Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Canadian poet Ethelwyn Wetherald wrote, “My orders are to fight; then if I bleed, or fail, or strongly win, what matters it? . . . I was not told to win or lose,–my orders are to fight.” Each one of us is in a fight. We are in a death struggle against Satan’s plan to destroy everything valuable in our lives. Fortunately, God has given us the spiritual weapons we need to defeat Satan’s plan to destroy us. But God wants us to do more than just survive Satan’s attacks; He actually invites us to join with Him in His efforts to reclaim this world, to overturn the kingdom of darkness and prepare it for the return for our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ. We are the first wave of attack on this earth as we prepare for His return, and our spiritual armor gives us the strength to keep moving forward.
This week we are going to look at the two final pieces of armor that God has given us to win the spirit wars. Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Occasionally somebody will ask, “Pastor, what is the hardest thing you have ever had to do in your ministry?” I do not have to think long about it; the experience is seared in my consciousness as if it happened yesterday. It was Palm Sunday, and at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I received a phone call telling me that a couple in our church had been killed in a motorcycle accident. The extended family asked if I would go to the couple’s home and tell their two grade-school daughters that their parents were dead. Let me assure you that it does not get any tougher than that. As I went there, I thought to myself, “If only those parents had been wearing helmets, they might have saved their own lives, and saved their children from a lifetime of grief.”
Helmets are essential, not only in motorcycling but for warfare. In Paul’s day a soldier would never think about going into the battle without his helmet on. The Roman helmet was a piece of molded metal with a faceguard on it, and the purpose of that helmet was obvious: to protect the head from mortal wounds. Sometimes those wounds would come from a broadsword. You have probably seen that on the TV before–a soldier riding his horse, flailing his broadsword and striking his enemy in the head. Sometimes the helmet was useful in hand-to-hand combat when the enemy would use chains, a club, or a dagger. Sometimes the helmet would protect the soldier from harming himself if he fell off his horse or stumbled on rocky ground. In the same way, Paul said, before we go into battle, we need to make sure we are protecting our head.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Helmet And The Sword” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Ethelwyn Wetherald, “My Orders,” in “Canadian Poets,” ed. John W. Garvin (Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, 1916), 170.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org