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)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I spent eight months in the country of Afghanistan as a United States Navy chaplain. Nearly every day for those eight months I had to put on a 17-pound protective armored vest and a three-pound Kevlar helmet. Many times, I wondered if I could just dispense with wearing that cumbersome gear and lighten my load. But soon enough, the sound of enemy fire or the thought of my wife and three young children at home motivated me to hoist on that armor for another day. It would have been foolish to cast aside the protection that had been issued to me. I was given the armor to protect me from danger in a dangerous combat zone.
So it is for you. Whether you recognize it or not, you are fighting on a great and terrible battlefield. The enemy is mostly unseen but nonetheless real. The spiritual forces of evil and Satan are constantly scheming to find a way to separate you from the Lord your God. You even must battle your old sinful self with its deadly desires.
The great news is that you are not alone in this fight. Christ, the victor over death and the devil, fights for you. He lords His Cross, death, and empty grave over the evil one and He provides you with the armor to ensure your survival in body and soul. The armor comes from Him. You have the belt of truth, the Word of God. You wear the breastplate of righteousness: the righteousness of Christ that covers your sinful self. You have been given the Gospel of peace, that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).You have received the shield of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), the helmet of salvation, and the Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit. All these gifts are from God and are bestowed on you by God’s grace in Christ. You are united to Jesus. You are baptized! His strength and might are yours (Romans 6:3-4)! It is pure gift. You are safe and sound in Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
So wield well your blade, Rejoice in its pow’rs, Fight on undismayed For Jesus is ours!
Then in Him victorious Your armor lay down, To praise, ever glorious, His cross and His crown. (“Be Strong in the Lord” LSB 665, st.5)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch