Take a Stab but Wear a Helmet

The world did what it thought was right in its own eyes. Brothers fought brothers, innocent lives were slaughtered and given to demons. Orphans’ bellies swelled with hunger, but blind eyes were turned. Widows starved in their homes while young women took men who did not belong to them to their bed.
Greed, lust, hunger for power dripped like honey from the lips of men. Lies and deceit fueled the people. Dead men living in desolate places, groping as if they had no eyes to see light–only walking in darkness.
Those who attempted to depart from the great evil became prey.
Truth failed.
Justice and righteousness disappeared like vapor.
No one to help the people, to intercede for them. And it displeased the Lord. Jealousy for His beloved moved Him to action.
He would bring salvation by His own arm.
His put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Bringing fury to His enemies. To redeem. To send the enemy to flight when he comes in like a flood.
To make a covenant. (prophesy from Isaiah 59)
He came and was rejected by His own people, who mocked His helmet of salvation by crowning Him with thorns, ignoring His cloak of vengeance that He wanted to use to avenge them and covering him with cloak of purple to demean Him. They stripped His torso naked; they did not care He came in righteousness.
Yet compassion and joy pressed Him on and He allowed them to take His life. When His blood and water flowed, they were freed. All were freed.
Truth would not fail again. Law was banished.
Under a new covenant. In blood. At a cross.
It’s no secret that when Paul watched the soldiers guarding him, he remembered the prophecy in Isaiah. He would know the scriptures well. He may have sat against the cold, dirty walls of the prison and studied those men as the Spirit of God showed Him a picture to use in teaching us. Today.
Put on the whole armor of God. Except there is no cloak in the armor of God. Because vengeance belongs to the Lord.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit…” Ephesians 6:17
He wore them first. He’s giving them to us. A gift to help us. The world hasn’t changed. It’s still a place where man does right in his own eyes, where greed and lust propel men to do evil.
But we are not under the law. We have the Spirit of God in us to guide us. We have nothing to fear. And the enemy knows this. He’s still coughing up dust from having his face shoved in the ground when Jesus won the battle.
The mind is an amazing creation. What it can do is a miracle. That’s why it’s so important to guard it. The enemy loves to mess with it. One stray thought can become a fixation, messing with our emotions–our innermost parts.
Thoughts become actions.
That’s why Paul says whatever is just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything praiseworthy or of virtue–think on these things. Philippians 4:6-8
Paul not only tells us to take the helmet of salvation, a free gift giving you liberty, but to also take the sword of the spirit.
The Bible–the Word.  When the enemy comes in like a flood (from the prophecy in Isaiah) the Spirit of God sets Him to flight (raises a standard–that’s what the word standard means). Resist the devil and he will flee.
When he says, “You’re alone.” The sword slashes at the enemy with “My God never forsakes me, lo He is with me until the ends of the earth.” Matthew 28:20
“You’re weak.” Raise the sword and cut his throat. “His grace is sufficient for me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Your dreams are ridiculous. Unattainable.” Cut his tongue out with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
When the enemy tempted Jesus in the desert for 40 days, Jesus fought with the Word. With the sword.
I have a hard time with numbers. Phone numbers, SS#, dates. It’s ridiculous and as I was trying to memorize scripture, I became frustrated because I couldn’t remember the references.
I sat outside on my patio morning in tears and said something like, “How can I fight when I can’t even learn!” I will never forget what happened next.
The wind picked up, the leaves rustled and the Lord said to me (not audible but they might as well have been), “When I fought, I never once used a reference. I said, ‘It is written…’ You know the words.”
My heart sped up, my eyes swam with tears as Jesus unlocked my fears and doubt and encouraged me.
This wasn’t license not to work hard and learn the references. We should and I have. We may need to give them to another person at some point.
Sometimes, I forget, but I know when the enemy attacks my mind, the Spirit brings the Word to my mind. God says….
You see, I scared him. I was learning how to fight. Memorizing scripture and meditating on it. Letting it become real in my life, not just rehearsed words to a play.
The only way to stop me was to make me believe if I didn’t know the numbers/references, it wasn’t valid. A forfeit in the fight.
Protect the mind. We’re saved–by grace. Under the blood. The past is drenched in it. Our future swims in it. We have the promise of forever with the Lover of our soul.
Pick up the sword and use it. Remember to practice with it. Take it out daily and use it. Get the feel of it in your hands. Improve your craft of wielding it. When war comes, you want to know how to use your only weapon. It’s the only thing that will wound the enemy. Everything else is for protecting you.
The sword puts the enemy to flight.
How are you at memorizing scripture? Do you work on learning new passages daily or could you stand to take out the sword and practice with it?
Practice makes progress!
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20 thoughts on “Take a Stab but Wear a Helmet

  1. I love how your posts will correspond with whatever scripture I'm reading or the sermon I've just heard at church – both this time. It's like God is pointing out exactly what I should be paying attention to and saying, "Don't miss this! This is important!"

  2. I needed this!!! Memorizing scripture is not something I've ever done. I used to know things and be able to reference them from memory because I read my Bible all the time, but that's fallen by the wayside.
    Time to get back on the path, I think. lol

    Love this post, Jessica!

  3. I'm sort of in awe of the gift God's given you right now….

    That was powerful stuff, Jessica. Very powerful and so TRUE!

  4. I love that you admit the number thing. I'm so with you on that. I usually just end up saying, "It's in there somewhere." 😉

    His word truly can slash some of those darker darks that come at us. Powerful and meaningful today. Thanks so much for putting the work in!
    ~ Wendy

  5. This is awesome!!

    I used to be better at memorization…when I was a kid in the AWANA program. 🙂 But it's so true that having the truth of Scripture at the ready in our minds gives us instant weaponry against lies. So…I'm feeling a good conviction today. 🙂

  6. I went to Christian schools up until college, so memorizing scripture was a daily part of life. We memorized an entire book of the Bible (a short one!) my senior year of high school.

    Lately, I've been thinking I'd like to memorize my fave passages again. This post gives me the push to get started–thanks Jessica!

  7. Oh, Jess, this is sooo good!

    "The enemy attacks our mind…" is right on the money.

    I have memorized scripture since I was a small child (of course, being a PK, I had no choice. 😉 ) I'm so thankful I am armed with His word when the going gets tough.

    One thing that used to be done in churches, like in VBS or SS, was a "Bible Drill." Did you ever do those? Competitive fun, but a learning tool, too.

    Now, I study scripture in smaller increments. We also keep a box of "scripture cards" in my silverware drawer & read these at mealtimes to facilitate learning.

  8. Love the honesty in this post. I did a program called AWANA growing up, and I memorized a TON of verses. I'm so grateful, because so many of them "stuck." But you're right; it isn't memorizing the reference that is as important as memorizing the truth, and letting it become emblazoned upon your soul.

  9. I used to memorize scriptures when I was a teenager/young adult. Haven't done much of it for years -looks like it's about time to start again. 🙂

  10. Julie: I love it when God does that! So cool! 🙂

    Jessica: Yup! Hit the path!

    Katie: Thank you so much! You have no idea how much I appreciate those words. 🙂

    Wendy: Yeah, me and numbers don't mix. Glad I'm not alone!

    Tagg: We had to memorize a lot of scripture at church camp and I did well, but then I'd forget the reference as soon as I recited it to the team leaders! LOL

    Jill: So impressive! A whole book even small is astounding. When we were in Thailand, the 2 years old recited an entire proverb from memory. I bawled! So beautiful.

    Cynthia: I was all about some VBS, Bible drill and church camp. Retained the words, the references not so much! 🙂 PK…did you get in as much trouble as most PKs I know!?

    Lindsay: I'm familiar with AWANA, we have a similar program at our church. 🙂

    Stacy: It's never too late. That's what I love about God! 🙂

  11. Jessica, your insights into Scripture just floor me. What a beautiful gift God has given you! Memorizing and hiding Scripture in our heart is so very vital. When the enemy attacks, he's not going to wait for us to look something up or sharpen our sword. Awesome, just awesome!

  12. This is so great! Can't wait to share this!

    I work with youth at our church and we have been trying to show them the importance of being in God's Word daily.

    This is a great example of how each verse of scripture can have an impact on daily living.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I am loving this study and your commentary on it. I wish you were in my Bible study group as we walk through Your Strong Suit. We'd have a blast.

  14. Needed this – big time!

    I tend to memorize the scripture that applies to me at the moment when I run across it.

    I put verses up around the house to look at…as reminders if I'm going through something.

  15. I had a missions professor once ask, "If you were thrown in prison and they took away your Bible, how much Bible would you have?"

    I started a memorization program a few years ago and memorized a Scripture every morning for about 2 years. It involved a way to remember the past ones also. It was very effective.

    I no longer do it, but still have hundreds floating in my head. It was great how often I had the Scripture needed for any situation.

  16. Great stuff! I haven't memorized scripture for quite some time, but I have in the past. It's GOOD to do so. Because you may not have your Bible with you when you need to have that reminder!!

  17. Thanks for that Jessica!

  18. Wow!! What a great post, Jessica!

    I should probably take out the sword and practice with it more. I end up helping the kids with their memory verses to much that I haven't taken the time to memorize more for myself. Good reminder. 🙂

    Thank you for this post!!

  19. Oh. love this post, fellow-warrior.

    We are memorizing John 15 in our Sunday school class. Last year we did Psalm 91, and the Lord's protection came alive to us. This year we are learning how to abide in the vine. So rich and nourishing.

    I love how you say, "Cut his tongue out." That's my kind of talk for the enemy of our souls!

  20. I have long struggled with memorization too – I have an awful memory for names, etc…and it kept me from knowing references and even the exact word-for-word of Scripture at times. But over the last 6 months God's been strong on me about knowing His word, keeping it close to my heart and mind. What I began to do is write it out on 3×5 cards that I keep (thank-you Beth Moore) and I put categories at the top and keep them together. So, I have a batch for "fear", for "peace", for "God's Faithfulness"…and I keep them right by my bed. As He impresses a Scripture onto my heart, I write it down.


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