Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hagerman Bible Study, Priscilla Shrirer, The Armor of God

 This week in Bible Study we listened to  Priscilla Shirer's the Armor of God. She began with prayer, acknowledging that the God of the universe would let us hear from Him. She went on to tell of a black woman entering a convenience store in Dallas after the recent violence killed five police officers in that city. In the front of the store, two white male officers chatted with a white female clerk. Their conversation stopped when the black woman walked in. Eventually, one of the police officers asked how the customer was doing. She replied that she was fine, but the officer looked closely at the woman and asked, "no really, how are you?" She responded that she was tired. He said that he was tired also, then went on to remark that he guessed it wasn't easy being either of them. Then he hugged her. The woman was moved enough to post the incident.
As I listened to Priscilla Shirer, I thought how true that must be for so many of us. When I visited Dallas last week I noticed faces, black, white and Hispanic. As a older, tall, white woman with a face so wholesome it could possibly sell bread and not much else, I was nervous, not wanting to stand out. I was worried for the city, and wanted so strongly to reach out tired hands if just to hold another's. But I noticed in the city, a calm peace. People spoke. Not everyone was friendly, but guards were down. People met each other, not so much in difference, but in awe of their lives. It was Texas after all.
Shirer spoke about the invisible enemy, the one we can't see who is banking on us forgetting him. We concern ourselves with what we can see, the tangible hurts and fears. We strike out against what we know, forgetting our anger and fear are tools of the enemy. She said our culture and country are under attack, but so are our homes and businesses and that while we turn our attention to the tangible, we waste all of our time and energy offering the wrong solutions in the wrong places. I couldn't help but think how often my anger stems from old hurts that I want to fix. I want revenge or to put things right, but especially to put things, and even people, in their place. I forget God, that I am loved by Him, I am forgiven and held safe in His hold.
She went on to say that God has given us His armor for the war against His enemy. Speaking from Ephesians 6:10-18, Shirer talked about the whole armor of God that we, the Church, can stand firm as gate keepers, not by our strength, but by God's power. She spoke of how Paul spends the first chapters of Ephesians telling us who we are in the eyes of God, of His bigness in choosing us so that later in Ephesians we can stand strong wearing the armor of God. She goes through the pieces of armor, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the Gospel of peace on your feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. She added also prayer, because that is how we may live in the abundance of our God.
Referencing Isaiah 59:15-17, she spoke of God's armor and how God used it against an unfaithful Israel, and that we are like Israel. We live in an unrepentant culture that wants to replace lies for truth and take our focus from God in order that we may live according to our standards rather than His. But God gave us His very armor, that sin and deceit will not win. She said God doesn't ride on the backs of donkeys or elephants, pointing to the current political battle. She said, "God did not come to take sides. He came to take over." She spoke of the Bible as the compass for your life, that it's not always a popular stand, but it is the only stand.
This message spoke to my heart. Thank you Priscilla Shirer.
Thank you for reading. More later. BEV

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