DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

October 29, 2018

 

Christ's Armor Wearer

 My Dear Friend,

     In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul used a Roman soldier’s armor to symbolize an overcoming Christian’s protection, charging us: “Put on the whole armor of God.” We often examine this armor but rarely the person who wore it—the Roman legionary. Paul knew them well since he spent two years chained to them. Let’s consider the background information Paul knew.

     Roman armies never put their armor on untrained citizens. Always it covered a trained soldier, one who had endured the teaching, correction, and discipline of military camp. There the legionary was taught to use his sword (gladius) primarily for precise thrusting, not wild slashing. He learned when and how to throw his spear (pilum) into the enemy ranks. He learned how to use his body shield to deflect sword thrusts and block arrows.

     He learned to always obey authority and quickly comply with his officers' orders. He learned Roman strategy—to never fight alone but always as a single unit (phalanx, tortoise) in close ranks with other trained legionnaires. And through many marches, sword training, and other rigorous drills he became conditioned for the grueling fury and fatigue of battle. Yet he was also adaptable. Though trained for combat, he would spend most of his time pursuing less heroic, somewhat humble duties: building roads, aqueducts, and public buildings, or policing occupied nations.

     This thoroughly trained man, not an undisciplined Roman citizen, wore the armor Paul described! Paul intended us to be his spiritual equivalent. Want to be?

     Endure spiritual military camp. There God deals with us thoroughly, from inside out.

     Our hearts must change. We must adopt new biblical goals and one simple life purpose: to do God’s will. Our heads must change. We must renew our minds with God’s Word—reading, pondering, and diligently studying it daily.

     Our will must change. As Christ’s disciples we must accept we are now under orders. He, not we, is in command of our daily decisions and paths. Our hands need training. We must learn how to quickly discern temptation and quickly use the sword of God’s Word and the shield of our faith—confessing God’s Word aloud as Jesus did and affirming our trust in His faithfulness and promises despite troublesome circumstances.

     Our attitude toward trouble must change. We must learn God turns “all things” for His good will and our good blessing (Rom. 8:28) and therefore accept and endure hard life tests “as good soldiers” of Christ (2 Tim. 2:3), realizing they build into us wisdom, discernment, endurance, and perfect trust and patience.

     Our way of handling adversities must change. We must never again face them alone but in concert with other Christian warriors—in loving unity praying, meeting, ministering, growing, and overcoming challenges together, always together, as a unified spiritual fighting force. We must become adaptable. We must be ready to do “whatever” task Christ asks of us, however undesirable or humbling, and do it in love for Him (Col. 3:23).

     And, like good soldiers, we must be watchful. We must watch for the sins that spoil our training and fitness to serve Christ well: unbelief, stubbornness, resistance to God’s correction, hard attitudes toward anyone, especially fellow Christians.

     As we let God change and train us, we become His worthy armor wearers. We “put on the whole armor of God” over a wholly trained child of God. That’s what Paul envisioned, not divine armor placed over a saved but unchanged Christian.

     So endure well the rigors of your spiritual training. Be Christ’s armor wearer.

In training,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645