Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17
I’ve never played paintball before. When some of my family members and I went away for Easter to the lovely Elveden Forest, we decided to book a few fun group activities including paintballing. We had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for.
It started to hit home as we got dressed in some serious combat gear and listened to a short tutorial on what the game was really all about but it wasn’t until after the first paintball slammed into my arm that I quickly decided that it wasn’t for me. A little too late though…it stung so badly! I thought to myself ‘ This was supposed to be fun!’ I immediately found a bunker and hid behind it for the most part of that first round.
It is easy to give into pain and fear and to lay low and hide behind things. Its easier to default to self-preservation than to step out into unknown territory. It is easier to avoid hardship, and loss, easier to keep quiet and easier to remain the same, more comfortable to stick to the known. I experienced this as I hid behind my bunker, shooting others from a safe range and not getting hit by those terrible orange balls. The problem with this was that we didn’t achieve the objective for that round. I couldn’t run to capture the enemies’ flag because I didn’t want to get hit and as I lay low, the enemy stole our flag.
‘No no no! That wouldn’t do at all’ I said to myself. ‘If you want to win, you have to stand up! You have to run! You have to be courageous!’ I had a choice to make…hide or fight. For the next three rounds, my body took a pummeling but I fought through the pain. Even if I got hit and had to leave the game for that round, there were several courageous team players who were focused on the prize. I wasn’t going to stand down. I wasn’t going to give into fear.
There is no battle that we cannot win when we believe who we are in Christ. He has prepared us for the life that we are living and everything we need, he has already put in us. We need to put on our battle gear and courageously walk through this life, not cowering at every attack but pushing through the pain to reach our goal, knowing that we have a God who fights with and for us.
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