But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8
A week ago, my wife let me take two of our three kids on a retreat to the mountains. We had the opportunity to stay at an incredible cabin in Angel Fire. We stayed with a very kind family along with a bunch of other Sagebrushers for a few nights. When we arrived, the host family laid down a few important ground rules for the adults and kids. One of them was that if we were going to use the kid's zipline that we needed to wear a helmet. My ten year old heard the words, yet it just didn't resonate down into his behavior. The next day I heard a wail from the trees, and I ran down to find Samuel on the ground. He fell off the zipline and had a bump on his head. I saw him on the ground without a helmet and asked, "Why didn't you wear a helmet?" My wife is definitely the more sensitive and caring one!
Helmets are so important to protect our head. Whether it is riding a motorcycle, or bicycle, or flying down a zipline, having the proper protection in place is critical for our survival. For a soldier, a helmet is one of the most essential pieces of their armor because it protects their brain from the attacks of the enemy. The apostle Paul knew just how sensitive that our minds would be from the evil one's attacks. So, in Ephesians 6:17, he said, "Put on the helmet of salvation." He knew that in this Forgotten War, Satan would try to attack our minds. He also knew that what we think about has the power to influence what we do and who we become.
He combines the concept of a helmet with salvation for a specific reason. Salvation is our confidence in what Jesus did on the cross. He saved us from the old life that we used to live, reconnected us to God, and gave us the promise of heaven. When we live in that confidence, we stand firm. When we think about what we have been saved from, and the cost that Jesus paid to make us new, it gives us great confidence and boldness. It also keeps us our minds safe from temptation and the lies of the evil one.
Think about all your thoughts this week. Were they protected by the helmet of salvation? Or was your mind full of lust, bitterness, or anger? These areas keep our attention away from the things of God. Suiting up with the Helmet of Salvation means that I can live in gratitude for what Jesus did on the cross for me, and then I move toward filling my mind with God's truths rather than Satan's lies.
Do an inventory today of the things that you are thinking about. What currently keeps you up at night? How much of your day do you focus on your own relationship with God and His plan for your life? If you have a hard time doing this exercise, maybe it is time to reevaluate if you have the helmet of salvation set in place. If this piece of armor is weak for you, come up with a plan to fix your mind on Jesus.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NLT)
Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
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