Written by: Nathan Bell
Missionary to the UK and Western Europe
Ephesians 6:13 (ESV)
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 firm.
Ephesians chapter six has always been a favorite of mine. The imagery of putting on armor and doing battle is one that has always been very appealing to me. As someone who has been on several missionary trips, I always liked to visualize myself putting on each piece before facing the “devil’s schemes.” It was not until recently that I began looking back on my overseas mission days and realized that I was not the one fighting the battle. Christ was fighting on my behalf.
Missions can be difficult. Adapting to new customs, people, and a way of life is not the easiest thing in the world. I have difficulty having a good relationship with my American neighbors from time to time; how am I supposed to have a good relationship with my neighbors who are overseas? The answer is Christ. After reading Isaiah 59:16-17, I realized that I was not putting on individual pieces of armor to do battle. I was putting on Christ, so that He could battle on my behalf.
Not only does the armor or Christ protect against Satan’s attacks, but it protects me from myself. It allows me to love those to whom Christ has called me to be a servant for the gospel. When I put on the armor (or put on Christ), I can, as Paul states it, “become all things to all people.” When I put on the armor (or put on Christ), it allows me to overcome my sense of entitlement and my level of comfort, so that His name can be made famous despite myself.
God, we ask You, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, because of the work of Your Son, allow us to love You and in turn to love our neighbor, so that we may bring people from every nation, tongue and tribe to You. Amen