Many years ago (back in high school) I read a book This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti. I was never a big reader but this book captivated me, scared me, reminded me of the Protection that surrounds me. I can distinctly remember going into my family room while in the midst of this book one late night, turning on my parents’ new CD player, finding my dad’s good head-set and blasting the song, “Ashton” by Michael W. Smith…. (ok, maybe there is a reason I’m a little deaf. But I digress.) Ashton is also the name of the town that This Present Darkness takes place in. A town where angels and demons battle. Anytown, USA. It could, in fact, be your town. And while I was immersed in this book I could hear and FEEL the battles taking place in MWS’s late-1980s song (no lyrics, pure synthesizer) that he wrote based on the book. It was literally one of those steps forward in my relationship with Christ. He used that music and that book to remind me that no matter what He’s there!
Flash forward to today. We talked in church about Evil. Pure, Genuine, Evil. Evil that surrounds us everyday. Evil that attacks us when we are new Christians, when we are afflicted, when we are idle, when we are isolated, when we are dying, even when we achieve success.
Have you ever felt any of these? I know that when my husband was deployed there could have been a whole lot of isolation and idleness (The boys went to bed and I had hours after that because I had a hard time falling asleep with hubs gone.) These are times, according to William Gurnall in The Christian in Complete Armor, when Evil and all of his henchmen (the Devil and his fallen angels) will find us. But wait…
Have you read Ephesians 6:10-17? What an image! We are armored, protected, suited up for this battle.
- A Belt of Truth
- The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shoes of Peace
- A Shield of Faith
- A Helmet of Salvation
- and our weapon, the Sword. The Word of God.
What protection! What protection as Christians we find from the Lord of Hosts. Our pastor ended today by quoting the lyrics from “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, a timeless hymn:
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever.
I’m so fortunate to be a part of that Kingdom. To have this armor. To call this Lord, “My Protector”!