fall color in Wake Forest – and the armor of God

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Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13

IMG_3510Here in North Carolina this has been a beautiful week of emerging fall colors and “windows-wide-open” temperatures.

It’s also been a week of scrambling to catch up, and to keep up. Work; church; house projects; people. We read scriptures encouraging us to pray, to place our trust in God, to reject worry, and to live in a sense of gratitude… but then life presses in. Everything here in Wake Forest is good, positive, upbeat, and encouraging; but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in the way of maintenance, and repair, and cultivating, and a great deal of investment.

ARMOR OF GOD: Two of the men’s Bible-study groups at Wake Forest Presbyterian are studying Ephesians 6:10-20 – the armor of God. We’re breaking it down, so we have time to talk about why we might need the armor in the first place, about the great struggle of good over evil, about our personal need for God’s presence from moment to moment, and about each one of the tools the writer says we have at our disposal.

  • The belt of truth;
  • the breastplate of righteousness;
  • shoes fitted with readiness to share the gospel of peace;
  • the shield of faith;
  • the helmet of salvation;
  • the sword of the Spirit
  • prayer

IMG_3505FAITH: Wednesday this week we talked about the shield of faith. And I couldn’t help but think about how important faith is if I am ever going to move beyond the place of worry when faced with busyness, overwhelm, uncertainty, stress, and even opportunity.

One of the guys described faith as more than a shield, but the very ground we stand on. I like that image. After all, the passage begins with the following idea: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

When we have done everything, to stand! And what do we stand on? We stand on faith. “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” (Edward Mote). “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

the street behind our house
the street behind our house

“Faith involves a lot of trust,” another man pointed out. He was so right about that. My lack of trust so much of the time reminds me that I need to ask God for more faith…. Then God responds with, “I’ve already given you faith – what you need to do now is to use it.”

I step outside on another cool October morning, and I expect to see the beauty of coming fall. Likewise I need to step into each new day with a sense of trust, a sure knowledge that God will guide me, hold me up, accompany me, and equip me for the journey.

It’s a matter of faith; it’s an exercise in trust – DEREK

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