~By Sharon Czerwien
I am quite supportive of the military, police, firefighters (and first responders in general)! They are the brave ones defending safety and freedom. BRAVE and selfless!
I am 99.999% positive that I could never be any of the above. Brave is not really my middle name. One thing we all share in common, though, is that we are all human.
Humans have needs, whether the needs are physical, spiritual, or emotional. I will cover the first two in this post…just for the sake of getting to my specific point.
A U.S. Marine (yes, I am partial, smiles) may enter his workday tired. Maybe a firefighter comes to work with sore back muscles. Perhaps a police officer has a sick child at home and was awake much of the night helping to meet her child’s needs.
These are real physical needs. Nobody’s body is perfect or has the ability to withstand certain trauma (on its own!). It does not matter what the officer’s physical needs are while entering a shift, he or she could endure bodily harm (in critical areas of the body) without very specific protective gear.
I have never been through any form of first responder training, but I know the importance of tested and tried protective gear. A trusted bullet proof vest is vital. A tried-and-true military shield is a necessity. A proven oxygen tank is incredibly valuable and life-saving for a firefighter.
What protective gear do you or I use consistently? I use a trustworthy oven mitt to pull out hot food from the oven. Maybe you use a tried-and-true sunscreen on your baby. Here are other trusted protective gear ideas:
· Gloves, scarves (etc.) for the cold
· Hat or sunglasses for when you drive on a sunny day
· Mouth guard for sports
· Helmet for bike riding
The list could go on and on. The point is that we all desire protective gear that we trust.
No matter our occupation, EVERY human being has spiritual needs. Here are some necessary thoughts to cover:
· Because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), we all fall short of God’s glory.
· Thanks to the grace of God, even though we are sinners, Jesus died and became the payment for our sins (Romans 5:8; 8:1).
· By faith in accepting Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins, we can be brought into a peace-filled relationship with God (Romans 5:1).
· Christians are not *free* from pain on this earth, though (1 Peter 1:6-7; 4:12-13). It specifically teaches in 1 Peter 1:6 that we are sometimes grieved by various trials.
Even a Christian has spiritual needs. I included information from above (changing only a few words):
Nobody’s body is perfect or has the ability to withstand certain “spiritual” trauma (on its own!). It does not matter what our spiritual needs are when entering our day, we could endure spiritual harm (in critical areas of the body) without very specific spiritual protective gear.
This gear, though, is different. It is not physical gear like those items listed above. It involves spiritual armor, like that which is taught in Ephesians 6:10ff.
Here is a snippet of this passage:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God…Therefore take up the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:10-11a, 13a).
The Armor of God…It is our spiritual protective gear! (See Ephesians 6:14-17.)
1. Gird your waist with truth.
2. Put on the breastplate of righteousness.
3. Shod your feet with the gospel of peace.
4. Take your shield of faith.
5. Take the helmet of salvation.
6. Carry the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God).
I will not cover all the above! (Perhaps I can save that for another set of posts.)
Think of the information that was given above. I know that I desire something that is true, tested, and tried to meet my *spiritual* needs.
I must take the shield of faith with me daily, for example, or I would drop to the floor with the pressure of various trials. The trauma of life’s trials could easily pierce my heart and cause me to spiritually flounder.
I must make it a priority to allow the Word of God (the Bible) to dwell in my heart to bring me spiritual stability.
I will end this post with a powerful verse:
“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Psalm 18:30).
Live safely with God’s designed gear,