Ephesians 6:10-24 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Mark Lee, Gracepoint Berkeley

List the components of the “full armor of God.”  Which of these have I been neglecting?  What are the temptations that I am most susceptible to and what part of God’s armor do I need to use to fight these temptations?
The full armor of God consists of the following: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.
These are the components of the ‘full armor of God’ that I have at my disposal.  Why does the apostle Paul describe faith as a ‘shield’, the word of God as the ‘sword’, and salvation as a ‘helmet’?  Verse 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.  This is the context that the Paul has in mind as he is writing this.  The reality is that I am a part of and engaging in a spiritual battle.  What is at stake is whether my love for God would grow or wane, whether I would desire more holiness or quit struggling, and whether I am growing more humble in response to the truth about my sins or becoming more stubborn and proud.  It is a fierce battle that I’m unable to wage by myself.  Left to my devices without any kind of support, it would be a lost cause.
One particular temptation that I am most susceptible to,is feeling entitled to the things in life.  It is the idea that God and life owes me something.  No one, in their right mind, would explicitly utter such a ridiculous statement but I find that these sentiments are deeply entrenched within me.  The ensuing disappointments when life doesn’t work out the way I expected reveals that there is this fundamental outlook that God should revolve around my desires and not the other way around.
The one component that I had been neglecting is the helmet of salvation.  I am very thankful that we had a chance to go through the book of Ephesians for our devotionals.  It’s very clear that apostle Paul sees his salvation as something that was given to him purely by grace.  It was something that had been given and revealed to him.  There was nothing that he could have done to earn his salvation.  By recalling what kind of person he was and by going through the process of seeing how salvation was given to him by his grace, this is the same kind of process that I need to go through to fight against this idea that I’m entitled to things in life and take things for granted.  With each passing year, I’ve become more and more aware of my faults, shortcomings, and the darkness within my own heart.  And all that much more, I see how amazing it is and what a miracle it is that I was given salvation.  The impossibility and the miraculous nature of my own salvation, despite my sins, was further highlighted this past Sunday as I had a chance to hear the salvation testimonies of three brother and sisters in Christ.  I was amazed and struck by the fact that, despite having completely different backgrounds, the common element in their salvation was the grace of God that led each of them.   By remembering the grace that led me to being saved, this is how I am going to fight against the temptation.  God owes me nothing in life.  The only thing that I am truly entitled is to be left alone to deal with the consequences of my sin.  It was in this sinful and offensive condition that I was in that God came to rescue and die for my sins.  This is what it will mean for me to take up my helmet of salvation.
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