Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Your Armour On.

One of my favorite devotionals is The Christian in Complete Armour. The abridged version is what you want, because the original is a really hard-core study that commands all of your attention. But around here, I like to go the original sources don't you know. Written in the 1600s by William Gurnall, it is an enormous book that gives you the play by play on spiritual warfare. It tells you how the devil will mess with your mind, what to look for, and how to protect yourself. Know your enemy, Sun Tsu said and if you get into this Scripture-soaked book, you will be equipped for the battle. This is an area I'm working to be better at, because with all the craziness in the news, it helps to know the source. You guys do know that what we've actually got here is a demonic infestation, right? I'm not one of those spooky-wooky Christians, but if a third of the angels of Heaven got booted out of Heaven along with Lucifer, they've got to be down here somewhere, right? Plus you got the rich and powerful pretending to do druid worship around owl statues in groves for pete's sake - nothing good will come out of that.

Anyhow, here's a little nugget of truth for you. Remember, He wilt keep thou in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee:

The Christian must be armed, and the Reason why.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.  (Eph. 6:11).

          This verse is a key to the former, wherein the apostle had exhorted believers to encourage and bear up their fainting spirits on the Lord, and the power of his might.  Now in these words he explains himself, and shows how he would have them do this, not presumptuously [to] come into the field without that armour which God hath appointed to be worn by all his soldiers, and yet with a bravado, to trust to the power of God to save them.  That soul is sure to fall short of home (heaven I mean), who hath nothing but a carnal confidence on the name of God, blown up by its ignorance of God and himself.  No, he that would have his confidence duly placed on the power of God, must conscientiously use the means appointed for his defence, and not rush naked into the battle, like that fanatic spirit at Munster, who would needs go forth, and chase away the whole army then besieging that city, with no other cannon than a few words charged with the name of the Lord of hosts, which he blasphemously made bold to use, saying, In the name of the Lord of hosts depart.  But himself soon perisheth, to learn others wisdom by what he paid for his folly.  What foolish braving language shall ye hear drop from the lips of the most profane and ignorant among us!  They trust in God, hope in his mercy, defy the devil and all his works, and such like stuff, who are yet poor naked creatures without the least piece of God's armour upon their souls.  To cashier such presumption from the saints' camp, he annexeth this directory to his exhortation, ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’  So that the words fall into these two general parts.  FIRST, A direction annexed to the former exhortation, showing how we may in a regular way come to be strong in the Lord, that is, by putting on the whole ‘armour of God.’  SECOND, A reason or argument strengthening this direction, ‘that ye may be able to stand against the wile of the devil.’
  This passage reminds me of these phony Christians who are "name it, claim it". I'm afraid so many sitting out in the pews every Sunday are giving the lip service and talk a bold talk, but they just don't get it. Like a Don Quixote, they rush out like a bunch of idiots into the battlefield of life.

So what is the armour?
To begin with the first, the furniture which every one must get that would fight Christ's battles, [and that is ‘armour.’]  The question here will be, What is this armour?

             First.  By armour is meant Christ.  We read of putting on the ‘Lord Jesus,’ Rom. 13:14, where Christ is set forth under the notion of armour.  The apostle doth not exhort them for rioting and drunkenness to put on sobriety and temperance, for chambering and wanton­ness [to] put on chastity, as the philosopher would have done, but bids, ‘put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ;’ implying thus much [that] till Christ be put on, the creature is unarmed.  It is not a man's morality and philosophical virtues that will repel a temptation, sent with a full charge from Satan's cannon, though possibly it may the pistol-shot of some less solicitation; so that he is the man in armour, that is in Christ.  Again,
             Second.  The graces of Christ, these are armour, as ‘the girdle of truth, the breast-plate of righteousness,’ and the rest.  Hence we are bid also [to] ‘put on the new man,’ Eph. 4:24, which is made up of all the several graces, as its parts and members.  And he is the unarmed soul, that is the unregenerate soul, not excluding those duties and means which God hath appointed the Christian to use for his de­fence.  The phrase thus opened, the point is, to show that to be without Christ is to be without armour.
You can't "make people do right" who aren't "right", as we say down here. In our bizarro world, we have people on both the left and right trying to use the state to get rid of sin (as each side defines it). But a healthy civilization, which America uniquely had for a while stems from having the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to guide and convict the conscience. No massive police state is necessary when the citizens fear the judgment of the Almighty God. We need to keep our eyes on the ball be realizing that we fight "principalities and powers", not people or parties. We first need to make sure that we are right with God in order to be effective. It's more important to know that your soul is secure than to rubberneck the train wreck of this hell-bound world. I pray everyone will either find God or seek to know Him more deeply because nothing is more precious than your soul.

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