We are meant to go deep with God
To have a full relationship with God, one must live in an environment where worship can be learned, the spiritual disciplines gained and spiritual warfare fought.
Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it
Read Ephesians 6:10-20
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
More thoughts for meditation
Some people get concerned that Paul uses military language to describe how we relate to the powers that be. Put on the full armor!? It is as if he is condoning violence! But take note—he is ripping the metaphor right out of Caesar’s terrorizing hands and commandeering it for the real battle that is going on. We’re in that kind of environment.
If you are acclimated to the domination system, then you should watch your dominating language—don’t use “armor” to describe your struggle. But if you are a vagabond Jew, often imprisoned, poor, and the leader of a tiny minority movement that isn’t even too respected in the ancient religious seed bed in which it sprouted—then suiting up in spiritual “armor” might seem like your language is amazingly radical!
In the United States we might want to “steal” the language of the NFL and use it in such a shocking way so that it jars loose some new thinking. Maybe we should “suit up for the game” and “go deep” for a pass. The Eagles might get to another Super Bowl, but our “end zone” is the Age to Come!
Let’s not lay down and let the big guys roll over us. The game we are playing is not some banal sport the powers play, looping us into voting for which advertisement is better. It is a contest for truth, peace, faith and salvation. It is the fight of prayer. It is the spiritual training for fearlessness. The world thinks making a touchdown is amazing. Good grief. We need to go deep with God.
Suggestions for action
Pray: Help me to stand when the evil day comes.
Is this the evil day? If so: learn worship; gain spiritual discipline; fight spiritual warfare. That’s how we end up standing with our faith intact no matter in what environment we find ourselves.
Have “the powers of this dark world” and “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” convinced you that resistance is futile? It might deepen you to think of one place today where a fight needs to be engaged.
If nothing else, at least right now, you could worship—that’s fighting too. Try it with this song of affirmation we sing. [link]
Read more in A Circle of Hope, Jesus at Work among the Next Generation of the Church, chapter 5. [Amazon]
Today is Ignatius of Loyola Day. Learn about the great disciple-maker at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.