The Bare Soul
December 11, 2011
Warring with Wisdom
Psalm 140:7 - O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.
Many of us have undoubtedly watched movies about knights of old, where a squire would complete their lord's armor by placing their helmet upon the noble's head. These servants would often go into battle alongside their lord, albeit with lighter armor. They might attempt to pace their master on horseback, running interference for any seeking to ambush their lord unrepentantly. Squires, and sometimes vassals who owed allegiance to their lord knight, would often lay down their own lives to save the life of their master. The bone-crushing blow of a battle-axe, or the splintering effect of a 30 pound sword laid across the skull of the knight's protector would be all that was needed to make the knight vulnerable to death. While his own armor (including his helmet) protected him in close combat, his liability was increased exponentially once his protective squires and foot soldiers were decimated. However, as long as he could resist bone shattering blows from the enemy, he might find himself the victor and able to fight another day.
One would be a fool to go into battle without a helmet. Undoubtedly, this one piece of protection has saved countless lives throughout the history of warfare. This can be said from ancient times up to our modern era. Today, most combat troops know the necessity of protecting their head and do so accordingly with Kevlar helmets. Armies around the world will use the most advanced technology to protect their greatest resource---human lives. As Christians, many of us understand the significance of the helmet of salvation from Ephesians 6:17. Similar to the aforementioned illustration of medieval knights, this was the last piece of armor donned by the believer as Paul relates in this passage. (The only thing to take up after the helmet was the sword, going from defensive protection to an offensive weapon.) Paul's wisdom places a good defense as paramount before we ever think we can wage a successful offense. To believe we can fight the devil with just the word of God, rebuking the enemy in Jesus' name without understanding our position in Christ is naive. While it is of utmost consequence to protect our vitals by the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14)---to understand that we are righteous before God by the blood of Jesus---it is of extreme importance that we take up the shield of faith. Resolute belief in who we are in Christ, along with an understanding of our mission, will do much regarding our fight. However, to not recognize the significance of God's helmet of salvation would result in a tragic outcome.
If men have been going to war with helmets for millennia, why would we consider to do anything less in our daily spiritual battles against the enemy of our souls? At this time, it is important to explain exactly what the metaphor of the the helmet of our salvation consists of in order to discover how to obtain it, practically, for our spiritual walk. A wise man once said, "The battle is lost or won in the mind, but the heart takes the spoils." How true is this! Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Whatever we continue to feed our minds, our hearts will eventually embrace. Whether it be good, acceptable, and perfect, or bad, rejected, and defiled, we will eventually become what we put into our minds. Paul points out in his first letter to the Corinthians that "... we have the mind of Christ" if indeed we call ourselves followers of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). We are therefore obligated to "feed" the mind of Christ, which is our Master, with spiritual food rather than the things of this world. Paul prayed for the Ephesians, that God might give them "the spirit of wisdom and revelation." (Ephesians 1:17) Paul knew that if his beloved church at Ephesus would start filling their minds with God's wisdom, then their hearts would soon follow. Peter likewise saw the importance of fortifying the mind of Christ that lives within all who call Jesus Lord. He admonishes his readers with the following: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:13). How much better to prepare the mind for action then by setting it on things above, not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2), allowing God's wisdom and the revelation of His will to flood our souls?
We must invoke the mind of Christ if we desire to live victoriously. We must put on Christ, seeking His wisdom daily. Even as the servants of warriors have for centuries been the ones to fit the helmet on the shoulders of their lords, so also the Great Servant desires us to take on His wisdom and understanding through His helmet of salvation which He has purchased with His life. As David states so beautifully in our lead verse "... You have covered my head in the day of battle," so also will Christ cover our minds with His wisdom and understanding as we vanquish His foes from His Father's kingdom. May we understand how we desperately need God's protection in our minds, which inevitably protects our hearts. Only as we protect ourselves through the covering the Lord grants us, will we effectively wield the word of God, claiming the victory over and over again in the Name of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, may we continue to seek You for Your Son's mind and His helmet of salvation. Lord, not only will His wisdom and understanding save us from our foes, but it will also further Your kingdom, bringing great glory to Your Name. Allow us much spoil as we seek to do Your will through the mind of Your Son. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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