J: Hey, man, are you in the game?
G: Of course, why?
J: You cannot be in the game without equipment! Where’s your equipment?
G: What equipment? I didn’t know I needed any.
J: Are you crazy? We need spiritual maneuvers, spiritual resources, man.
G: What do you mean?
J: We are not in La La Land. We are in a crucial time. And it’s a battle. We are up against all kinds of systems…and powers… trying to pressure us – and tell us what to do: how to behave, what to buy - what is politically correct - what to believe - even our ultimate values and moral decision-making We need proper equipment for a time like this. Spiritual resources.
G: Spiritual resources… what’s that?
J: Equipment of the Spirit… We need the armour of God to protect us. In my experience in order to deal with all the outside distractions, I must first deal with my own inner struggles.
G: Tell me about this equipment.
J: Well…the helmet… - we wear this when we ride our bike and that’s to protect our heads. But we also need spiritual equipment to protect our mind. We need to guard our minds with the peace of Christ…let God’s thoughts fill our minds…Pray in a centering way - and let God renew in our minds
(Belt - point to belt - solar plexus area) - this belt keeps us centered and keeps our core strong
G: That sounds like what a trainer would say: “Keep your core strong!”
J: (Breastplate - point to heart) - This breastplate protects my heart – with loving relationships and loving the earth - and courage. Courage has to do with the heart
G: Well courage would sure help! Is there anything else I need?
J: (Shield – faith – invisible but can gesture in front of you) - faith is like an energy shield of trust in God - believing that God is at work amidst the craziness in our world - trusting what God says about who I am and not what the critics say
G: Wow…invisible energy shield…that sounds like Star Trek!
J: (Shoes – for bringing peace – point to shoes) - this is where the rubber meets the road – shoes that get you ready to shout out the good news of peace! That’s how we plant our feet firmly on the ground. Doesn’t matter what kind of shoes…sandals, hiking boots, whatever footwear that gets you ready to get out there and live it!
G: OK. OK. OK. I am beginning to get it. You’ve got a point about the equipment, but do we just stand and hide behind the armour? Do we DO anything proactive?
J: Yes, we speak the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit. - a symbol of honour… Since others are trying to conform us to their agenda, we need to learn from Jesus, how to express what we stand for and speak the hard truth when it’s needed.
G: You mean like carry a Bible and open it up and read it to them?
J: NO! It means to express God’s Heart with your own words and your own life… And most of all, we must learn to pray in the Holy Spirit at all times….
G: Woah! I’d better get some of that equipment. Where do I find it? Can you help me?
J: You bet! Come with me. Let’s get to know each other a bit better. These spiritual resources can be found in so many ways: - in relationships, singing, caring for others, different ways of praying, learning groups… Come with me and I’ll help you get into training!
G: (high 5) OK…let’s do it!
~ written by Rev. Jan Bihl - edited by John Alandi and Rev. Gerhard Bihl
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,[b] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench 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.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,[c] 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.