Preparation Precedes Boldness

Bible and shoes

Preparation is one of the keys to success.  Taking a test requires study.  Driving a car, driving a bus, or flying a plane requires time behind the wheel and the study of safety rules.  We all want a mechanic who is prepared.  What about a surgeon who is prepared?  Or the beautician that cuts our hair.  The soldier that goes into battle puts on his night vision goggles, helmet, bullet-proof vest, steel toed boots, guns with pockets full of ammunition, and communication devices.  This external preparation would be of no use if there was not months and years of preparation before use of them in the field of battle.

Our God gives us the same directive in Ephesians 6:10-19.  This is the “Armor of God” passage.  Most of us are familiar with it and conceptually understand the value of putting on the armor of God, but do we intimately in the corners of our heart understand the need for this.

Here is a list of the commands from God:

*Be strong in the Lord v. 10

*Put on the whole armor of God v. 11

*Take up the whole armor of God v. 13

*Stand firm v. 13, 14

*Fasten on the belt of truth v. 14

*Put on the breastplate of righteousness v. 14

*Put on the shoes of readiness of the Gospel v. 15

*Take up the shield of faith (in all circumstances) v. 15

*Take the helmet of salvation v. 17

*Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God v. 17

*Praying at all times in the Spirit v. 18

*Keep alert v. 18

Would a soldier go out into battle without preparation?  Would a soldier go out into battle without full military gear?  Yet, Christians are going out every day without full preparation or full military gear.  We would think a soldier stupid if he stepped on the battle field without his gun, his helmet, or his bullet-proof vest.  Why do we as Christians think it is acceptable to go into the world unprepared?

Every day is a battle.

In this passage we are reminded twice to “Put on the whole armor of God.”  Repetition by God equals importance.  When we start our day, do we prepare ourselves for battle?

Do we realign ourselves with truth by reading God’s word and “fastening it onto our belt?”  I have been trying to write a verse or two out on a card that I keep with me to meditate on or use as a prayer for others to remind myself often of God’s truth.

The breastplate of righteousness reminds us to put into our heart things that are right.  As we go through our day, what do we allow our hearts to go back to?  What is right or what is wrong?

The gospel is the foundation of our relationship with Christ.  Are we focused on what Christ did for us and ready to share that with others, or are we focused so much on the cares of this world we forget what great things God has done for us?

As this part of the passage closes we are reminded of the value of prayer.  For what are we to pray?

*Making supplication for the saints v. 18

*Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him to be bold in proclaiming the mystery of the Gospel (v. 19).  Wouldn’t this also be applicable to us?

 

What happens when the soldier’s communication lines are scrambled, broken, or dropped due to a loss of signal?  He is unable to communicate with the base.  What happens when we fall into sin?  We have an interrupted communication line with our Savior.  If we do not put on our full armor, we are unable to communicate with God about the needs of the saints.  We are also unable to communicate with God regarding the need for boldness in sharing the Gospel.

When you wake up, put on the whole armor of God.  Then go about your day praying for the needs of others and a boldness not only for yourself but also for other Christians to share the Gospel so we can say with Paul,

“That I may declare boldly, as I ought to speak.”  (Ephesians 6:20).

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