In today’s chaotic world, it is vital that we have tools to gain victory over life’s traumas which so easily beset us. A dominant theme in the Biblical text is overcoming difficult situations, circumstances, and/or people. This week, as I counseled someone who was struggling with a long-term difficulty, I thought of how the armor of G-d is an integral part in our overcoming problems. Paul’s book of Ephesians focuses on the armor of G-d.
To more fully understand our spiritual armor, we need to picture a Roman soldier, presumably the type guarding Paul as he wrote the letter to the Church at Ephesus. Priscilla Shirer describes the pieces of our spiritual armor in her excellent study entitled Armor of God. However, in this Call To Prayer, I am only discussing 2 pieces of the armor which were applied daily, every day. The first piece of the armor is the belt, which supports the core (the inner-most part of who the person is).
Next is the shiny and beautiful breastplate. It was generally composed of two pieces of brass; one protecting the front of the soldier, and the other his back. These were held together with brass rings at the top of the shoulders. Often these large pieces were covered with smaller scale-like metal pieces, resembling fish scales. The breastplate, the heaviest part of the soldier’s armor, often weighed 40 pounds or more. (It is thought Goliath’s breastplate weighed 125 pounds!). The heavy breastplate was not supported solely by the individual’s physical strength but also by his belt to which it was hinged. The purpose of the breastplate was to protect the soldier’s heart.
Paul used the Roman soldier’s uniform as an analogy for a spiritual truth. The “belt of truth” is G-d’s Word, the only unchangeable, ever-lasting truth. The “breastplate of righteousness” represents our actions and attitudes.
When we encounter various difficulties, do we do what ‘seems right’? Or is there another way? As believers, our desire is to live our lives according to the gold standard of His truth, the Word of G-d. We can make ‘new year’s resolutions’ all day long, but if they are not based and grounded in G-d’s words, we quickly discover that we are incapable of carrying through with these good intentions. And when we act or think in ways that are contrary to His Word, the result is that our hearts become hurt and troubled.
We need to always be aware that the enemy’s strategy is to throw us off course, to cause division, to tarnish our breastplates with actions that are not according to G-d’s standards, His expectations.
GOOD NEWS: As we align our actions with G-d’s expectations, our breastplates become beautiful and not tarnished because our actions reflect the truth of our L-rd and Saviour. (We need to remember always that we cannot effect changes in our own strength, we must do it based on His “belt of truth”, the Bible.)
“Thank You, L-rd, for always giving us Your answers … for providing Your way to overcome! We love You. Help us to focus on You and to always be aware that the enemy is trying to bring division, to throw us off course, to cause our breastplates to become tarnished. Bring Your true shalom to Am Israel … and turn the hearts of Americans back to You. In the precious Name of our Messiah Yeshua, we ask these things.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Pray for Israel!
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Pray for America.
- Women of Valor Bible Study – that we will move to a new level in prayer with Him!
- Attack on our loved ones to be broken and stopped.
- Salvation and health of our loved ones.
- Tere: healing and wisdom in direction
- Connie: surgery – total healing!
- Donna: new job
- Jim: recovery knee replacement surgery, healing. That he will be pain-free.
- 2-year old Grandson (Mary & Joe Benton): Dad has been assigned to David-Monthan!! Please pray little Joshua is well enough to travel to Tucson.
- Paul Mann: total restoration.
- Shar: overcoming and sense of purpose
- Prayer for wisdom and favor as we encounter suffering people.