A Shield of Protection

Have you been noticing a recovery of life as you remember that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions?  Have you enjoyed the experience that comes from letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly?

In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul warns us about the magnitude of the devil’s warfare against us and then urges us to take up the whole armor of God. Sometimes I remember this passage at night after I lay beaten and crumpled because I was not prepared for the challenges that came in a day. Other times, I reflect that my morning reading put in my mind exactly what I needed for what lay ahead, and I was grateful.

Part of putting on this armor of God is pausing to think about the nature and significance of each piece of armor. For example, faith is a shield to protect us from the fiery darts of the wicked one. If “faith” is honesty about dependence and such honesty keeps us close to God’s Word, then we can see how God’s Word, as living water, puts out fiery darts. And what are these fiery darts? The fire could be temptations that provoke our carnal desires or accusations of sin that provoke us to self-righteousness or despair. Honesty about dependence on Jesus Christ and His Word means that Christ Himself will protect us, even as His truth warns us away from the desires of the flesh and excludes self-righteousness and despair by the abundant and powerful presence of God’s grace to us, confirmed in Word and sacraments.

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