Ah, 2009. What a year. Among other gems, we got this hit-ballad from Jordin Sparks asking why love always feels like a battlefield (a battlefield, a battlefield). Now, to be fair, I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t the model for a super healthy romantic relationship – especially since she doesn’t even know what they’re fighting for. But, when we follow Jesus, sometimes love does feel like a battlefield (a battlefield, a battlefield) (sorry, I’ll stop now). Following Jesus can be challenging because Jesus has enemies aka Satan and, as Christians, we are called to resist the temptation and evil that is thrown at us – which is really, really hard. Like Jordin says one minutes it’s love and you’re on a spiritual high from service or your morning devo and then it’s the smallest things that tear you down. So, let’s skip a few verses ahead and take some advice from the song – “You better go and get your armor (insert echo).” Our armor is laid out in Ephesians 6:11-18. Often called the armor of God, this passage is modeled after the Roman armor of the day because the recipients of this letter would have a clear image of what this looked like and the Roman army was the most formidable force in the world.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
There are a few things I find particularly interesting about this – the first being that Roman armor had no backplate because they weren’t allowed to retreat. Where have I started to retreat from the battleline out of fear, pressure or just distraction? The other interesting piece of this, to me, is that we are only provided with one weapon – the Word of God (vs. 17). Now, I don’t know a lot about Sword fighting, but I’ve watched a lot of Reign, and I’ve learned that no soldier would go into battle without being very familiar with his weapon. How familiar am I really with the weapon I am given? What can I do to make myself more familiar with it? If we’re on a battlefield, let’s do our best to be prepared.