Fighting the Tide: Victory Series, Part 14 (Our Armour)


Our visit to the Moeraki boulders was both intriguing and revealing. In front of us stood numerous spherical boulders, many of which were over two meters in diameter. It was interesting that there were so many of them, and only at this one specific location, near Hampden, on the eastern shore of New Zealand's southern island.

All of these boulders were at one time part of the mudstone hills. Over time, these hills succumbed to the effects of erosion, and they gradually collapsed. Now only the boulders can be seen, standing like so many sentinels against the storms of the south Pacific.

Interestingly enough, these boulders are considered concretions, similar to the pearl formed around a tiny grain of sand inside of an oyster. The tiny particles that sit at the centre of these boulders could be fossils, bone extracts or even pieces of wood, but over time, the rock simply formed a huge sphere around it.

If the God-given task of the Moeraki boulders is to fight the tide, they do an excellent job. Nonetheless, despite the fact that they are made of calcite, their exposure to the ocean tides makes them eventually lose their outer layer. As their lustre bit by bit disappears, they crumble into hard veins of crystallised calcite, and with the perpetual harassing of the waves, they can, over time, erode to nothing.

These Moeraki boulders remind me of our fight in this world.

"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." (Eph 6:10-13 NIV)

What is scary is that many of us don't go into battle clothed with any armour at all! Some don't even fight back, and yet they are astonished at how they can so easily fall prey to the devil. But our fight is not against tides. Nor is it against "flesh and blood". Our enemy subtly and patiently awaits us, laying his traps well before we are even aware of his presence!

With this kind of odds, there is no way we could be victorious without armour, and in His wisdom, God has provided us with all the armour we need so that we can experience victory instead of defeat. Woe to those who ignore their armour!

On closer inspection, we discover that this armour is, to be specific, the nature and likeness of Jesus, the Messiah. Every piece is as important as the next!

The first piece of armour mentioned is the Belt of Truth: "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist." (Eph 6:14 NIV)

Try to walk around without a belt, especially if you have lost a pound or two. You will quickly turn bright red when your pants fall to the floor!

At the time this Biblical text was written, the Roman Empire was thriving, and we could learn a thing or two from their armour. They most certainly wore belts, and unlike many of us, they always put on their armour before battle.

Their belts helped them move quickly and decisively, without tripping over their garments. Their belt was larger than ours today, and covered not only their waist, but also their groin area as well. They were aware that their abdomens were the most vulnerable area during a sword fight. A wound there would lead to profuse and uncontrollable bleeding, highly susceptible to infection. Not too good if one wants to be victorious!

Interestingly, the abdominal area includes the organs of digestion as well as the organs specializing in the elimination of waste.

Without truth as our belt we too can literally be caught with our pants down! We need to know Truth and take it as such, thus eliminating garbage from potentially corrupting us. Without the truth, we will often find ourselves in confusion. Choices and decisions will lack clarity and more often than not, we will end up in despair, our hearts broken.

Many seek truth, and many contenders advertise that they have the truth. But have any of these advertisements ever panned out?

I only know of one Truth that can keep me safe at all times and that Truth is a real person: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NIV) He is the living Word, one and the same with the Holy Scriptures, and with this Truth as our belt, we will never ever be confused. But trying to use something besides Truth as our belt will only leave us exposed!

We, too, are very much like these Moeraki boulders. However, as long as we stand on Truth, the tides of this world cannot erode us.

Who needs confusion anyway?

Rob Chaffart

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