“God Shares His Armor”
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. (Ephesians 6: 10-20 NRSB)
nfant care is 24/7. Care must be given to the baby’s needs because the little darling does not realize yet that they have so many needs. Marilyn and I learned this lesson when our daughters were born and we are now re-learning this fact with our GRAND-daughter, Charlotte Hope. Marilyn is primary caregiver three days a week as Candi has gone back to work. I help a little bit in the mornings. I am catching on fast. Parenting is a Divine activity because this is what God our Father does for us. We need His constant care.
Since we need His care we might as well take full advantage of it. Indeed, our text is saying that we need to accept all of His protection, guidance and gifts. After all, we have been born into a Royal Family and all earthly kings and queens bow to His power. We are the children of the King. As King’s Kids we have advantages: guidance, direction, protection and love from the Creator of the world, including tiny Pluto that was disgraced this week by having his status as a planet revoked. Pluto is the tiniest, weakest and farthest away from the Sun, but Pluto is still listed as a minor planet. That’s how I feel, “just a minor planet.”
As small as we are as “infant, tiny, sub-planets,” we are known by God who created us one at a time. Our minds and hearts are tuned to Him and we have infinite possibilities; because we are King’s Kids.”
This last section of Ephesians talks about God’s Divine Armor to protect us in all situations. You might think of Him as “The Big Baby Sitter.” Even the most powerful need the protection and assistance of God Almighty.
Donald Trump knows that. Or, at least he did now that when he was a regular at Marble Collegiate Church to hear Norman Vincent Peale. Indeed, it was those sermons on “The Power of Positive Thinking,” that created “The Donald.” As a fan of Dr. Peale I can say that even in his most grandiose sermons about tapping power from one’s own positive attitude, there was always a tribute to the Almighty God who enabled the wellspring of power. Without Him we are ultimately powerless. But, with God all things are possible! God gives us armor and trains us how to use it in building our lives.
That’s the way we all need to feel about God’s power and our need of His help in daily life. The truth is that in our most powerful moments we are really at our weakest point because we are relying on our feebleness and are at that moment refusing God’s grace.
It is said that Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant Reformation, believed in literal little devils sitting around him in order to trip him up. The Tour Guide will show you a big ink stain on the wall in his actual study in Wittenberg. The story is that the Father of the Protestant Reformation looked up from his writing to see a little devil sitting on a bookcase and Martin Luther threw a ink well at the devil; missing of course.
The good news for us today is that God is directing our pitching arm. We can hit the (figurative) devil every time. We have “the whole armor.” (v. 13) We have more than enough protection.
Our problem is that we often let down our guard in our defense against “the wiles of the devil.” (v.11) “Cosmic powers” are the hardest to see coming at us. We need the whole armory that God offers: the breastplate, shield, helmet, shoes and belt too. The most powerful weapon against evil is mentioned in verse eighteen: “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer.”
Then Paul begins to draw to a close by asking the Ephesian Christians to, “Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.” Paul needed the prayerful support of his flock.
As your pastor this is my prayer request of you. I am just one feeble pilgrim, but together we can begin the live the dream of this great church!
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor