Ephesians 6:11-12 (CJB)
11 Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. 12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.
11 Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand; so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. 12 The night is almost over, the day is almost here.
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and arm ourselves with the weapons of light.
In the middle of the battles we face in living out our faith, in seeing the value of life honored and restoration of biblical truth in our laws and communities we tend to keep on our armor and turn on each other. YES, We are called to battle. YES, We are called to be outfitted with weapons of warfare, YES, we are called to walk in authority and rouse ourselves. YET, we are called to walk it out in love.
When I was learning to play the piano and it was time to learn to use the foot peddles I had a teacher say to me I "would spend half my life learning how to use them and the other half learning Not to use them." I have spent years of my life learning how to walk in authority, gathering tools of wisdom, understanding and experience, using my voice and my words to share truths...but now I face the reality that as I have increased in strength and confidence I need to intentionally drop my armor when facing the person in front of me. The weapons I have been given are not to put up barriers of self protection, they are meant to defend and to press our cause (2 Corinthians 6:7). The weapons I have been given are to tear down enemy strongholds not to self-righteously make others do what I think is right. The weapons I have been given are the most useful and only fully realized when surrendered and used with a heart of love, not wielded in fear.
May you be able to drop your armor to love the person in front of you! May you grow in the grace and love that binds up!
May you know and surrender only to the Love and Lordship of Jesus!