They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. (Isaiah 2:4)
There is an old saying, “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight“. Not getting into many fights I have never worried about applying this pithy expression. But this summer our kids are learning about Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. It occurred to me, what do you bring to a struggle that is “not against flesh and blood… but against the spirituals forces of evil”?? It seems a little silly to bring a sword, or a gun, to modernize the language. Will I fill the Devil full of lead holes?! 😉
So when my week arrived, the lesson was on the helmet of Salvation. I asked the kids to look at the armor differently — what brings us salvation? Instead of a steal helmet, what if it was head phones? When the kids put the head phones on, it gave them instructions to hidden candy (they had already unsuccessfully searched). When we put on the helmet of salvation, the bluetooth connection reaches to the Throne, we hear the words of Jesus.
Too often we apply human understanding to scripture. Rather than God’s vision. We read about the armor and think about fighting. We determine fight the human way. We will beat the enemy into submission! We know the battle is against sin. But for any measurable results (another human need is to show success) we must stop the sinners. So we make God’s armor a weapon against sinful people.
We use the sword to force repentance!
But if we listen to the helmet of salvation, we would hear, “no, beat that sword into a plowshare… turn the gun into garden tools.” Feed your enemy. Love the the sinner. Take my way — for the way of Jesus, the way of the cross, is the only way to salvation.
The image for the header came from a group that literally melts guns down and turns them into plowshares (rawtools.org). I learned about this group from Shane Claiborne. His call for us to become “red letter Christians”, believers who live out the words of Jesus, is a powerful word from God. (redletterchristians.org)
This Sunday we continue our summer theme in John, “Transformed”. This week we are in the beginning of chapter sixteen. We will choose the way of Jesus or follow the “prince of this world”? Hope you join us live or streaming at 10:30.