Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I remember the first time I ever read this scripture. It was really heavy as a new Christian but I knew it was important and demanded my attention. Coming from a military family it was a great visual of the way God equips and empowers us and does not leave us defenseless. I found peace in knowing that not only do we have a strategy of warfare but a clear reminder we do not fight against flesh and blood but an unseen enemy.
I also found peace as I continued to search the scriptures and read that the Lord fights our battles for us and with the same armor He wears He gives to us. He does not leave us defenseless. He is always with us and as a wrap around shield He activates our faith to fight whatever the enemy tries to throw at us. I find myself feeling big, not in a prideful way but in an empowered way. I find myself feeling full of faith equipped to slaying the giants that stand in my way! I find myself encouraged that with God by my side we can go through anything together!
As I ponder this, my mind wanders to a young boy who took on a giant. He had no idea the day his father sent him to bring food to his brothers that his Heavenly Father would use him in such strategic way to deliver and bring victory to his people.
David had spent most of his young life taking care of sheep. One day when a prophet came to visit his family he was brought in as a last resort anointed and told he would be king. Yet instead of making a journey to the castle (as most of us would) his journey took him back to the pasture, back to his flock. There, David continued to worship his God. He continued to protect that which had been entrusted to him. He continued to thrive in the boot camp the Lord had placed him in. He learned humility yet courage. He learned strength yet how to wait upon the Lord. He learned worship was an open staircase to the presence of God. He learned to nurture an intimacy with God in the lonely days and nights of his training that would provide him with all of the armor he would need when the time came.
And it did come….. Bringing his brothers food in the midst of war he heard the terrible taunts of a philistine giant named Goliath against Israel and it’s God. David was unmoved. He was unafraid and seemed to not even hear what he was saying. David had spent so much time with the one true God nothing anyone said could move his resolve that this giant needed to be slayed.
His own brothers tried to tell him he couldn’t, to go home and that they knew he was just being ridiculous. King Saul accepted his willingness to fight for Israel yet still tried to get David to do it his way by wearing armor that didn’t even fit him.
Yet David trusted the instincts that the God he had spent so much time with gave him. He took up his weapons of warfare. He picked up his slingshot along with five smooth stones and ran out to meet his enemy. With one swift shot he hit his mark right between the eyes and a boy that had minutes before been nothing more then a shepherd boy was now a giant slayer.
Ever wander why David picked up five stones? He clearly had faith. He clearly knew that The Lord would provide the victory. What he did not know was if it would just take one. So he came prepared, he was ready to use one or all five it did not matter to him.
Like the scripture above references, put on, stand firm, and take up. There is action for us to do. Sometimes, it just takes that one smooth stone and other times it takes all five to bring down the giants in our lives. We get afraid, we get overwhelmed and we can’t take on these giants on our own.
At House of Hope we are giant slayers. We have five smooth stones that represent our five pillars: Community Groups, Classes, Therapy, Housing and Retreats. At any given time one or all of these stones have the potential to hit their mark and slay the giants in our lives and in the lives of those within our community.
So that’s why we keep doing what we do. One day at a time, one stone at a time, one women, family, couple, child at a time. Equipping them, empowering them and encouraging them not to give up, to press forward to reach out, to reach up and never ever, ever give up. We won’t let them, we won’t let ourselves, we won’t let you.
Because Jesus calls us all to be giant slayers.
Ready to put on your armor and slay some giants? Join us for Soul Expedition: Armor of God edition. We will be sharing and discussing each of the pieces that form our ARMOR and then we will spend the rest of the workshop creating a piece of art that you can take home. NO – you do not need to be an artist to participate within this class.
Sunday, April 30th, 1-4pm
Class Fee: $30
Facilitator: Celeste Jaquis