. Just like Paul, each of us should pray “that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph 6:19). To be God’s instruments in the proclamation of the gospel is a great privilege. With the privilege comes the responsibility. With the responsibility comes the equipping, and God has provided all we need. We must go forth with courage and boldness. May each of us then resolve to respond, “so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.” (Eph 6:20b).

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