Apparently, watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1 and reading Ephesians 6:10–20 in the same day led me to believe there has to be some tie-in buried deep down. Please excuse me as I wasn’t intending to play on the movie’s release in a week.
Qualifications aside, I’ve been thinking recently about my daily walk with Jesus. I have to admit, it’s been a little disappointing. You know the poem where the person is looking back at the footprints in the sand and where they see only one set of footprints, Jesus tells them He was carrying them at that point? Yeah, well I feel a lot like I’m that person looking back and saying, “What the heck, Jesus?!” My walk feels more like a wounded stagger at best. But, what has caused my once normal feeling walk with Him to become so sickly?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. — Ephesians 6:10–20
I read this and immediately thought to myself, “This is why my relationship with Jesus is sucking right now. There’s so much you have to do and think about on a daily basis that it’s nearly impossible to maintain a healthy relationship with Him.” Look at that list of the armor I’m supposed to put on each day as a Christian! I need at least an hour before breakfast to put on my helmet, shoes, breastplate, belt, shield, etc.! I’m sorry, but I think I’ll take my lackluster following of Jesus and settle for it. I’m not going through all that.
I’m an idiot. Yes, because if you look at it, the list is really pretty simple. Paul is putting following Jesus into a metaphor (obviously) and I got caught up in focusing on the armor rather than what each piece represents. “The helmet of salvation? Oh, right. I’ve had that since I accepted Jesus as my eternal Savior.” Then you have the shield of faith. “Well, that’s just believing in God and who He says He is,” no real sweat there (to a degree). What about the breastplate of righteousness? “Um…last time I checked, God was pretty fully in charge of that aspect of my life (when I step back and let Him).” So what about the shoes and the sword?
I lumped these two because I feel they’re integrally related. What knits them perfectly together is prayer. There are really three things that need to be worked on each day. The first being, as I mentioned, prayer, then spending time in the word and finally putting faith in what you’ve read. The sword is the word and praying that back to God and the shoes are the urgency produces from the reading of the word. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
But, what’s really the purpose here? Enter Harry Potter and Ron Weasley as Harry is trying to sneak away from the Burrow (the Weasleys’ home) in the middle of the night. Harry is trying to save everyone because he is putting them at risk by being there, to which Ron wisely responds, “You may be the chosen one mate, but this is a whole lot bigger than that. It’s always been bigger than that.”
I think this rings true in our lives, especially spiritually. Our personal relationships with our Savior are far more important than just ourselves. Who am I to think I’m all-important here and the tension in the spiritual realms centers around me? It’s infinitely bigger. It always has been bigger than that.
The fact is, our armor is only as good as it is complete. If we are forgetting even one piece, it is penetrable and serves merely as baggage or useless weight. If I don’t pray or don’t intentionally spend time in the Bible, I am missing a piece. Can you say at the end of the day that you have done all to withstand the powers that be, standing firm in Jesus? I want you to sit down and answer this honestly to yourself. If not, what really is there to say at all..?