It was a cold; dark evening and I was driving alone on the back roads of Chaffee, New York. The moon was a sliver in the sky, I was the only car on the dimly lit roads. The snow was falling steadily and I was gripping the steering wheel tightly…I hate driving in the dark and I hate driving in the snow. A man was speaking on the radio as I journeyed on, anxious to finally get home. I can’t remember who spoke those words that evening, I don’t know what station or program it was, yet that sermon has remained with me and resonated in my heart for 15 years. “Christians are sleeping on the battlefield, without their armor.” That was his message, simple and true. He went through the verses in Ephesians about putting on the whole armor of God and he made it so real, well God did, using that man as a vessel. Simple truths that struck me in that moment and became a part of me and my daily life. The battle is real, the armor is real. Put it on.
The entire world has been bombarded in the past year with multiple crisis situations. Each new day seems to drop some tragedy onto society’s doorstep. Viruses, lockdowns, financial ruin, riots, every single day, it has been relentless. Add to that rampant child sex trafficking, rigged elections, dangerous vaccinations being made mandatory, containment camps being set in place…. the list goes on. The human race is in a state of utter chaos and unrest. If it hasn’t been clear up to this point, it should be apparent now; the battle is raging. I guess I am writing this more for myself than anything else, to remind myself to prepare my heart and my mind. I just felt compelled to write about it to share my convictions with my brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow soldiers. We only have one defense.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2Corinthians 10: 3-5)
Walking in obedience, staying close to God that is our hedge of protection. Reading His Word, praying, we need to be doing these things in order to see truth. In Ephesians we are told that the Bible, God’s Word, is a sword. How often do we walk along through our mundane days proclaiming this to be true, yet not truly living it? That is our weapon as we are attacked by the powers of darkness. The lies that abound in the media, by scientists, doctors and taught in some churches. Those lies are darts, aimed at our right thinking. Those lies are ultimately an assault on our walk, pushing us off the path towards Truth.
“Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in my affliction.” (Psalm 119:92)
“The wicked have laid a snare for me; yet I erred not from thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:110)
We have to be removing the idols from our lives. The idols that are everywhere in this world. Imagine if we had little golden statues lined up along a shelf in our homes representing all of the idols that we worship as people once did. How could they even all fit? This world that we live in right now has idols abounding and the shelf we store them on is in our hearts. Television, money, drugs, food, health, self, pride, all of these are idols. Anything that we exalt above God. If we are to be vessels for the Master’s use, we can’t have a storage area in our lives dedicated to worshipping false gods.
“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I consult them in any way? Therefore, speak to them and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him according to his great idolatry.” (Ezekial 14: 3-4)
This war we are living through is something so different than what our feeble minds can comprehend. We, as God’s children are witnessing so much evil at this point in history, it feels as if we are being crushed on every side. It feels as if all that is good and right is being obliterated, but that could never happen. That will never happen. Even if this new administration passes every horrific piece of legislation it desires, not if there is famine or power outages or if everyone has to wear five masks in public. I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. I’m going to wake up each day, Lord willing and put on my armor. I’m going to keep smashing those idols that keeps accumulating on my shelf. God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and the Victor. How should we all walk through this war? By trusting that His armor is the only one that provides eternal protection.
As the sermon ended and I made the last turn toward home, a little fawn ran out into the road in front of me. I swerved a bit and almost ended up in a ditch. My heart was racing and I slammed on the brakes, thankful for the silence of the night and that no other cars were to be seen. That little fawn looked right at me, it was so beautiful, standing there in the snowy moonlit night. My heart was filled in that moment in time with the reality of my need to stay close to God, to put on the protection that he was offering me. I have thought of that night so often lately, as I sit back and ponder all that is taking place around me and I am so very thankful.
“….And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)