Football players wear protective gear to help them avoid injury—pads to cover their thighs, hips, shoulders, necks, knees, and ribs, helmets to protect their heads and cover most of their faces. Players, parents, and coaches know that if players don’t protect themselves, they can have serious injuries that may even last a lifetime. Just as athletes guard against serious injury, the Bible alerts us to use equipment to protect us from spiritual defeat. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh–and–blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Here is his advice: 1) Know and stay glued to the truth to avoid false teaching. 2) Rely on God’s righteousness—Do what pleases God and rely on His perfect righteousness that comes from faith in His Son. 3) Spread the Good News by wearing shoes that are eager to tell people about Him. 4) Use the shield of faith to defend against insults, setbacks, the urge to sin, or the urge to engage in self-pity. 5) Affirm and meditate on the source of our salvation, the Cross of Christ. Never lose sight of the price He paid to save us. 6) Study and rely on the sword of the Spirit, God’s word. Finally, he says, pray regularly. In these ways, we can not only stand our ground, we can be a light to show others the way to God.
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