“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 CSB)
“He doesn’t have any articulation, he is just molded plastic.” According to Pete, who was four at the time, his new toy couldn’t battle as well as some of his other favorites. I will be perfectly honest. On that particular day, I couldn’t remember what articulation meant and I had to consult Mr. Webster for the correct definition. According to Webster, the most common usage is the act of giving utterance or expression.
Pete learned articulation is also the action or manner of jointing or interrelating. The articulation of the limbs. His new toy couldn’t properly move its arms or legs. It was less effective when met with resistance. Now seven, his toys are often on the battlefield, fighting it out. Some days the good guys win and sometimes they don’t. But they continue to enter the fray and stand their ground.
He was well aware, even at four, that battles are better fought and won with limbs that move. Molded plastic just doesn’t fight well. Do you sometimes feel as if you are on the battlefield without any articulation? Maybe you feel a little like molded plastic. Unable to move or speak.
Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians by reminding them how to battle in this world. In verses 10-11, he reminds us, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.”
So often I try to fight my own battles. Don’t worry, God, I can do it. Like a stubborn two-year-old, I still try to do it on my own, my own way. It never turns out well. Without God, I am like molded plastic, unable to stand against my enemy’s schemes. He simply tells me I am not enough and I topple. Without God’s armor, I am unable to stand.
Several years ago, I entered a season of shattered dreams. Brokenness. Hurt. The effort of moving was like pushing through molasses. Just breathing seemed to require a strength I did not possess. There were many days I did not think I would make it through. Days. Weeks. Months. I lived with my broken dream. But God.
During those dark days, the only light I clung to was a promise. God promised to never leave me. When everything else was wrong. God was there. I learned to stand in His strength. When I entered an unknown world, God met me in my brokenness.
Luke 1:17 says “make ready for the Lord a prepared people.” In the Greek, the term make ready describes internal preparation. To be prepared for battle required me to relinquish my two-year-old self. Allow God to prepare me. To stand.
Today your battle may be trying to get teeth brushed. Backpacks packed. Kids out the door. On time.
You may be facing a wall of doubt, fear, or anger.
A doctor’s report.
A loss that threatens to pull you under.
Loneliness that is suffocating.
Unknown. Broken. Impossibility.
God is possibility. In the face of fear. The unknown. The broken. He wants to stand with us. To let go of our two-year-old self. We do not battle alone. He will always help us achieve the impossible, even while asking us to do the improbable.
“For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.” (Eph v.13 CSB)
Not like molded plastic. Not static standing. Standing ready for battle. Fully articulated. With limbs ready for battle. Giving utterance of God’s Word. God’s Truth. God, you are my shield. God, you fight for me. God, you stand with me.
Like Pete’s battles, some days we feel as if we are no longer able to stand. We’ve taken to many hits. We feel as if the umpire is giving the final count. It is in those moments that we continue to give utterance to the truth of God’s word. To stand in the strength of God. Fully prepared. Never alone.
Dear God, help me relinquish my fear, my broken impossibility. Help me stand. Fully prepared. God show me in the midst of my battle You are with me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen