Monday, 15 September 2008

Waste not, want not.

Use every piece of God's armour to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth, and the body armour of God's rightousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6: 13-17
It struck me during Mick the Missionary's sermon last night, that we have been given all these things to use. We haven't been given the faith-shield to look pretty in the pool room, nor the Spirit-sword to hang over the hearth. They have been gifted to us as practical tools to be used.

This doesn't mean we should trash the peace-shoes, instead we should wear them, cherish them, get new laces, get them resoled. God has an infinite supply of peace-shoes to replenish the worthy wearer. I've always imagined the salvation-helmet to be battered but gleaming. Polish it with pride, so you can bear it with pride. The more you use it, the more comfortable it will be to wear.

There's a scene in a book or movie, where exactly it is from eludes me, but essentially it's a man explaining that while his inherited sword has had the blade replaced several times, has a new handle, has been rejewelled, it is still the same sword as has been passed through down the family for generations, because it isn't the parts that make the sword, but the spirit that goes with it. This is how I think we should treat our Armour of God, don't be scared to use it too much, because that's what we've been given it for.

No one (even Luke Skywalker) is great with a sword (or saber) the first time they use it. But with practice they can eventually use it against the evilest of beings, and beat them back.

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23
I find the juxtapositioning of the Holy Spirit to as being both a sword and bringing the fruits fascinating. The sword is weapon of war, and yet the fruits belong in the realm of peace. If our lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we will be in possession of these fruits, and yet expected to wield their giver (and therefore the fruits ?) as weapons.

My only conclusion here is that we are not to be anything but loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlling when we wield the mighty Word. The sword is in itself not a violent object, it is he who wields it maliciously that makes it so.

What are your thoughts?

Read. Reflect. React.