Thursday, 30 October 2008

Looking Good in God

Ephesians 6:10 - 20
Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put God’s armour on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God’s armour, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground. So stand your ground, with truth buckled round your waist, and integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one. And then you must accept salvation from God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword.
Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel of which I am an ambassador in chains; pray that in proclaiming it I may speak as boldly as I ought to.
I think Paul must have been a kinaesthetic learner. he certainly knows how to paint a picture of how to live with God's power around us. We may be used to reading the Gospel as words on a page but we should never forget that Jesus is the Word. He is physical; he knows how important his presence means to the disciples; he is meant to be tangible, otherwise why leave us his body and blood? -you can't get much more physical than that.
As children we want to be held, cuddled, protected by someone who loves us and who drives away our fears and hesitations. We wear football shirts and school ties to show that we belong, that we are not alone.We put on Dad's shoes and Mum's coat so that we can be big like them.
Paul is telling us to do the same with God. Get the Word off the page and wrap him around you. There will be times when you can't do it on your own; you don't have to. Wear God as a shield, use him as a sword; hide behind him if you want to - he's big enough.
This is meant to be the sign of a mystic, a person who has a personal and physical experience of God, but there's little reason why we all can't have that. Like all relationships you have to make a commitment, spend some time, want it to work and something will happen. But having made a connection don't ignore him.
Don't think because you've bought the t-shirt that makes you a supporter. You have to interact, participate, communicate or as Paul puts it - pray. All it means is talk. It doesn't have to be fancy; it doesn't have to be polite; it doesn't have to be all about him or you for that matter. Just chat, moan, discuss, inform, include, acknowledge and remember, occasionally, to allow him to answer. Then, in time, it won't be just Faith that tells you God exists - in fact that's one of his favourite subjects.

1 comment:

Bea said...

I'm learning how to pray again... it's my goal for this Lenten season. I find myself praying short mini prayers throughout the day. This was an insightful and helpful post.