Read His Words Before Ours!
For my birthday, my sister gave me an Amazon gift card. With that e-card, she placed a vast array of options at my fingertips and whatever I chose could be on my doorstep in two days. Any guesses as to what I selected?
A charging station for all my electronics.
All #adulting jokes aside, I have happily used the charging station daily since it arrived. Gone are the days of plugging items in to charge all around the room since no outlet had enough space for all my chargers. No longer am I searching for various cords and adaptors and successfully pair them accurately with devices, which were often threatening to die at any moment. Now a small bamboo box, containing a charging hub, hosts all my charging electronics.
So now that I’ve given you far more insight into my life than you ever wanted, let me share how the Lord used this ordinary charger to provide a new perspective on a portion of His Word.
Our study on Ephesians is drawing to a close, but the rich depth of its application continues on if we embrace the challenge presented to us in the final verses of this letter from Paul. This challenge produces fruit and the abundant life Christ died to bring us. (John 10:10) In verse 10, Paul begins to walk through the armor of God.
If you grew up in the church, you may remember learning this concept in Sunday school; I distinctly remember something akin to an “armor of God” paper doll. (For those in a younger generation, they were like paper doll apps but–gasp–made of real paper!)
If you’re not familiar with the concept, the armor of God describes how believers can prepare for, and successfully fight, in the spiritual battles we face on our journeys of faith.
Unfortunately, I sometimes equate putting on the armor of God with the dressing up of a paper doll. I can “dress” myself with the correct words, thoughts, and outlooks from head to toe, but am I truly drawing my strength from the Lord . . . or just putting on a good show?
So as I read through Ephesians 6, I asked myself if I am truly “plugging in” to the Lord as my source as I seek to live out the life described in verses 10-18? As I pondered that question, the Lord brought to mind my charging station. I would not set my phone on the wooden base and assume it would charge without plugging in the base.
Similarly, putting on the armor of God is about drawing close to Christ and His Word, and listening to the Holy Spirit as we pray. It is not about looking the part; it is about living the part.
For example, when verse 14 challenges us to stand with truth like a belt around our waists, it is not exhorting us to assume a certain physical posture, or pull ourselves up by our bootstraps emotionally.
Instead, Paul encourages us to embrace truth, both through immersion in Scripture and prayerful pursuit of discernment and wisdom in the Holy Spirit. Then, just as a literal belt was the foundational piece of armor to which all else was attached, God’s truth will be the launchpad from which the rest of our spiritual armor springs.
What passage of Scripture or words of the Spirit speak to your heart in this moment and remind you the God who has overcome the world is for you? Stand on His words of truth, dear sister; stand with the authority Christ died to give you.
As we read through the armor of God, let’s envision each piece as a charger for an electronic device.
What would it look like to “plug ourselves into Christ” for each piece of armor?
Let’s invest the time to intentionally seek interaction with the Lord and discover His strength.
The key component in my charging station is electricity, and the key component of the armor of God is God. Long before electricity ever made its mark on planet earth, Paul understood the reality of being plugged into Christ, and the significance of this vital connection is still felt today as we read his letters.
Paul wrote about the armor of God as a tested and tried warrior, not as a child playing with paper dolls. He put on the armor of God in order to fulfill the purpose the Lord had for him. Paul sought to declare the gospel and he worked with the Lord to spread the good news about Christ. He has modeled what it looks like to live fully alive in Christ and fully alive for Christ.
Paul ended his letter to the church in Ephesus (and to all of us eavesdropping on the conversation) with a prayer for grace to all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear sister, may we plug in to the Lord and be counted among those with an undying love.
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