Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Protect Yourself

Day #27



I took a fencing class several years ago.

Isn’t this a great picture of me?
Just kidding.
But this is how I look fencing IN MY MIND.

To say I loved it doesn't cover it.

Not even close.

It was such a spiritual, electrifying experience.

There was something about holding a double-edge sword in my hands and then getting to whack somebody in the head with it 
that made me feel like more than a conqueror.

I’m not a boy. 
I didn’t grow up playing war.

This was all new territory.

There was something about trying to block someone trying to whack me in the head that spoke as loud as a sermon to me.

"Protect yourself!"

I was told that by my Russian instructor over and over and over.

There was something about sparring that felt like I was getting an aerial view of not just my own Christian walk

but a glimpse of the battle in the heavenlies.

The one going on right then

as I blocked and poked and whacked,

and the one going on right now

as I type this.

It was so exhilarating that the hair stood up on my arms almost the entire time I was in class.

I was on the brink of laughing 
and crying the whole time.

It was fantastic.

It was empowering.

It was so. not. about. me.

Yet it inspired me to see the battle that I am in

and it encouraged me to keep consciously protecting myself.

I am doing a Priscilla Shirer bible study called The Armor of God.

It’s so good!


It’s reminded me so much of my fencing class.

“Protect yourself!

We’re told this in Ephesians 6 with action words like,

“be strong in the Lord…
put on the full armor of God…
take your stand against the devil’s schemes…
stand your ground…
stand firm…
take up the shield of faith…
take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit…
pray in the spirit…
be alert…"

Priscilla says in her study that we have a very real enemy around us.

“He’s working overtime to mask your identity in Christ, to keep the truth from coming out--that you are indeed alive and free and empowered by God’s own Spirit to fight victoriously against him. He’d rather conspire to keep you in a constant state of mourning, grieving over who you wish you were, instead of relishing who you really are. He prefers you insecure and crippled by self-doubt. 
Lifeless. Comatose.”

In other words, not at all a conqueror, 
like we were created to be.

I envision a fully armored soldier, but nothing is being utilized to its best potential.

His sword is in his hand but it's pointed down carelessly, not held up ready to swing or block.

His helmet is pushed back exposing his head.

His shield is hanging by his side, not protecting him at all.

He thinks his breastplate is too tight so he loosened it to breathe a little easier.

He might even be missing a shoe.

And he’s definitely whining…

that it’s all too heavy, 
too hot 
and he might even have to 
go to the bathroom.


This is NOT the posture of a solider. 

A warrior ready for battle.

A Christian who knows his power
but also the reality of his enemy.


"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors 
through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37

I love the lyrics to Casting Crowns song, “The Voice of Truth.”

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth


"Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth"

Unlike our enemy would have us to believe,

we have a choice.

Victory or defeat.

“… the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.”
1John 5:18

Protect yourself!

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