Recently my sister and I had a conversation about the armor of God (referenced below) and how sometimes we get into such a deep trial of life that we can’t seem to find our sword (the spiritual weapon of warfare utilized by the tongue to cut the lies of our soul’s enemy). All the Scriptures we need to strengthen us seem to abandon us. It’s like there’s a dark cloud all around us and not only can we not find our way, but finding our sword is out of the question. I am thankful for the times God speaks directly to me through a sermon, a song, or in my time reading the Word. As I’ve learned from Priscilla Shirer in her Armor Of God study, it’s the times when a verse or word jumps out at you as if it was made just for you in that moment; it’s then that God is giving you a sword for your trial. That verse that jumped off the page at you is now a sword placed in your sheath. Draw it as needed.
But then there’s times when it seems none of that happens and for days we feel lost. This story of Saul and David (referenced below) reminds me of what Jen and I were talking about. It’s in those times that we need each other. In the times when I can’t find my sword, I need an armor bearer. As David was for Saul, I need my sisters to come beside me and pick up my sword (which they see so clearly) and hand it back to me. I need them to play their lyre so my torment will cease for a while. I need to be able to call them and know they are going to remind me of who I am in Christ and show me again just how big His plans are for me. Because as you walk closely with your sisters and brothers, you start to see just how big God’s plans are for them. You start to know exactly what verses they’ll need in the moments they need it most. You start to know exactly what to pray for them and how to pray it. And that’s what God wants us to do for each other.
So let us not be afraid to reach out to our close friends in our time of need, no matter how ashamed or burdensome we feel we are. Those feelings are lies the enemy whispers in our ear in order to stop us from building an army against him. The less people fighting with us, the greater chance he has at defeating us; or so he thinks. And may we never be afraid to call someone we know is struggling for fear we are incapable of helping. If we are willing, God will use us. In those moments may we remember that it’s only in our weakness that we can truly see how strong God is. Sometimes just our reaching out is enough encouragement for that person to keep fighting.
Anytime we are not struggling, someone else is, so if we are not bearing arms for ourselves at the moment, we should be bearing arms for someone else.
Oh how grateful I am for my close-knit sisters who know me so well. Who know my shameful weaknesses, yet don’t shame me. Who know my fears and know just how to encourage me. And I am so grateful God has enabled me to be their armor bearer when they need it. That He has empowered me with the words to say to encourage them and show them just how strong they are even though they feel weak.
These connections in our sisterly bond make us that much stronger against the enemy of our soul. Fighting him alone can be so much work sometimes. But fighting him with our little army, that’s automatic victory!
“Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”
1 Samuel 16:14-23 ESV
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV