Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Control Freak Part 4: Armor Up!

This really gets me pumped up! Nothing says control more than preparing for war. Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us explicit details on how to be ready for combat. Don't kid yourself - there IS a war that happens on a daily basis and every believer in Christ needs to be not only aware of it, but ready to fight against it.

I'm only going to discuss verses 10-11 for right now because these verses are packed!

Ephesians 6:10-11
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (NIV)

1. "be strong" (or "be empowered" in KJV) Greek - endunamoo' means I fill with power, strengthen, make strong; enable, increase in (to empower). I really like the English word-for-word translation of this, which is, "Henceforth, be empowered in [the] Lord, and in the strength of the might of him."

2. "put on" Greek - enduo means I put on, clothe, array. It is from en and duno (in the sense of sinking into a garment); to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively).

I visualize here "sinking into a garment" so that it feels so naturally fitted that it becomes a part of me.

3. "full armor" (or "complete armor" in KJV) Greek - panoplia means complete armor, panoply - properly means a complete set of defensive and offensive armor (weapons), i.e. everything needed to wage successful warfare; (figuratively) the full resources the Lord gives to the believer so they can successfully wage spiritual warfare. In this way they do not fight for victory - but from His victory!

Now that is so exciting to me! God does not leave me defenseless. He IS my defense!

(chasing a rabbit here. We have a annually an art festival called Panoply of the Arts. I find that title even more strange now that I know panoply means armor). Anyway... on to the rest...

4a. "so that" the English word-for-word translation is "for, *to be able (see below)". The Greek word for "for" is pros. I almost didn't even look at this word because it is a preposition and I honestly didn't think it would have much of a definition. Boy, was I wrong! Pros means to, towards, with - properly a motion towards, to "interface with" (literally moving toward a goal or destination). It indicates "extension toward a goal, with implied interaction or reciprocity, with "presumed contact and reaction", naturally suggests the cycle of initiation and response.

While reading that definition I could not help but picture a battle. I could hear the clanging of swords and feel the air being cut with the swinging of blades. I pictured myself moving forward, making headway with the power of God enabling me to press on! WHEW! It's tiring, yet exhilarating!

4b. "so that", "to be able" (I'm breaking this up into two parts because it is how I understand it) The Greek for this part is dunamai. It means, I am powerful, am able, have (the) power; I am able, I can, to show ability; able (enabled by God), empowered.

5. "take your stand" Greek - histe'mi I cause to stand, I make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint.

6. "schemes" (or "wiles" in KJV) Greek - methodeia (from where we get our English word "method"). The definition is simply scheming, craftiness, deceit, trickery (also means lie in wait).

Satan is waging war against the saints of God, there is no doubt about it. And even though we are often referred to as sheep, we are by no means helpless. That is, as long as we put on our full armor and take our stand!! The battle we are in is not a typical battle. This battle is for our mind. Satan schemes to deceive us into choosing our own way instead of God's way. He is out to have us question the sincerity of God, put doubts in our minds and sway us to disbelief.

I will later discuss verses 12-18, which describe our armor piece by piece. I urge you to read and study this passage thoroughly for yourself, even if you have done so before. It might be time for you to read it over again. Put a new shine on your armor! We want it to reflect the light so much so that our enemy is blinded even before he gets near enough to take a swing!

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