We have been studying Ephesians 6 and the armor of God for the last few weeks at church. It's always encouraging to be reminded that while we live on this earth, God has given us tools to handle the trials and challenges we face on a daily basis.
Probably like you, I have read that passage hundreds of times, and have seen various posters and drawings illustrating and describing the pieces of armor. But this Sunday, our pastor showed a video by OTG Ministries that drove the message home harder than anything I'd seen before.
This is a blog that features art that glorifies God. He is the Original Creator and has put the ability to create inside each one of us. We can use them for various goals--for fun, to make money, to boost our ego. Or, we can submit them to Him, using our gifts and talents for the purposes He intended. When we do that, we honor and glorify Him. For whatever reason, God chooses to use us and the abilities He has given us to accomplish His will in the earth. Thank about that for a moment!
When I saw the images in this video--paintings, drawings, sculptures, crafted armor, etc.--coupled with the Word of God, I was moved. I felt encouraged, strengthened, empowered, and grateful to God that He did not leave us here unequipped. I thought, this is the power that mixing God's gifts with His purpose can have on a person. All that from a simple video.
Living in this world is difficult. There are so many things trying to destroy us and our families, trying to ruin our lives, our health, our reputations, our minds. We fight every day from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep--and even then, the devil doesn't always let us rest.
But the video also reminded me of something else: the real battle is not of flesh and blood. We are engaged in a spiritual battle, something that is is impossible win let alone survive on our own. That is why we need the armor of God. Why our eyes and our hope must be fixed on God. The war is already won--remember that! When Jesus died on the cross and then rose again, God defeated the enemy. Our ultimate reward is coming when we join God in heaven. But, though defeated, the enemy isn't going quietly. And, for as long as we are on this earth, we have work to do.
But how do we survive until then?
Look up. Look away from the everyday distractions and see the real battle happening beyond our human eyes. God is in control. His Spirit is with us. His angels are active all over the world. But we have to ask God to open our eyes to see it.
2 Kings 6:17 (NIV)
And Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Just look at this image. It stayed with me long, long, long after the video ended. Watching it, my throat tightened up and I felt a rush of emotion. Yes, it's a human rendering of something celestial, but I thought, "Wow! Look at the power, the assurance, and the authority in that angel. Surrounded by hoards of the most evil and loathsome beings in existence and there's not an ounce of weakness or fear in him. That's who God has looking after me and my family and the world! And that's in addition to God's already almighty-almightiness!"
So, yeah, I left church feeling fired up.
Make no mistake. Art is a powerful tool. Well-chosen words in an essay or story, the right composition in a photo, and skillfully drawn lines or blended paints can tell stories. But give it over to God and watch strongholds fall, foundations shake, and lives change.
Have you come across anything like this that has moved or inspired you lately? Let me know by leaving a message below. Blessings on this wonderful Sunday. :)