We wrapped up our church growth group semester with an end-of-semester get-together at the house of one of our participating couples. Manny and Jennifer were so generous to open their homes to us for this event, and what a beautiful home it is.
Manny, a Colonel with the US Army and stationed on McDill AFB in Tampa, always provided deep, wise, and heartfelt contributions to the group discussion. One evening, he made the analogy of having to put on his spiritual armor in much the same way he would put on his military armor when he was deployed. Referencing Psalm 91, Manny spoke about beginning his day with God and putting on the armor that would protect him from the evil in the world.
I immediately fell in love with the analogy, and it’s something about which I’ve tried to be conscientious since that evening when Manny opened my eyes to the concept.
Manny and Jennifer were very gracious hosts, and they provided Lee and me with gifts for having lead our growth group this semester. Imagine my humbled surprise when I opened the gift and found this.
On the base of the figurine are verses from the Book of Ephesians. Chapter 6, verses 14-17 read as follows:
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.
It was hard to hold back the tears, and it sincerely is one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received. I’ve set it on my desk in my home office where it will serve as a constant reminder that the battle against evil is a constant one, and through God’s grace I shall always be deliberately guarded.