WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV
Naval history teaches British Admiral Lord David Beatty commanded a flotilla at the Battle of Jutland during World War I. As the battle began, British and German ships engaged each other in a long-range artillery battle. It quickly became apparent that there was a major flaw in the British ships. First, a heavy cruiser, the Lion, was hit by an artillery barrage and quickly sunk. Next, the Indefatigable was hit in the powder magazine, and was blown to pieces. Then the Queen Mary was sunk, taking a crew of 1,200 sailors straight to the bottom. Watching this destruction among the proud ships of his fleet, Admiral Beatty turned to his bridge officer and said with characteristic British restraint, “There seems to be something wrong with our ships today, Chatfield.”
Though the British ships eventually turned back the German fleet, it was later discovered that there was a fatal flaw in the design of the British ships. Though they had heavily armored hulls, their wooden decks offered almost no protection against enemy long-range artillery shells that dropped almost straight down out of the sky. Only after the British began to armor their ships on top as well as on the sides did they stop losing ships to German long-range artillery.
In Ephesians 6:13-17, Paul teaches the church that it’s essential we put on “the whole armor of God.” If we neglect any part of the armor we are vulnerable to the Satan’s attacks. “Standing firm” is possible for us. And by God’s grace we should do everything God teaches us to help us to “stand firm.”
Reread Ephesians 6:13-17. Circle each of the pieces of armor listed. Like any good soldier there are defensive and offensive weapons. Which of the armor pieces in the passage we read are offensive weapons and which are defensive weapons? Which of the weapons do you believe you have neglected the most? Ask God to grow you where your armor is weak.