Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13 (ESV)
Make Your Whole Life a Prayer – The Fighting Series – Part 6
There’s a story in the first book of Samuel where a young David declared in front of the whole Israelite army that he would fight Goliath in hand to hand combat to the death. I’m uneasy about sharing it because I don’t want to be seen as endorsing violence. But anyway… here we go.
At this stage, David wasn’t a king or a military mastermind with years of experience. He was a shepherd with an instinct for courage, an eye for strategy, and an eager heart. When wild animals came to take his flock for food, he attacked them, killed them, conquered them. On his own. With his own hands and weapons. One day he saw Goliath threaten the freedom and lives of his fellow tribesmen. So he did what he thought he should: he faced him in battle.
King Saul was thrilled that someone was going to take the fight to Goliath, and he offered David his armor. Amour fit for a king. A bronze helmet and chain mail and a heavy sword. Saul was said to be a foot taller than all in Israel. In short, the armor didn’t fit. It was oversized, awkward, and heavy. Saul's armor didn’t belong on David's shoulders. He took it off and went out to fight Goliath with what was his own.
We do this daily. We face battles, opposition, people, struggles, situations and circumstances that seem to be against us with ill-fitting armor and weapons that are too heavy to carry. Armour that’s been produced by a broken and pain-filled world, reeling from the onslaught it’s suffered from a history that keeps on repeating itself. Things like violence and terror and fear-mongering and exclusion. Those ‘weapons’ will never sit comfortably in our hands because we weren’t made to carry them.
Take up what has already been given you; what is already yours.
“Stand, therefore with truth like a belt around your waist and righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.” Eph 6:14-15.
And before you point them at anyone else, aim within.
Don’t fight fire with fire, hate with hate, violence with violence, fear with pain, anger with confusion… lay those weapons down. Take off that ill-fitting armor that looks awkward and hard to carry. Remember who you are, whose you are, and that the Divine has weaved into you what you need to fight the darkness that persists to threaten the actualization of the peace and love of God in the lives of those around us.
And then pray. Pray and pray and pray. For everyone, everything, everywhere. Aware, awake, alive to what's happening in you and around you. Make your whole life a prayer, open to the divine, a flow of communication and strength from the infinite, of the infinite.
Written by Liz Milani