And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
‘God is strong, and he wants you to be strong. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.’
Ephesians 6:10-17 (The Message)
Traditional translations of the Bible show Paul using the imagery of a soldier wearing armour to encourage believers to stand firm and fight everything that the Devil throws at them. However Eugene Petersen in The Message, emphasises that truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation are more than words and we need to learn how to apply them in our fight against evil. In some ways this is reminiscent of the story of David and Goliath. King Saul gave David armour to put on but he found it cumbersome, preferring instead to select five smooth stones and proclaiming that he was coming against Goliath in the name of the Lord, he selected a stone, put it in his sling and shot Goliath dead with it.(1 Samuel 17)
While God’s word and prayer are essential and indispensable weapons in our fight, perhaps the concept of carrying the five stones of, truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, in a small bag with us at all times and asking God to show us exactly which one to use and how to use it, in each battle we face, will enable us to fight, to stand our ground and to overcome.
Reflect on your use of the weapons and ask God to increase your understanding and insight into their use.