Life At Its Best: God's word provides protection
By Jim Graff
I've always loved history. It was my favorite subject in high school and my major in college. So, I like to include historical research while preparing for certain messages. Recently, I studied Ephesians 6, where Paul commands us to "put on Armor of God." What I found was very intriguing! In this passage, Paul uses the example of a first century Roman soldier to communicate God's plan of preparing us for life's battles. In Verse 13 he writes, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground." Then he goes on to list the pieces of necessary armor. I'm going to touch on the first three, but I encourage you to take a look at the rest on your own.
First, Paul lists the belt of truth. During this time, the Roman soldier wore a belt that looked much like the ones we like to wear down here in South Texas - a leather band with a big, fat belt buckle. But while ours are mostly for look, theirs' served a specific purpose! The belt held two absolutely vital pieces of armor: the breastplate and the sword. Without these two parts, the soldier would lose his protection and ability to penetrate the enemy. Paul relates these pieces to our spiritual methods of protection and penetration, calling them the "breastplate of righteousness" and the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
So what's Paul getting at? Well, truth is our foundation as believers. Without it in place, things start falling apart. We stop living right. We stop allowing the Scripture to penetrate our hearts and minds and diffuse the work of the enemy. But if we'll dedicate ourselves to living according to Scripture - leading upright, godly lives - we'll ensure God's fortification and gain the weaponry necessary to successfully infiltrate the enemy. What I learned next was my favorite part. The sword Paul refers to is the same one used during first century battles. It was the result of incessant planning, experimentation and revision: a 2-foot dagger, long enough to keep the enemy at a distance but short enough to allow for agility. The weapon proved so successful during battle that historians dubbed it "the sword that conquered the world."
Do you think Paul just happened to use the sword to represent Scripture? Of course not. He knew the power of God's Word. He'd learned it. He'd lived it. And as a result, He'd experienced its rewards. Matthew 7:24 says, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." So do you want God's protection activated in your life? Do you need a foolproof weapon for fighting attacks of the enemy? Then build your life on God's Word. By doing so, we build that protection right into our lives, stopping destruction before it even starts. The Bible is more than just words; it's the weapon of overcomers bringing all the protection and power we need for new victories.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com.