The final whistle blows at the end of a high school football game. The coaches call the players into a brief huddle, then dismiss them to the locker room. They don’t make it too far in that direction before the sea of proud parents, close friends, and maybe a reporter or two, flood onto the field and block their way.
Proud words are exchanged and photos are taken. Some of the athletes look and smell great, and their families gather in close. But others look tired, smell like they need a shower, and their loved ones may be reticent to touch their dirty, sweaty, and sometimes even blood-stained uniforms.
The truth is those people who are battle-worn have been a powerful gift to the game, their teammates, and the fans. They’ve dug deep, fought hard, and look and smell worse for wear. Grime on a player is an indicator of hard work. It shows diligence in the off season, extra effort at practice, proven skills, and a willingness to do whatever was needed to excel in the game.
Spiritually, we need to perceive people the same way. Sometimes, we seek out the appealing scent of those fresh from the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong, we can find friends there. But we must recognize the powerful gift of people in battle-worn armor. When push comes to shove, and the enemy comes hunting, we need those who can, and will, put it all on the line to battle with us and for us.
We should seek out prayer warriors, soldiers of the cross of Christ, people decked out in worn-out Ephesians 6 armor. We need those who diligently train for spiritual warfare, fight hard, and emerge victorious in Jesus’ name.
People who are equipped and ready to speak the words of God over us are an invaluable gift. We want friends with battle-worn armor, because those are the ones with experience. They have expertise to lend.
Like it or not, we are called to Spiritual Warfare. Don’t look first to keep company with someone whose armor is shiny and neat. Seek out the sword that is tattered, the helmet that is worn, and the shield that is scarred. The bearer of those arms is a true warrior who will battle for and alongside you with determination and valor. Never underestimate the powerful gift of people in battle-worn armor.Mama Lava
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”Charles H. Spurgeon
This is a good time for self reflection as well. What kind of friend are you? Is your armor in used condition? Do people find you to be a powerful and prepared, battle-worn gift when they need one most?
Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Have you accepted your Helmet of Salvation? Do you have the Sword of the Spirit ready in hand? Have you assumed a Posture of Prayer? Are you resting on an Attitude which has been grounded and founded upon Christ Jesus? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? And most importantly, is your armor tested and battle worn?