BY: MEGAN GILMORE
Who knew that the new must-have accessory in the year 2020 would be a face mask! Before we get to this turn of events in our year I want to take you back to a moment where I was filled with hope and innocently unaware of this new fashion accessory that would make its way into my life.
I want to take you back to December 31, 2019. I was not thinking on New Year’s Eve about the challenges that I would be facing. All I could think about was how excited I was. I felt like 2020 was going to be my best year yet! I was filled with the hope of what could happen. It seems like that moment was a lifetime ago. Maybe you are beginning to allow your mind to take you back to that day. Were you filled with excitement? Was there hope of all the good that potentially could happen? I know that not a single one of you would have predicted what 2020 has turned out to be...crazy.
On New Year’s Eve, I got dressed up with friends and went out to a fun dinner to celebrate a new, fresh year that was upon us. As I got dressed the biggest debate was what shoes went with my dress. I remember after that decision had finally been made I needed to top the outfit off with accessories. Once I had those my outfit was complete and I was ready to go!
Let us fast forward to when the other day when I got ready for work. My final accessory these days is my face mask. I now have a few options to choose from, but whichever one I choose I make sure it is on before I am leaving my house. Now, I know there are some people that have a differing opinion than me about facemasks - this is not the space for us to debate their purpose or your feelings about them. But just know that I wear one for the protection of others and myself. It is a simple step that can have a big impact on my life and those around me.
As I was getting groceries the other day I realized I was becoming accustomed to wearing my face mask. It was also becoming normal to see others wearing a mask. It was actually more surprising if I saw someone without one! As I drove home with face masks on my mind I started to feel God stirring something in me.
When I got home He called me to lean in a little closer to hear what He had for me. Before any words came He took me straight to scripture in Ephesians 4:10-18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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. 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.”
The Armor of God! I know this passage well and could not help but smile that God was taking me to this scripture. After reading I was quiet before Him, waiting in anticipation for what He wanted me to say. He told me a face mask is a simple tool I am putting on daily to fight against an unseen virus. Then came the question - He always asks me questions for me to really dig into my being and make changes. He asked me, “Megan, are you using the simple tool of my armor daily to fight the unseen spiritual battle?”
Wow! I had to take that one in for a few minutes. I began to recognize that I had been allowing myself to get up daily and walk in this world without His armor. He was showing me that without His armor I was struggling to find hope. I was struggling to find joy and satisfaction in Him. Praying Ephesians 6:10-18 is a quick and simple tool to arm me against the unseen spiritual battle.
As I began to really wrestle with this I wondered if anyone else could relate to me on this? There is a simple tool we are beginning to use in this world - a face mask - to protect us. God has given us an even more powerful tool against the unseen spiritual battle - His armor! I had to confess that I had not been faithful to simply put it on daily and then I started, right then and there, to put on His armor. I started to feel my hope return to my soul. I know 2020 will still be a challenge, but this year is not a waste because God is in control and He has a plan. It is time to step out in faith with His armor to fight this spiritual battle.
We are in a spiritual battle, my friends. It is very real and it is intense. We can simply put on the armor and we are one step closer to His protection during the unseen battle.
Do you need to confess that you have not been faithful to put the armor on? Stop and take a second - let Him know you are sorry for not using what He has given us to fight this battle. Now, start praying Ephesians 4:10-18 over you. Pick up each piece of armor and put it on. It is time to arm ourselves for the unseen battle!