…and having done all the crisis demands…stand firmly in your place. Ephesians 6:13b
I love the study of the armor of God. (Kids love it too, by the way.) And I love how scripture can be new every day just like God’s mercy. Reading a passage that is so familiar can still be enlightening when we read His words with an expectation of learning something new.
I had always imagined a round shield that would fit on the arm, one with which I had to move in constant defense in order to quench those fiery darts. Upon deeper study I discovered that Roman soldiers would wrap their shields in leather then soak them in water so that the fiery darts would quite effectively be quenched. The shields were also large enough that when the soldiers “turtled” (front line with shields touching side-to-side, lines behind them lifting their shields above them, also side-to-side) they were virtually impenetrable. When God equipped us with His armor He gave us faith that is sufficient to withstand the attacks. And He intended that we link our faith with others rather than fight alone.
Our world is in a crisis. Crisis: a situation that has reached a critical phase
This is not my first crisis, probably not yours either. This isn’t even the worst of the crises I’ve faced in my own personal life (and I must admit, most of them were of my own making). No matter the crisis of the moment, every single one makes demands. They demand attention. They demand action. They are relentless in these demands, unmoved by emotions, unchanged if ignored, set on a course that will result in change whether we like it or not.
Our current crisis has demanded our attention, as well it should. It has demanded that we stay home, away from friends, unnecessary errands, and for many, even our jobs. Besides the potential danger of infection, many are facing the financial crisis that the virus crisis is creating. For some the financial crisis is breeding relationship crises as tensions rise and fear takes root. The crisis has gotten our attention.
What action is the crisis demanding? For most of us: stay home and wash our hands. For teachers the demand has been to immediately develop a new way to teach outside the classroom. For our healthcare workers the demand has been extreme on the front lines, claiming their time, resources, and emotions beyond anything they’ve ever experienced. For those infected the demand is the urgency to begin treatment as quickly as possible. The demands in a crisis can push us to the breaking point.
This virus is a real thing in this natural world. But let’s not forget that for every believer there’s more to this existence than the limitations of the natural.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, contending only with physical opponents, but against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly, supernatural sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day of danger, and, having done all the crisis demands, to stand firmly in your place. Ephesians 6:12-13
What fiery darts are demanding your attention in this crisis? Fear? Discouragement? Loneliness? Financial loss? Relationship issues? Infection? Spiritual doubt and confusion? God’s given you everything you need to stand firmly in your place. You can only do your part. You can’t do mine and I can’t do yours. What God asks of you may be completely different from what He’s asking of me right now. However there’s no doubt He already knew what this crisis would demand from each of us and He’s provided a way of escape.
No temptation (trial) has laid hold of you that is not common to man, that is beyond human resistance. But God is faithful and He can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation/test He will always also provide the way out, that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Lift up your shield of faith. Quit judging yourself for all that you haven’t done to prepare for this (physically, mentally, financially, spiritually) and trust that He’s equipped you. Exercise your faith and you are sure to become stronger. And when you’re feeling weak don’t drop out, remember that I’m standing with you, shield-to-shield, because that’s how we win this battle.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 10:13-18 MSG
“All the crisis demands” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com