We Are Soldiers
Some of the imagery I like to use can involve something along the lines of battles or wars. It’s important to look at our lives in these new ways, because it gives us perspective in who we are and what we’re doing. Among all the things we are, those of us not occupied in the military don’t generally consider ourselves soldiers, but–you guessed it–we are the empowered defenders of Christ’s name.
Most people will be familiar with the characteristic Roman armor poster they probably had in their Sunday school class, displaying the Armor of God. Google image search for ‘armor of God’ and you’ll see what I mean. But believe it or not, there’s a little more behind the whole illustration than we think.
First of all, if not for Sunday school classes and VBSs worldwide, why was this famous passage in Ephesians even written? Well, the answer to that one is pretty easy if you read the passage.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
The author, or rather, writer, of the book Ephesians, the apostle Paul, wanted us to know something. He wanted us to understand the power of Christ when applied to our lives. We are shown how, when virtues of our faith are used, God will bring us the strength we need.
It’s a bit of a reverse proof here, but this imagery of armor tells us exactly what we need to understand the empowered nature of serving Christ. Paul understood that ordinary people can understand concepts like a shield or a sword and their purposes, so why not use that prior knowledge to explain how we are empowered by our faith? The concept is simply that we must, by our righteousness, faithfulness, understanding, and readiness, be prepared to fight for God’s kingdom.
It’s a more fun way of saying the exact same thing. Follow God; fight for God. We have to be soldiers in defense of the kingdom, protecting the weak, the hungry, and the helpless, and preventing the world from blotting out the truth.
So don’t be afraid, oh fearless soldier. You’ve been given the armor, and that’s all you need to start fighting back. Get started by reading more about the armor of God.
(It is important to note, though, that the whole ‘fighting the world’ thing is not to be taken literally, especially not in physical violence–at least, not in most cases.)