When God Puts On His Armor

People “go to war” when threatened. No one may accost them directly. However, the aggrieved person perceives danger and strikes back. Americans march in protest, write letters to congress, post (and share) virulent articles on social media, and rant to whomever will listen. They cry out supporting gun control or defending second amendment rights, for homosexual civil rights or in defense of traditional marriage, for the freedom to choose abortion or for the protection of unborn life. Frankly, some purse a “scorched earth” strategy; they will destroy their opponents whatever it takes. Truth and good manners vanish as they pursue their goal. in the midst of this (un)civil discourse I wonder, what prompts God to go to war?
Isaiah chapter 59 actually describes God putting on armor and going to war. God fights for justice, righteousness, integrity, and truth. Some components of God’s armor reappear in Ephesians 6 among parts of the Christian’s spiritual armor. Could the message be that we should fight for what God finds offensive? I think so. Comparing the two chapters reveals subtle differences in the armors; our role in the conflict differs from God’s. His own arm works salvation for him; he wears the garments of vengeance. Vengeance does not appear in the Christian’s go-to-war equipment in Ephesians 6. However, truth and righteousness form essential protective gear, and the Christian fights with the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Prayer also protects the Christian; prayer and the gospel of peace are critical for spiritual readiness. We pray and we plead for justice, truth and right living alongside God. He avenges; we do not.
What makes us “go to war?” How do our objectives and values line up with God’s in Isaiah 59 and Ephesians 6? Do we value truth as much as God does?(We may want to execute a fact check before we answer the last question.) These are questions that we must answer when we “call for fire.”

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About Michael Summers

Michael Waymon Summers has preached in twenty-seven of the United States as well as seven other countries. He currently preaches for a Church of Christ in Leavenworth, Kansas. Michael earned a Master of Theology degree. He also has done graduate work in international studies. Michael runs more than twenty miles most weeks, loves to sing, and reads voraciously.
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