The Fireman's Armor of God
Welcome Back! It’s hard to believe summer is finished and school is back in session. It seems the older I get, the faster time flies. Lots of exciting things are happening at SCS this year. I invite you stop in sometime and check out the classrooms, or just sit and visit for awhile.
Our theme for the 2013-2014 school year is from Ephesians 6:10-18, Putting On the Full Armor of God. Chad Werkhoven did a great job at our opening chapel making the comparison of putting on the armor of God to what he puts on when he is firefighting. In case you missed our opening chapel here are some highlights:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...”
Chad compared the belt with the suspenders that hold up his fire pants. If he did not have his suspenders, his pants would fall to his ankles and trip him as he worked. Similarly, we need the belt of truth so we know the difference between truth and lies; we do not want to be tripped up in untruth.
“...with the breastplate of righteousness in place...”
A fireman wears his coat for protection. Even though it is hot and usually uncomfortable, the coat provides the protection needed for the job to get done. Sometimes what is right is not comfortable, but necessary.
Chad also addressed the students, letting them know that if they look around and see that others aren't wearing their "gear," that it doesn't give them an excuse to take theirs off. We always have to be ready for what life gives us. If we get caught without our gear on, we will be in danger.
Also included in the fireman's breastplate is his oxygen tank. In order to accomplish their task of addressing and defeating the fire, firefighters need clean air. We also need righteousness to address this world and our daily lives.
“...and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Chad began his talk with putting on his fire boots. He emphasized that in order to put on his fire boots, he had to take off his normal shoes. Much the same, we need to take off the old self and put on the new.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Those "flaming arrows" got Chad excited about using his fire analogy! Chad explained how firemen, when they arrive at the scene of a fire, place their “passport” or name in the captain’s book so he knows who is at the fire. This is similar to having our names in God's Book of Life.
“Take the helmet of salvation...”
Chad showed us his fire helmet. He demonstrated the importance of the helmet to protect his head. The firefighter helmet is the perfect analogy for Jesus. Jesus absorbs all the dangerous blows from the world that we deserve.
“...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Chad used his hose as an analogy to this sword. As the breastplate is designed to protect, so is the water that flows from the hose. He explained how the hose can be used offensively or defensively to fight fires and protect firemen. The important thing to remember is that it must be attached to a water source to be useful. We must be attached to our source, Jesus, also. This was his equation: hose = faith / water = grace.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.”
While firefighters are working on a fire, they always have their radios with them. They must be in communication at all times with their leaders and other firefighters. We need to be in communication with God always about what's happening in our lives and on behalf of each other.
A firefighter also has pads on their knees because they spend so much time kneeling. Being on their knees keeps their heads clear of debris and smoke. Chad related crawling through a fire to being on our knees in prayer. Being on our knees humbles us, keeping us further from harmful debris and smoke.
I could go on and on because we had a wonderful beginning chapel. May your school year be blessed with God’s strength, truth, wisdom, protection, and direction as you clothe yourself with His armor.