Today’s Reflection is from Monica Kay. Monica has a long history with Mini-Yo-We and currently serves as a member of our board.
Today’s Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Dear Mini-Yo-We Friends,
We are in the midst of a challenging season, aren’t we…. And learning of “no overnight camp” for the summer has been a heart breaker and game-changer for many of us. Today, as we face this alarming pandemic with mounting fears and difficulties, the sense of struggle is stark and the need for confidence and a firm foundation is great.
In Ephesians 6:10-20, the Apostle Paul encourages his readers to put on the armour of God so that, as they face struggles and aim to live lives worthy of their calling, they know with reinforced confidence that Christ is supreme and has equipped them with all they need. This directive applies to us as well so that we too can confidently stand firm in Christ and walk as the children of light amidst the darkness and instability of the world.
When fear and anxiety rise, and our patience with family members or friends wavers we need to remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but rather the spiritual forces of evil. Sounds dramatic, but it is true! The book of Ephesians encourages us to “live lives worthy of our calling” (Eph. 4:1), but this is not as easy as it might sound, and the enemy of God doesn’t want us to succeed… he wants us to fall and fail. Did you catch one of our goals in this passage? It is to stand firm in the Lord! Thankfully, through our union Christ, God gives us a new identity as His beloved children and a spiritual authority to match. Furthermore, God actually gives us HIS armour to wear in the battle (check out images from Isaiah 11:4-5; 52:7; 59:17) – how amazing and confidence building is that?! God helps us to stand in really hard circumstances.
I would encourage you to read over the passage and consider each piece of armour: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the peace of the gospel for your feet, as well as the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. We do have to be intentional to “put on” these things, or to “take them up,” and as we do so we can prayerfully embrace the truth of God’s reign/power and the reality of who we are as His children. At the same time, we can intentionally choose and pray to live in a way that mirrors each piece of God’s armour and character. For example, as we put on the belt of truth we can remember that we are chosen, loved and forgiven, and we can aim to speak truth and live lives of integrity. The enemy often wants to challenge our worth and negatively highlight imperfections. When putting on the breastplate of righteousness, we can remember that through Christ we have forgiveness and the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions. Putting on the gospel of peace, we can reflect on the peace that is available to us and be ready to share it with others in need. Think through each piece and how it applies to you and how you live your lives, with God’s help of course.
One more important note…
This passage was addressed to a group of people, encouraging them TOGETHER to put on the armour of God, and to pray for one another. I know we are spread out right now, but we can still pray for one another in our times of battle and struggle. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer as Paul does at the end of the passage. He did so from a distance as well… Back in the day, the Roman shields were large, long, rectangular, and made of wood, iron and leather. They were also doused in water to extinguish the fiery arrows of the enemy. These shields were most effective when used in formation by group of soldiers holding them up at the same time. This is true for us as well as we hold up the shield of faith- it is more effective when we do so together. So let’s put on the armour of God and with confidence let’s pray for one another and for camp!
Peace be with you! Know that you are in my prayers….
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