Read His Words Before Ours!
As I stood at the start of the rope course, trying to persuade the teenage girl to get ready, I realized I had never heard so many excuses not to wear a helmet:
“It doesn’t fit properly.”
“I’m too hot.”
“It’ll ruin my hair.”
I tried to reason with her, but the excuses just kept coming. Eventually it was only the insistence of the instructor that persuaded her. She could only participate in the activity if she put it on her head. The helmet was not optional.
In that situation, the helmet was important because of the potential danger. If anything went wrong, the helmet would save her from a serious head injury.
How much more important is the helmet of salvation for us as Christians, when we face real danger in our daily battle!
The helmet of salvation is first mentioned in Scripture in Isaiah 59. The first part of the chapter presents a vivid description of humanity’s need for salvation. Lying, cheating, violence, injustice, evil thoughts… Sin is everywhere, making it impossible for us to reach God’s standard of perfect holiness on our own. We need rescued.
The result of our reality is an absence of peace and justice; sin has led to separation from God, and, despite our best efforts, there is no hope for an adequate solution.
“They cannot cover themselves with their works.
Their works are sinful works,
and violent acts are in their hands.” (Isaiah 59:6-7)
Isaiah’s words describe the state each one of us finds ourselves in if we are looking to our own actions to save us, because we will never be good enough for that rescue.
The draw of sin is just too strong.
Fortunately, Isaiah continues telling us that, while there was nothing humanity could do to gain access to God, God Himself decided to act by coming to us. We were weak and helpless, but “his strong arm brought salvation.” (Isaiah 59:16)
Arming himself with righteousness as His body armour, and with the helmet of salvation on His head, God stepped in to bring redemption, offering amazing hope for those who repent and put their trust in Him.
““The Redeemer will come to Zion,
and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.” (Isaiah 59:20)
In Ephesians 6:17, Paul includes the helmet of salvation in his list of essential armour for spiritual battle, and in Thessalonians, Paul urges the believers to “put on the armour of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8) Here is our Rescue!
The hope Paul speaks of here is not a flimsy hope, as it would be if it were based on our own attempts at righteousness. Rather, this is a certain hope, based on what God has already done for us, through Jesus when He came to us, to be righteousness for us.
Just as Isaiah’s words would have provided comfort and hope for Israel as they endured the suffering of being exiled from their land, so the hope of salvation can provide a very real comfort for us today.
It is something all of us fully possess if we are in Christ, but we must choose daily to take hold of that certain hope.
After all, a helmet provides little protection unless we put it on.
And the helmet is vital, because the mind is one of the main areas Satan attacks.
Discouragement and doubt are often the enemy’s weapons of choice, as he seeks to focus our attention on difficult circumstances, trials, and challenges of life. His aim is to divert us away from the hope we have in Christ, and onto hopelessness and despair.
The enemy woos us to doubt God’s goodness and love and question His grace, by filling our minds with guilty hopelessness over the severity of our sin, while Christ offers joy in the reality of our salvation. Because He is our Certain Rescue.
We are called to be actively engaged in this battle of the mind. Paul urges the Corinthians to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We must deliberately choose to focus on God’s truth by spending time in His Word each day, and by reminding ourselves, and one another, of the certainty of our hope. Our salvation does not depend on our own goodness, but on Christ alone!
Our thinking is so important because it plays out in our words and our actions. Paul tells the Romans they must be transformed by the renewal of their minds (Romans 12:2). Allowing God to shape their thinking was crucial in order for them to be equipped to live for Christ in a hostile world, and it is the same for us today.
Regardless of circumstances, trials, and hardships, the truth of salvation gives us certain hope. We know how the story will end, and we know our victory is already secure in Christ when we trust in His salvation.
The helmet is not optional for our rescue; it’s vital.
So, let’s put it on today and move forward with faith,
confident in the truth of our salvation, and the certain hope it brings!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!