Sometimes a movie just knows that it is off the chain in its total awesomeness…
Enter Iron Man 2 – easily one of the most anticipated sequels of all time. I know I was ready for it during the closing credits of the first one, and now Tony Stark is way back and way badder than ever.
Yes, cool gadgets, sarcastic banter, megaexplosions and effects abound and create a Wal-Mart of eye candy, and just like the first time, I would just about give my right arm to suit up and dominate the evil dudes in Iron Man fashion.
Obviously that is not going to happen, but there is an armored suit available to Christians that in many ways provides the same protection and weaponry, one that lights up the spiritual world like Stark in a village full of terrorists. Here is the description of the conflict we face and the incredible "suit" you have hanging up in the closet of your soul:
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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.
Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:10-18).
The war that Paul describes here is not against earthly terrorists, communists, or anything that is flesh and blood. This conflict is in the spiritual arena - and it is definitely not for the weak or the wimpy. Every day the unseen forces of Satan and his army are arrayed against you. They are firing off the missiles of deception, discouragement, temptation, and opposition, so you'll give up the battle and your calling from the Captain of our Salvation: Jesus Christ.
But let me tell you as one who is stationed on the field of battle in Denver, Colorado, that suiting up and engaging the enemy is more exciting than any movie I've ever seen.
Don't believe me? Then I triple dog dare you to take your armor for a test run this week. And to make sure that you are properly fitted, let me walk you through the steps that Paul gave us:
First, put on the belt of truth – which means speaking/ living truthfully and with integrity.
Next, position the breastplate of righteousness – which is living in obedience to God's will and Word because He has completely forgiven you.
Don't forget the boots of readiness – which is a willingness to share the gospel message with anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Raise up the shield of faith – which is hiding behind the promises of God when Satan sends a onslaught of lies and temptations your way.
Protect your mind with the helmet of salvation – which is a constant remembrance that the penalty and power of sin is broken in your life, so don't believe the negative messages from the Devil that you are guilty and worthless.
Finally, be sure and draw the sword of the Spirit – which is God's Word. Along with prayer, this is your offensive weapon to strike the heart of the enemy with incredible force. So powerful in fact, that this is the result:
We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Picture an army of believers who are protected with the very armor of God and armed with His living Word. God uses this mighty force to stop spiritual terrorism and start a revolution for His Cause – making disciples who make disciples!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Each morning when you get up, pray through the spiritual armor list and ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel. I absolutely guarantee your life will take on new and unexpected twists!
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:21).
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).