"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. . . . In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Ephesians 6:10-16 (NIV)
Veteran's Day is this week. This wonderful day of remembrance helps all of us to be aware, to be solemn, to be grateful for all the brave men and women who have fought on the battle lines to preserve the freedoms we have today. I have such respect for people who give to their country in such a bold and profound way. What makes them so very special? I believe it is the self-sacrifice that they share with all of us. They walk into battle, wherever that may be, knowing the dangers that surround them. They walk into that battle knowing what they may receive from their enemies - the scowling, the ridicule, the persecution, the injury, the sacrifice of life. They walk right into that with a clear understanding of what is expected of them - to do whatever their commanding officer asks of them. May we salute them - not just this day, but every day of our lives.
One can't help but look at our own lives to draw parallel. We have an enemy who is as strong as any opponent that has faced our country - the devil. As our enemy, he scowls us, he ridicules us, he can injure us and certainly put us into a place of persecution. Many people throughout the ages have fought the valiant fight of being a Christian and defacing the devil. This includes ourselves. There is much around us that defines who the devil is - crime, addictions, hatred, etc. We see it almost every day in the news.
Yet, we can find comfort. As we find comfort that our military will protect us and our freedoms, we also can find comfort that our Lord and Savior will protect us from the devil. He is there with us, guarding us and protecting us. As our verse for today states, we need to prepare - we need to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand up against the devil and all that he throws our way. If we stay in the way of our Savior, we will have righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Holy Spirit with us every day. Those are wonderful pieces of armor to deter the one who wants to get to us, the devil. With God's love, and His armor, we are able to walk into battle with faith, conviction, and love. When WE do what our commanding officer asks of us, our Father, it is clear what is expected of us and we do it with self-sacrifice.
As we walk through the week ahead, may we be cognizant of the many men and women who have, and continue to give of themselves in our military. May we thank them and shake their hand, letting them know how much we appreciate all they have done for us.
Also in the week ahead, may be put on our armor, and take up our sword, to defend ourselves and others against the devil. Let God's word be your guiding force, and let His love reign down on you. May the devil be pushed back from your life and may you shine forth in glorious victory!!
Heavenly Father, give us the strength to be soldiers for you, to put on your armor and defend against the devil. Please be with all who are in our armed forces - protect them, guide them, and bring them home to their families. In your name we pray - Amen