It was one of Rev’s earliest sermons as a seminary student.
And I should add that we were serving at a very traditional congregation.
Rev began by reading the text for his message from Ephesians chapter 6.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.v. 10–11
Then a teen walked out and stood next to Rev. He was fully decked out in his baseball uniform and catcher’s equipment—helmet, face mask, chest protector, leg guards, foot protectors, and catcher’s glove. The whole works!
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:14–17
Paul’s original readers pictured “all of God’s armor,” differently. They would have imagined a Roman soldier dressed and ready for battle.
Looking for a visual for his message, Rev decided a baseball catcher was something people would find more familiar. We were St. Louis Cardinals territory and people loved their Red Birds!
He remembers often how thankful we were for those wonderful people . . . although they preferred a traditional liturgical service, they were encouraging about seeing this unusual sight in a worship service.
You see, the point of Paul’s message is like a soldier ready for battle or a catcher ready to field pitches . . . you and I need to be fully prepared and protected as we live surrounded by intense spiritual battles every moment every day.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12
May we turn to the Lord and ask Him to put on the “armor” we need for every battle we face.
Paul described our spiritual “equipment” for battle this way:
- Belt of Truth – to defeat the devil’s lies.
- Body Armor of God’s righteousness – to protect us from the attacks on our hearts … our emotions.
- Shoes of Peace – to take the message of God’s peace to a hurting world.
- Shield of Faith – to see beyond our current circumstances with hope.
- Helmet of Salvation – to protect us from the doubts that attack our minds.
- Sword of the Spirit – to help us fight evil attacks offensively with the truth of the Word of God.
A Prayer to Be Equipped to Win Spiritual Battles
Father, I can feel the attacks of the enemy. It seems like his emissaries are constantly at work trying to discourage and defeat me. Please help me.
Jesus stood against satan’s attacks with the truth of the Word. He cast out his demons with the strength of Your power and might. He was faithfully and fully equipped to fight every spiritual battle because He carried Your promises in His mind and heart. He was filled with righteousness. He took peace with Him everywhere He went. He knew and loved You thoroughly. He was never without the full armor of God. He was, is, and always will be God!
And through faith and the power of Your Holy Spirit, Jesus promises to equip me that I might always be prepared to stand strong, to fight and win any spiritual battle I face.
Please arm me to fight the “mighty powers of this dark world.” Help me . . . give me the spiritual power I need to defeat the enemy in Your name. “Don’t let [me] yield to temptation, but rescue [me] from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13) I ask all of this in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.
After Paul gave the full list of necessary “equipment” to be prepared to fight these battles, he adds one more essential weapon…
You must pray at all times as the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. Pray for the things that are needed. You must watch and keep on praying.Ephesians 6:18 (NLV)
The Life Application Notes say it this way:
Make prayer your life and your life a prayer while living in a world that needs God’s powerful influence.
And to that all I can add is . . . AMEN!
May you and I prayerfully surrender our lives to the One who loves us so much He promises to help us that we might be fully equipped to fight and win every spiritual battle . . . by His grace and for His glory!
On today’s note write:
With God’s help, I am equipped and armed to win my spiritual battles.
May God bless you today. May He protect you from temptation. And help you win every battle you face.
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