Sword and Shield

Ephesians 6 teaches us about the full armor of God to use for spiritual warfare. Paul wrote that we should not only dress in our armor, but “take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and the shield of faith with which we can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

This is not the sword of King Arthur. These weapons are “mighty for the pulling down of strongholds.” (1 Corinthians 10:4) There are several ways to memorize the verses about the armor. One is to recite them while doing something like exercises you must count. Another is to envision dressing yourself in them every morning. I like to put them on head to toe and then the hand pieces. Some teach the belt comes first.  I envision the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and gird your loins in truth (as if putting on panty hose, you remember those, right?). Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Put on the robe of righteousness that Jesus bought for you. Take up the sword and shield and stand. And having done all, stand and pray!

Once we were in Smoky Mountain National Park driving the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail just outside of Gatlinburg. This is a spectacular drive that begins up in the mountains and follows Roaring Fork river. There are many parking areas to get out and explore spectacular views of rivers, rocks, tumbling water, old buildings, overall fun.

Imagine my surprise when we parked and stepped out in the parking lot to this rock: IMG_2333

After years of putting on the armor this is an image I will never forget. Truly a treasure in plain sight!