14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
It could easily be said that each individual piece of armor, whether we are talking the gospel of peace, faith, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, they all are the “one thing” that is missing in our lives in the deepest sense of the word and critically important in their own right.
We will never be able to perfect faith, but without it there is no hope. We will never be able to maintain perfect peace in our dealings with the world, but without peace there can be no exhibition of true love. Without the Holy Spirit or Truth or righteousness there can be no exhibition of Christ in us.
Our entire lives will be spent in pursuit of each of these things on a deeper and more profoundly whole-life encompassing manner. The Helmet of Salvation is no different.
Salvation is past, present and future
Salvation is something that we received from Christ at the time of crossing over into personal relationship and reliance upon Him; it is something that we will receive daily as we wake each morning and throughout the day in pursuit of His protection from our own character flaws that try to derail our purposes in Christ; and it is our assurance in the future that He will eternally save us from the evils of this world and the penalties of sin.
I believe that putting on the Helmet of Salvation refers to having an awe-struck awareness of what an all-encompassing miracle salvation truly is.
Awareness of our personal salvation (not something God did for the world in general, but something He did specifically for me and you) is the very foundation of attaining greater peace, deeper faith, and what provides the hunger and passion for God’s word and deeper discipleship.
Once we grasp the true depth of what God has done, is doing, and promises to do only then will we begin to grasp the meaning of salvation and in that become more willing to surrender our lives for the Gospel.
We are forgiven for our yesterday’s, the atonement of Christ’s blood on the cross covers all. It doesn’t matter the depth of the sin. Drugs & alcohol, pornography, gluttony of food, materialism, greed, blame, murder, rape… horrible sins the may have destroyed lives are covered.
Just look at nearly every single person, especially the men in the bible. David, “a man after God’s heart” lusted after his best friends wife, got her pregnant, had his friend killed and married her”.
Jonah loved God but ran from God when His plan differed from what Jonah thought was best.
Gideon was a lowly man from a lowly tribe whose only talent was obedience and faith.
The Apostle Paul, a murderer of specifically Christians yet transformed.
Peter himself denied Christ directly in Jesus’ presence at the greatest time in history when Jesus needed a friend most.
All of these men, unqualified, incapable, broken in their own ways, subjected the world to their own fears, failures and lusts were forgiven by grace and called by God. They were set free from condemnation of their old lives and given new purpose, direction, callings that required the surrender of their pursuits and following the new call God placed upon them.
John 6:68-69 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Salvation is not something that was done so we could go on living in our old ways free from addictions and egregious behaviors. Salvation is a call to arms, a trading if you will from a life slavery to sin and selfish pursuits to a willing slavery to righteousness. We are all called to the battle field of life not only in Christ, but solely FOR Christ.
This is not to attain anything, salvation is not earned. Instead our lives become a glorious response to what has been, is being and is promised to be done.
This battle for total surrender is where I find my fight lately, to completely give up the dreams planted in me from my youth; the pursuit of money, career accolades, the next great vacation, the next nicer car, hotter girlfriend, new toy, fun adventure, it’s all becoming more and more meaningless.
I find myself almost in this void of longing for the seemingly fun escape of old life behaviors but knowing I can never go back and fearing the spiritual warfare that lies ahead as a soldier for Christ being as the calling to go deeper in ministry and personal sacrifice for the kingdom gains momentum in my head and heart.
Ecclesiastes 10:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.
When we awake each day and put on the WHOLE armor of God we are being equipped to treat each and every encounter with each and every person as a Divine Appointment.
Our greatest rewards come not in the things we gain or achieve, but in the relationships we maintain. Whether for a moment or a lifetime, each enccounter is an opportunity to reflect the gift that no man can give, the gift of salvation that is found only in fullness of God the Trinity.
We should always be asking ourselves, how can I be an influence in this situation for the glory of God?
We we look at life in this way, whether the task is great or small, at home, at work, on the freeway, in the grocery store, every action of life becomes intertwined with the sole purpose of glorifying God and we find ourselves living on purpose instead of being tossed about.
We are not our own anymore. We were purchase at a very high price for a very specific reason; to make disciples of the world. To become fully aware of what our personal salvation is in all of its forms is to become truly free.
It by grace that we have been transformed by the redemptive healing of Christ on the Cross
It is by power through the Holy Spirit within that we are now fully equipped and capable to speak boldly and love passionately a world that doesn’t deserve it, just as that same Holy Spirit reveals the darkness in our own hearts in a loving way that encourages us to change and never convicts us to give up or self-condemn
And all of this was documented in history, shared with us in real-time each day, and prophesied for our future in a manner that is transforming through the Word of God so that we are now freed to live for His glory.
Father God, You are truly mighty to save. That you could take a broken man as myself, one who was depressed and empty to the point of considering suicide, who was self destructive in worst ways through addictions, hate, pain, emptiness and fill my life with purpose, hope, increasing joy. There is truly no power on earth that can bring heart change on that level. Spiritual warfare is very real God and the greatest evil I believe Satan pulls on your creation is a blinding to that fact. Help us Lord to always be looking inside to the areas where we have been fooled by the Deceiver and gift us the wisdom, strength and courage to live a life in pursuit of the calling you place upon each of us, a calling to bring change in a dying world for Your glory. Give us the discernment to champion righteous business dealings, to be willing to step into the difficult relationships as an emissary of peace and healing, to come alongside those with great need, the homeless, the widows, the suffering and bring hope, encouragement, material and spiritual healing in their lives. May we seek to be poured out for other in Your name Father and not our own. Continue to mold us into Your image so that we may live a life that is part of the eternal solution of salvation and not one that feeds the ever-present and sometimes overwhelming darkness that exists in the world today. Thank you Father God for our very life, may Your will and not ours be done this day and forevermore. In Jesus precious name…