|June 25, 2020
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)
Our goals as victorious warriors or even survivors in the battle at hand include neutralizing the enemy’s tactics as well as defeating him. The Christian wants to live above the fray, being successful in his efforts to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” as we saw in our text. The third verse of the hymn “Higher Ground” expresses this desire well.
I want to live above the world,
The passage surrounding our text captures the warrior’s spirit well. The fighter is to don with care his entire armor (Ephesians 6:13) and protect his “loins girt about with truth” and wearing the “breastplate of righteousness.” He must be protected from head to toe, “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (v. 14-15) and standing with the helmet of salvation on his head. The text gives further instructions, perhaps more important than all the others, for it instructs “above all, taking the shield of faith.” Our faith, our belief in God, and the knowledge of the Word of God provide the necessary and winning power for the battle. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
The final item mentioned in this important passage is the striving together of the saints for the common goal, praying together and beseeching God for His blessings. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18) makes victory more certain in both the short run and the long. What bliss to catch the joyful sound of faithful saints on higher ground. JDM
Even when we’re alone or in despair, God knows, understands, and is with us right in the middle of it.
Sitting at the bustling, communal lunch table, I introduced myself to the kind face across from me. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and inquiries: Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? What brings you to this retreat?
Rather quickly we discovered we both had sons about the same ages. At one point in our get-to-know-you conversation, my lunch buddy shared the smallest of mothering details that made my ears perk up and a lump form in my throat. Could she have this in her life too?
I dared to ask a follow-up question. She smiled and revealed just a bit more about her family. I mustered all the courage I had to offer a similar scenario from my life. She affirmed she was familiar with the struggle.
All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Just a few moments earlier, I had felt completely alone, like the only mom on the planet experiencing this parenting heartache. And yet, directly across from me at a small retreat center in the middle of nowhere sat a woman who was intimately acquainted with my hopes, my fears, my heart.
Of course she was the one I met that day. Out of all the people in attendance, all the lunch seats available, all the words she could have chosen, this exact woman chose to sit across from me and share a detail that only I would notice.
In my new friend’s kind eyes, I saw my loving God looking back at me. I heard him saying, “I see you. I know what’s breaking your heart. You are not alone in this. I love you.”
In Genesis 16, Hagar, Sarah’s servant, gives God the descriptive name The God Who Sees. The angel of the Lord had found her in the desert after fleeing mistreatment. God found her alone and in despair and spoke to her right in the middle of it.
I realized that I could trust God to lead me where he wanted me when my heart was seeking his. The God Who Sees sees you. He knows your heart. He is with you in the middle of it. And he loves you.
Where have you seen evidence of God’s presence today?
Taken from NIV Bible for Women