Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. ... Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:10-11, 17
In the sermon yesterday, I talked about a military flashlight that everybody seems to want to buy today. It is a must-have in any household. It's called the G700 tactical flashlight. Now, I'm all for having quality equipment around the house: ask anybody. But I didn't know what I was missing until I read what this flashlight could do. It is a tactical flashlight that is not only reliable, but it can send out an S.O.S. signal; it can blind an intruder or a threatening animal; it can send out a strobe light that can disorient a potential criminal that might give you just the amount of time you need to make it to safety. Oh, yes, it can also help you find stuff in the dark too. I didn't realize what I was missing! In the middle of darkness, it is great to have not just any light, but the very best light that you need.
And that's what Paul is talking about in the letter to the Ephesians in chapter 6. He is talking about the spiritual resources you have in Jesus Christ for the life you lead in this world, which is truly full of darkness. And there is darkness and sin in this world, isn't there? And I'm not just talking about the darkness out there. I'm talking about the darkness in here, in our human hearts. The jealously, pride, rage, discontent, vanity -- you know -- all the things we say other people have while trying to cover up the fact that we have them in our hearts too. And yes, there are those temptations and trials and failures that can overwhelm us too and literally make us feel like we are in a darkness that we cannot overcome.
But, more importantly than that, there is a light in the midst of that darkness that is more than tactical; it is saving and protecting. It's the light of the world, Jesus Christ and the light of His Word, the Bible. But Paul teaches us that these resources, things like God's Word, the Holy Spirit, the righteousness of God, faith etc., they are not just protective resources; they are offensive, take-the-initiative resources as well. And that's true of the Word of God, the Bible, most especially.
In the Bible are resources for our faith and salvation in Jesus, wisdom for direction and action, and promises and comfort for our struggles and challenges in life. Like that G700 tactical flashlight, the light of Jesus Christ, His Word, is to be put to use not just to find our way, but to fend off temptations and trials with a brilliance that makes all things clear every time we allow it to shine in our hearts, our minds, and in our lives. Put the G700 tactical Word of God to use in your life and you will be, if not armed and dangerous, armed and ready to face the day in faith in Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help us to see Your Word as a wonderful resource for our life and salvation. Help us also to see that Your Word is meant to be used like a valuable spiritual weapon for all that we face in body and soul. Amen!