Monday, July 24, 2017

Being Battle Fit

UV 2729/10000 Being Battle Fit
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
Ephesians 6 v 14

Nations are zealous to protect every square inch of their sovereign territory. We too should be zealous to guard every square inch of spiritual territory over which the Lord has given us authority. Just yesterday, I heard a telecast of a four star Chinese general saying, “ The Chinese army is not to be taken lightly and it can move even a mountain” in the context of the standoff between India and China at a border post. Coincidentally and ironically, Jesus also stated that the army of the faithful can move spiritual mountains. The uni-verse states that in order to be successful in our spiritual battles, there are some precautions and preconditions. Instead of merely belting out the truth, we are exhorted to be girded with truth. Everything should be under girded by the truth. We are to be surrounded in 360 degrees with the truths hidden in the Word of God that applies to every aspect of our belief, speech, thought, action and reaction. Not only should we be under girded and surrounded, but like a belt the truth should be worn close to our bodies. It should be visible and should be a perfect fit to hold all the parts of our spiritual armour in place like a girdle. A belt is useless unless it is used. It is not meant to whip others but to be used everyday by us for our own security. The truths learnt from the Word are meant to be applied in practical ways to guide our decisions and behaviour.

Our best defence is our faith in the righteousness of Christ with which we are covered. Death could not hold Jesus prisoner forever as He is absolutely righteous. Even the accumulated sins of humanity could not weigh Him down. As the Vicar of our souls, He has lent us His absolute righteousness. Under that impenetrable armour of righteousness, we need to wear a clean tunic, implying that we should live our lives as close to the righteous image of Christ as possible. Hence, both our faith and our actions or works count in order to be effective soldiers of Christ though faith alone is enough for salvation. The armour should fit us not too tightly or too lose but be a perfect fit for our lives. It should not be too heavy and unwieldy. We do not wear a back piece as the Lord covers our back and our past.

The breastplate is one of the most vital pieces of body armour as it covers the heart. Any injury affecting the heart could be fatal. Hence, we need to preserve our hearts with an impenetrable covering or shield of righteousness. We cannot afford to have any chinks or flaws in this part of our spiritual armour. The breastplate needs to fit in exactly into the girdle or belt. The principles we learn from the Word together hold in place our life guard – the breastplate of righteousness. We need to keep the breastplate shining, strong and rust free by the oil of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. At all times, we should realize that salvation is not earned by our righteousness but it is a righteousness shared by Christ through our faith and His grace. Below the hard, shining armour, our hearts of flesh need to continue to beat to the rhythm of the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness and self control where self control is defined as yielding to the control of the Holy Spirit. Wearing the different defensive pieces of our spiritual armour, we need to stand in battle position, alert and watchful or prayerful. Body armour will not prevent us from attacks or assaults of the enemy and his agents but it will preserve us from fatal blows and reduce the extent of our vulnerability to temptation, injury and harm.

Prateep V Philip

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