Our Spiritual War Part 6
Ephesians 6:17a, “And take the helmet of salvation…”
In one of my favorite books, which was turned into a trilogy of movies that was unnecessarily long, The Hobbit, there is a scene near the end where our protagonist Bilbo Baggins is hit in the head and knocked unconscious. While it served a literary purpose in telling the story, it serves another purpose for us today, and that is the importance of protecting our heads, or even more specifically with protecting our minds. While physically protecting our head, and all the vital organs it holds, like our eyes and brain, there is something to be said for protecting our minds. The helmet Paul probably had in mind while he was writing this was a bronze or iron helmet that had some sort of padding inside that was meant to provide great protection for the soldier, nothing but a well-placed axe or sword could crack the helmet and injure the soldier. We need this kind of protection for our minds, something impenetrable, to protect us in our spiritual war, this is where the helmet of salvation comes in.
We must be protected by our commander and I think 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says it wonderfully, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” What protects our minds is the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. We need to encircle our heads and minds with the defense of knowing we are saved by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, this is an impenetrable force. When we know we have been saved because of the love and grace of Jesus things will impact us differently. For example, spiritual attacks, while annoying and trying, cannot remove us from the love of God. Additionally, things that happen in our lives should impact us differently because we know they are temporary, and we know that our salvation in Christ is secure because of Him and since it is eternal temporary things should have less of an impact. In other words, because we know Jesus has won the victory, and we are in Him by faith, the trials and troubles of this world should impact us differently, and to a lesser degree than the person who does not have the hope of salvation in Jesus. This is not to say things won’t be difficult, or that we will not have difficult times, just that we can put them in perspective of the eternal salvation that we have been given as a free gift in Christ. I have a dear friend who lost a child a few years ago, and while I have never experienced it and can only imagine the pain of such a loss, their perspective was filled with faith. It did not make the loss any less painful, but they knew they would see their child again because of the hope we have in Jesus. Honestly, I don't know how anyone gets through the trials of life apart from Him.
In Romans 12:2 we are exhorted to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our minds our renewed when they are focused on and filled with the things of God instead of being focused on and filled with the things of the world. For example, do we focus on our problems or on Jesus the problem solver? Do we focus on materialism or on our provider? Do we fill our minds with raunchy television and music or with the Word of God, worship, and prayer? Our minds are renewed in the presence and power of God, and when our minds are renewed by God, we will have a better ability to discern and carry out His will in our lives, all the while having our minds protected by His grace and the knowledge and reality of our salvation and hope in Him. No part of our spiritual armor is unessential, and having our minds protected and renewed by the power and presence of God while protecting us with the knowledge of our salvation in Christ, is absolutely essential.
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