Tools of Faith (Part 2)
Like any high quality helmet can protect the crunch of an incoming football opponent -
or the onslaught of a fully padded adversary on ice skates -
Without a helmet on, we leave ourselves exposed for real danger and damage.
Jesus loved teaching through everyday life parables and life experiences to try to help His listening audience.
The football and hockey images with their attacking opponents are just visuals to help us understand why God tells us to put on the "Helmet of Salvation."
What is the Helmet of Salvation and why is it important?
In Ephesians 6:10-18 we are told of several "Tools of Faith," or as God would call them - "Weapons."
Why would God tell us to use weapons if He is a loving God?
Because He knows we have an enemy always ready to attack.
Just like in sports - our adversary is always looking for a weak spot, an open area, and a way to distract or trip us up - and sometimes adversaries play dirty.
In the book of Ephesians 6 God tells us:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
Our spiritual adversary is out to kill, steal and destroy us John 10:10
We have an enemy that wants to keep us in a state of unrest, doubt and fear. One of doing this is attacking our thoughts. He is the master of deception John 8:44 tells us.
He keeps us awake at night with trolling thoughts hoping to snag us like a fisherman does with his line patiently waiting to catch his fish.
But the assurance of our salvation in Christ is our greatest weapon of defense against anything the enemy who baits us with tempting lures. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28.
We need to be aware and prepared and armed for Satan’s attacks. The helmet is a daily protection and deliverance from our sin nature and Satan’s schemes.
Through this helmet of salvation, we can “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
What are some ways the Helmet of Salvation can help guard our minds:
1. Renew our minds. Romans 12:1–2 tells us to renew our minds by allowing the truth of God’s word to wipe out anything contrary to it. God knows this world will leave us empty, broken and confused, so His desire is to fill us with Himself and His truth. Jesus tells us why this is so crucial to our peace of mind and our eternal peace with God. John 14:6 says Jesus is, "the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." God wants us to be an active participant with Him in our spiritual journey. We cannot be passive in our walk with the Lord. We need to pray for wisdom and read God's word as we learn how to test and discern what the will of God is; "what is good and acceptable and perfect," as His Holy Spirit leads us.
2. Set out thoughts on things above. Colossians 3: 2 reminds us that when we keep our thoughts on the gift of heaven and the most amazing gift we have been given -the gift of salvation through Jesus - it helps keep our thoughts focused on God’s love for us which
can help calm our anxious thoughts. Reminding ourselves that this world and its hurts are only temporary by daily making the choice to trust in His goodness and praying for His perspective will help us when we face difficult days. The key to setting our thoughts above and calming our minds is prayer. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
3. Think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy... Philippians 4:8 tells us that if we do this and put into practice what we have learned from God's word, "the God of peace will be with you." The closer we draw to Him, the more of His peace we can enjoy James 4:8.
4. Remembering hope does not put us to shame Romans 5:5. What God is trying to tell us is: Hope will not lead to disappointment - This kind of hope is not a "I hope so" sort of hope; no, this is an anchored hope in the firm foundation of God's unwavering character. It is you putting you feet on solid ground, knowing God is the rock you stand on. Putting your hope in Jesus is not a feeling, it is a daily decision to follow by faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If you read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11, you will see how all the people listed in the chapter became "heroes of the faith." Because they stood with confident assurance or "hope" in their God. Our hope is a confident assurance because it is grounded upon the Rock of our salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So when life knocks you off your feet, or you find yourself dealing with fear doubt, true peace of mind and the tranquility of spirit begins when we have true peace with God through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross in payment of our sins. When we try to find peace in other places than God we find ourselves lost, alone, confused and broken, and sadly deceived. Peace of mind is found in a relationship with Jesus and growing in your trust in, the God who meets “all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.