Bungee Addicts: Victory Series, Part 17 (Our Armour)


Bungee jumping at Kawarau BridgeThe Kawarau river

We have been studying the armour that God suggests we wear, listed in Eph. 6, and we have seen the importance of the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, and the footwear, the gospel of peace. In addition to these, we are encouraged to take up three additional pieces of armour: A shield, a breastplate, and a sword. The first of these is referred to as "the shield of faith": "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Eph 6:16 NIV)

Faith is required in order to bungee jump. Interestingly, bungee jumping originated in New Zealand, near the town of Queenstown, which is renowned as the "Adventure-tourism capital of the world." It all started in 1988. AJ Hackett was inspired by land divers at the Pentacost Island Vanuatu, who had nothing better to do than to tie vines around their ankles and jump into nothingness during religious ceremonies. He decided to open the first commercial bungee jump site from the Kawarau Bridge, 43 metres (141 feet), above the Kawarau river.

For those who have jumped before, this is no big deal. But for those who haven't, not only do they pay 150 NZ$, they also need to trust a long, elastic cord attached to their ankles or to a harness. If something happens to this cord, there will be nothing to keep their faces from hitting the rocky bottom of the Kawarau river!

Well, at least there IS a river under them, unlike the bungee jumpers who tried to jump from the Eiffel tower!

Once these adventuresome folk experience the thrill of bungee jumping, they are usually hooked, and they seek out opportunities to experience it over and over again.

Faith is similar to these adventure seekers. It takes a lot to put our trust in something or someone, but when that something or someone proves themselves trust-worthy, a bond is created that can never be broken. We can never experience such thrilling trustworthiness, however, without first taking a risk. We have to first PUT our trust in that something or someone!

One problem though, the things we rely upon can sometimes be proven unreliable! Take computers, for example. Need I say more? And people aren't much better! If you don't believe me, read the newspaper!

Only One has proven to be continually trustworthy, and boy, He is much more reliable than a bungee cord! He willingly faced death on a cross so that we could be set free from the ravages of sin.

Who else that we know would be willing to die for us? And now Jesus offers victory to those who put their trust in Him! "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1-2 NIV).

Eph 6:16 refers to faith as "the shield of faith". This reference leads us to consider the Roman shield of that time period. Made out of wood and covered with leather and sometimes with metal, they were essential for protection. In fact the Romans had two kinds of shields: A small round one, ideal for hand-to-hand combats, and a larger rectangular one, referred to as a "door", which covered most of a soldier's body.

Once these shields were covered with water, they could withstand the fiery arrows of any enemy. All the soldier had to do is kneel and hold his shield over him. And if the soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder behind those shields, they could move forward in relative safety.

You can already see where I'm going with this. Faith is essential to "extinguish" the "flaming arrows of the evil one". All we have to do is kneel in prayer, hold our faith over us, and trust in the One who guarantees our victory! And if you want to put the evil one on the run, unite yourselves with fellow believers and stand firm in your advance against the devil! He will have no choice but to retreat!

Remember God does not respond according to our needs, but according to our faith. And there is no part of faith that includes what we can do for God, but rather, what God desires to do for and around us! It's not "our way", but "His way"! Perfect faith is believing that what you've asked for is as good as done! That kind of faith can only be obtained by relying on Jesus!

"Before this faith came..." (Gal 3:23 NIV) Paul here refers to faith as a Person, and that Person is no other than the One who willingly died for us! "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus..." (Gal 3:26 NIV)

It was too bad that the "bungy" jumping site over the Kawarau river was closed when we reached it on Christmas day. Or at least, that's what my wife thought. I personally don't get adrenaline rushes from such thrills. My adrenaline rush comes from God Himself, who fills my days with wonder and amazement! And to be perfectly honest, I don't know if I would trust those elastic cords, anyway. What if there was a manufacturer's defect? What good would the warranty be?

But I do trust my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Rob Chaffart

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