In keeping with the name of this blog, Hope that’s Real, I plan to spend the next several posts reflecting on a major source of hope as we confront the challenges of the day. In Ephesians 6:10-17 the Apostle Paul describes the armor God has made available to believers, which comprises essential equipment for dealing with contemporary challenges.
I realize that this topic has been addressed by virtually thousands of commentators. Perhaps my treatment will include some different perspectives, and even if not it may be a good reminder regarding these essential armaments for fighting successfully. When confronting an attack, I tend to work through the situation in my mind from the perspective of these pieces of armor, and I find this helpful.
A Good Day to Put on the Armor
In Ephesians 6:13 Paul states, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Interesting phrase, “the evil day.”
The term “evil” has two connotations. It can refer to that which is morally evil, but it also makes reference to that which is bad in the practical sense. When we talk about having a bad day usually we are not referring to moral evil but difficult circumstances. Trying times. The time in which we live constitutes the evil day on both counts.
Evil in the Moral Sense
It certainly meets the description of being evil morally.
I think of the triumph of the homosexual agenda as an indicator, with American Christians being forced into complicity at some level. Now the U.S. Senate, in response to the Hobby Lobby decision, is proposing an abortion bill far more egregious than anything in the past. It seems that almost everywhere we look in our nation evil is triumphing. And where they lose a few battles, they keep fighting until they win—the Hobby Lobby case providing an example of this liberal response to defeat. For many decades I have watched the forces of evil progress.
I just read a statistic that 68% of the men attending church view pornography regularly. Statistics can be misleading, and I’m not sure of the validity of the research behind this finding, but I know this is a serious problem for many Christian men, and now even for a growing number of Christian women.
Many other indicators point to the moral evil of our day.
Evil in the Practical Sense
It is also an evil day in the practical sense.
Thankfully, for most of us this is not the case in terms of our physical circumstances and well-being. Most of us enjoy comfort exceeding that which others around the globe experience and far beyond what most people throughout history have enjoyed.
However, in other ways these are bad times. Thomas Paine in his pamphlet The American Crisis written as America endured the trials of the Revolutionary War penned the famous line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Though it is all it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s place, I believe I would trade contemporary America for those days. Then America was a fresh, young nation, and though fraught with challenges enjoyed the vigor and optimism and idealism of youth. We were a nation on the rise. Throughout most of my lifetime we have been a nation in decline. I have observed America’s retreat in one area after the other, and in recent days that downward trend has deteriorated into all-out freefall. I would much prefer the struggles of national youth to the American death cycle we are experiencing today.
One of the factors that makes this plunge into the abyss so trying is that it is so totally unnecessary. We are not dying from homicide or even old age. We are dying from suicide. It doesn’t have to be this way. I always experienced such a tremendous sinking feeling when I hear of someone committing suicide because it is so unnecessary. That feeling is multiplied many times over as I see American dying by its own hand.
It is painful to watch America died by reckless spending, by excessive taxation, by government programs that disincentivize work, by shrinkage in our military, by ill-advised foreign policy, by failure of your educational institutions, by disinformation from news media, by the promotion of erroneous and evil concepts through the entertainment media, by physical death through the abortion of over 56 million of our children, by the expansion of government with all of its inefficiency and waste, and by so many other means. Watching a great nation, our nation, bleeding to death from these self-inflicted wounds makes this and especially evil day.
Time to Suit up
In light of the rampant evil in our nation, this is a perfect day to put on the armor Paul describes in Ephesians 6. He states that the armor’s purpose is to enable us to stand. Without it we will be defeated by Satan.
I hope you will continue to read these posts as we describe the armor and how it is used. The Lord doesn’t want casualties in His forces, so don’t become a statistic. Make adequate preparation for the battle.