[CF Devotionals] 2010-06-11 - Armor of God

Part 1

Originally Preached 2002-11-10

Author's Note: I’m starting another series based on an old sermon. The introductory illustration obviously dates it, but I have left it, as is as I believe it still makes sense.

Editor's Note: The story included in this devotion is clearly a work of fiction and is intended as a teaching tool. It does contain a section that some may find disturbing. It is also important to note that while the story presents loose character-types Jesus knew why He came and that He went willingly to the cross to die in our place to pay the ransom for our sins.


I'd like to share some thoughts with you on spiritual war and the Armor of God. I have mentioned, to my small group, that I could talk for hours on the subject, and now's my chance. Just kidding, but I do want to share with you a few things from Ephesians 6:10-18. As I began thinking and meditating on this subject, an old e-mail came to mind. I couldn't recall the whole thing, so I wrote my own version.

Hussein develops a new chemical weapon. It is a highly contagious, virulent form of anthrax. With just one bomb, he drops it in Israel, seeking to destroy God's people, the pesky Israelites. Within days, people begin to die; in the first week thousands upon thousands die. As people scatter in panic, cases pop up in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey. The virus is spreading. Once infected, most seem to die with in a week.

The European Union closes its borders, and the US and many other nations follow suit. Doctors are working frantically in many countries for a cure. The president comes on and asks for the country to join together in prayer.

A few days pass, and it seems all is safe, at least for the "closed" nations. Elsewhere 10s of 1000s die. Hours of terrified waiting turn to days glued to the television, hoping that no new cases are reported. A few days go, by then a week. It seems all is safe. But then, a man dies in a London hospital, another in New York. Another case in Tokyo. Then a few more in those cities, then other cities. Panic and fear spreads...

The president comes on the air again, and announces that the virus has spread more quickly than anyone thought. It is not spread by contact, but rather airborne. Most of the world is likely affected. Panic breaks out. Many proclaim this to be the end of the world. Many more cases appear, and as the number of cases climbs, so too do the number of deaths - higher and higher. But when it seems there is no hope, the CDC finds a cure, but they need clean blood, and it must be Type O. They ask everyone to begin going to the Red Cross, doctors' offices and local hospitals, to be screened. Of course, many flood the hospitals and other test sites, but it seems as though everyone is already infected, or has the wrong type of blood.

Finally a person is found. A team from CDC goes out to meet the man and bring him back to their facility. Once they arrive at his home, they knock on the door. A man opens the door. "Joshua, Joshua Hilliard...We're from the CDC. Your blood can save the world."

"That's great, but I'm not Joshua. Josh is my son."

"Oh sorry, we didn't have an age. Can we speak with your son?"

"Certainly, but he's only six," replies the man as he motions for them to come in.

"Uhhh... how old?" a technician asks, with his voice crackling.

"Six."

"Only six!" says a few. "We had no idea."

"Is that a problem?" asked the boy's mother, as she brought little Joshua into the room.

"Well," stammered one doctor "We need six pints... and... well most children only have six pints!"

"Oh!" reply the parents.

"I'm sorry, but we need it all. He will save the world."

"No!" proclaims the dad.

"But sir, he'll save the world. Please consider it."

"No, you can't have my son!" cries the mother.

"But the world will die, your whole family will die. Please think about it..."

There's a long silence. Joshua's mom and dad look at each other, for what seems like an eternity. Neither can speak. Crying, they nod at each other. "Just let us say goodbye alone for a few minutes"

"Oh, sure, certainly. Thank you, thank you." Hugs abound, and tears flow from everyone's eyes. Even a few of the lab workers and doctors are crying.

"I'm sorry, son. But we have to say goodbye now. These people are going to take you away."

"No, I don't wanna go."

"We'll see you later, son," sobs Mom.

"No, don't let them take me" says an upset little Josh.

"We're sorry..." cry the parents reaching out to their son.

As Mrs. Hilliard turns, weeping on her husband's shoulders, the doctors take him away.

"No, momma, no pop! Don't leave me. I don't wanna go away. Why? Why? Why?"

Within hours, the antidote is made and distributed. Many, many lives were lost - but many were saved, all because of little Joshua's blood.

Now Saddam is Satan, and the virus is Sin. Joshua Hilliard is actually Yeshua - Jesus Christ who gave his blood as an antidote, on a hill outside Jerusalem. Having his greatest weapon defeated, Satan does not give up. He fights to this day, and will continue to do so, until the very end. He knows he'll lose, but he means to take as many with him as he can. Make no mistake about it; we are at war. In fact, we are fighting the enemy on his turf. We are in the enemy's territory. Satan rules the Earth today. In Ephesians 2:2, he is called "the prince of the power of the air". Indeed, he has great power on this Earth. But the same Bible also says we serve not the Prince of the air, but the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Satan may be the Earth's ruler, but God is the universe's ruler. It is time we claim that power as His representatives, and go into the fight equipped, and raring to vanquish the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10-18

  1. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
  2. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
  3. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
  4. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
  5. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
  6. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
  7. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
  8. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
  9. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

We are at war with Satan. I Peter 5:8 says, "[Our] enemy the devil prowls around like a lion seeking whom he may devour." But it is not just a war with Satan or demonic powers but also with the world and our flesh. In Ephesians 2:2-3 Paul speaks of the ways of this world and the cravings of our sinful nature. Also in Matthew 26:41 Jesus says, "The Spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak."

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.