"Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home." - C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


They say that play is a child's work.  Whether or not that is always the case, the five-year-old boy was taking his play very seriously.  The goofy antics of his two-year-old brother would not distract him from his mission.

Equipped with the plastic armor from the dress-up closet, the older brother solemnly surveyed his knightly jurisdiction in the basement.  His little brother understood the role play.  "Dragon!" he squealed gleefully and took off running, expecting his brother to follow.

His elder brother didn't move a muscle.  With great seriousness to match his weighty responsibility, he turned to his younger brother.  "No," he said calmly.  "Knights don't run away from dragons."

Provided For
If there is ever any question about whether or not Christians will face difficulty in this world, Paul's conclusion to Ephesians takes care of that.  After reading about "schemes of the devil," "cosmic powers over this present darkness," and "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:11-12), it's no wonder we need armor for this life.

But, just like every other true need we face in this life our Good Shepherd "'knows what you need before you ask him'" (Matthew 6:8).  Undoubtedly, we need armor and, just as assuredly, He provides it.

Imagine a knight in medieval times given his first coat of armor.  It would be strong.  It would perfectly fit his needs in battle.  It would be a gift.

In the same way, as Christians, we are given our own coats of armor, as illustrated in Ephesians 6.  The armor of God is strong.  It is exactly what we need.  It is a free gift.

Our Captain gives us everything we need.  Truth, righteousness, readiness from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God - all of it is provided for the soldiers of God.

A Scaredy-Knight

Imagine the king visiting that same knight in medieval times and asking how the battle went.  Imagine the king's response if the knight replied that he had never fought in battle...

King: "You haven't fought at all?  You have been a knight for some time now and you still haven't served in battle?  Why not?"

Knight: "To be honest, I don't want to be hurt.  I'm afraid."

King: "But I gave you a coat of armor!  A brand new coat of armor that fits you well and perfectly matches your needs in battle!  Armor is made to be used, friend.  It will protect you as you wage warfare for the kingdom."

A conversation like this probably never happened - I know.  But how often do we hold that knight's excuse in our hearts?

Whatever Comes
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul builds a case for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and our eventual resurrection into eternal life.  Toward the end of the chapter, the climax of his case, he exults: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).

It's true - the victory is ours!  Eternally won by Jesus' sacrifice, our inheritance is "kept in heaven" for us (1 Peter 1:4) and nothing can ever change that.  We are Christ's.  We are His children, and, if you will, knights in His kingdom equipped with armor He provides.

And armor is made to be used.

After Paul's triumphant statement in 1 Corinthians 15, he finished the chapter with a charge: "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Steadfast.  Immovable.  Always abounding in God's work.  He has given us the victory, so our work will never truly fail.

When we face "schemes of the devil," "cosmic powers over this present darkness," and "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places," there will be times when lies and problems cloud our view of our sure victory.  But we have no need to fear.  No matter how dark, difficult, or dangerous, no matter the risk or the problem or the struggle, we have been given the victory and are equipped to stand in the battle and face whatever comes.

Knights don't run away from dragons.