Some of you know that I served in the military. To be more specific, I served in the Army. I was with the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom I. More than 10 years later, I still have very detailed memories preparing my gear before and after each mission. M-16A2 and M9 cleaned, inspected, and functioned checked? Full ammunition loads filled. All 210 5.56 rounds inspected and the same for all 45 9mm rounds. Two 5.56 magazines loaded to 2-1 with tracers; 2 with no tracers, 3 kept standard. Practice SPORTS (if you were in, you know what that is). Smoke and Fragmentation inspected. Knife cleaned and sharpened if necessary. And on and on. This went the same way before and after every mission, every time.
But this didn't stop with my weapons. In fact, I was even more concerned about some of my other gear. NVGs clean and serviced? Yup. Good batteries? Yes. Body armor? Check. Straps. Good. Zip-ties and flex cuffs stocked. Batteries in the GPS good and spares ready (I had a civilian model I used with the PLGR). Goggles clean. Cloth map clean. 9-line card readable (although I had it memorized.) Kevlar (the Army's term for helmet), good. Boots, check. Geber and lensatic compass clean and functioning. Everything still attached with a lanyard? Protractor in the bag, not broken. Leader book dry. Do I have a pencil? Again, this went on until every piece of gear was ready.
You can probably imagine how important it was that everything was ready to go when things started to explode and rounds came zinging in. Now, could you imagine if all that gear was available to me but I chose not to wear it into battle? What if I neglected keeping it ready?
Christians, we are in a war and Ephesians 6:10-20 gives us a clear picture of the spiritual gear available to us. Some us us are getting shot up and we're not wearing our armor. Some of us are fighting with a dull and rusty sword. We've got blisters because we don't have on our shoes. We have a problem. If that's you, it doesn't have to be that way.
This week Derek Earl (our Worship Leader) has been given the opportunity to preach the last sermon in our New Normal series. He'll be walking us through Ephesians 6:10-24. In addition, here's an update of some things happening at Redeeming Life Church:
Christians, we're at war. Stand firm. Take up the whole armor of God. I'm praying for you.
We'll see you Sunday! (Oh, and don't forget to set you clock ahead.)
For the Kingdom!