Monday, October 24, 2011

Shin Guards and Armor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his
might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6: 10-11

…Frantically, I searched in all of our “hiding places” for my 4 year-old’s soccer cleats and shin guards. Finally after finding them NOT in his closet,I began to go through the ritual of dressing him. “Why do we even have to do this?” he asked, “It’s just practice. I’ll be careful…”I explained to him again that kids are all kicking after the same ball and that the shin guards protect his legs if they accidentally miss the ball. The sideline coach in me told him you can play full force when you don’t have to worry about hurting people’s legs. So, we laced up the cleats over the shin guards, drove him to practice and told him to play hard and strong.

Oh how I desire for my three kids to live their life of faith in full strength. To not worry about the many forms of opposition they will face. To serve the Lord with all their hearts, to be made strong by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are so blessed that we don’t have to search in the random crevices of our lives to find the full equipment needed. God’s word is in our hearts always. We need only rely on His grace.  In soccer games, the referees check all of the players’ legs before allowing them to play. My son and his buddies laugh at the knocking on the shins to ensure the guards are indeed under the long socks. Our referee is God’s Word. Matthew 7:7 tells us “. . . Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” And Ephesians 6 is a great check-point in all of life’s endeavors. When Paul, while imprisoned in Rome, wrote a letter of encouragement to fellow believers in Ephasus, he concluded with the truth that believers are to stand firm in the Lord.

Thank you, God, for your servant Paul and his reminder in Ephesians 6:14-17 to “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Guide us as we suit up in Your full armor every day in every vocation we fill, so we may go forth in our own weaknesses, allowing only Your boldnes and Your heavenly light to shine through us. Help us to turn to your word as a preparation for all that we say, think, and do. Give us the confidence to live our lives of faith in full force, knowing that we are covered by Your grace. Amongst the principalities of this world, we know that we are on the winning team with you, Lord, and you have equipped us to persevere victoriously to the eternal life that awaits us. AMEN.

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