“Therefore, put on the full ARMOR of GOD
so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the BATTLE you will still be standing firm.
Stand your ground,
By putting on the belt of TRUTH and
the body ARMOR of God’s righteousness.
For shoes, put on the PEACE that comes from
the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
Hold up the SHIELD OF FAITH
to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
Put on salvation as your HELMET,
and take the SWORD of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God.”
Closer than a Brother
“Mighty Warrior Prince of Peace”
Did you know you have been called into the family of God, as His Prince? You have and this means that the enemy will oppose you with lies. This is why you must be wiser than your enemy and put on the helmet of salvation, to be saved from the lies that will rob you of your reward! You must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
And as His Prince, His Mighty Warrior, you are required to “put on the full ARMOR of GOD so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the BATTLE you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, TRUST GOD, to give you a quiver full of children, by putting on the belt of TRUTH and the body ARMOR of God’s righteousness.”
Remember Kate and Edward who you read about in Horses Hoped For? Well, when Kate married her husband Anthony, both men, Anthony and Edward agreed that putting on your armor every day is invaluable—especially the shoes you wear. To be fully prepared they know that the shoes must be the shoes of PEACE, like your Brother, the Prince of Peace.
Throughout your life, your Brother, the Prince of Peace, Who walked on earth before taking His throne, who is now seated next to your Father in heaven, also wore and put on the same shoes—the shoes of PEACE.
Your battle is unlike the battles you may enjoy watching, or playing, or reading about. That’s because "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
This is why it’s important to be sure to always hold up the SHIELD OF FAITH to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. And the only way to do this successfully is to put on salvation as your HELMET.
Being prepared to go into battle means you must always be careful to both feed and cleanse your mind and soul with God’s Word, which has been given to you—in order that you may readily and quickly take up the SWORD of the Spirit, which IS the Word of God.”
Not only is the Prince of Peace your Brother, but He is waiting and hoping to become your Forever Best Friend. The brother who will be there, to go into every battle you face the moment you call out or even cry out to the HIM in your trouble; because He promises to save you from every one of your distresses. He has sent His Word which will heal you from all your fears, and save you from every destruction.
Did you know that every mighty warrior has learned to profit from fear? It is not that you need to become fearless, it's just the opposite. As a mighty warrior, you will soon understand just how to use fear for good, to remind you never attempt to battle the enemy on your own. You will also come to understand that to feel embarrassed or ashamed when you feel weak because it means you are His true warrior. Listen to one of the greatest warriors of God, Paul, who once said to his fellow warriors, “‘God’s grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of the Most High God may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, that the power of the Messiah, God’s promised Deliverer of all evil may rest upon you and me.
Paul also said, “It is for His sake” that he entered into all battles, “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” This is why his predecessor, a mighty warrior who fought before him, Peter, proclaimed to men of God like you, “In this greatly rejoice, even though for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold (which is perishable) even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory and honor.”
How was Kate's mother able to overcome her distress brought on by one terrifying trial when she was very young? How did she discover Someone who was beside her, to guide her through—and who also wanted to be her Forever Best Friend?
FBF “Forever Best Friend”
Like most blessings, Erin discovered her Forever Best Friend in the midst of a crisis. When Erin was just 6, she and her older brother went to a private school on the other side of the Hollywood Hills from where her family lived. Because Erin’s brother was four years older, it was his responsibility to take her home. Early each morning, they were dropped off at school by their dad who was a cameraman and worked on television shows and in movies. But it was Erin’s older brother, Adrian, who took her home from school each day on the public bus. But on this fateful day, Adrian bribed Erin with enough money to buy a mile-high ice cream cone if she would go home on the bus by herself.
Adrian quizzed Erin over and over to make sure she knew the name and number of both public buses she needed to take. He asked her how much money was for each bus, to be sure to remember to ask for a transfer on the first bus, and where to get off to change buses. Erin, who was just 6 and in first grade, was much too young to understand the danger so she smiled happily, agreeing excitedly, patting all the coins in her small blue uniform pocket for the bus fare and her ice cream as she crossed the street to wait for the bus.
While waiting on the corner across from their school, Erin started to get scared because she was confused as she waited for her first bus. So many buses stopped and opened their doors before she read the right name and the correct number. But as soon as the right bus came and she got on, putting her coins into the farebox and got her transfer, which she folded tightly, stuffing it into her small pocket, she smiled in relief and took a seat. All she could think about was ordering her strawberry mile-high ice cream cone!
Just as the bus passed the famous Chinese Theater where everyone was taking pictures, standing in the movie star’s footprints and on their knees with their hands in their handprints, she jumped up and excitedly pulled the cord to let the bus driver know she wanted to get off at the next stop. Erin knew she didn’t need to pull the cord, Adrian always told her this was the busiest corner in all of Hollywood (maybe the whole world!) and it's why he always held her hand after they got off.
That day no one held Erin’s hand. She stood at the exit before the bus stopped and was the first one off the bus. At the corner, she waited for a green light and crossed the street heading for the corner soda fountain. She handed the man her money and ordered a strawberry mile-high ice cream cone. Delighted, she sat down to read the comic books, forgetting she needed to watch the time. All of a sudden she remembered and her heart started pounding. As Erin rushed outside, she looked up to see the digital clock on the bank and the time was exactly when the bus would leave! Then to her horror, she saw where she should have been waiting, and there was her bus—slowly pulling away!
This happened once before when Adrian was joking around with his friends. So Erin knew the next bus going into the Valley, over the Hollywood Hills, wouldn’t come for another hour. So she crossed the street heading to the bus stop, then went into the bank. Erin and Adrian loved to play in the bank when their mom went down into the basement to the giant vault to put important papers in or take important papers out. They’d ride the elevator up and down. They’d go to the top of the stairs, then sit down and slide on the curved marble stairs taking them to the lobby.
Unfortunately, playing inside the bank was another mistake—it caused Erin to miss the next bus and the bus after that.
By the time Erin got on her bus to get home, 4 hours later, it was dark. Being on a bus when it was light inside but dark outside terrified Erin. She was so sure she’d miss her stop and end up miles from home. So even though there were dozens of stops before they’d reach her street, Erin began cupping her hands to peer out the window watching for her stop.
Almost an hour later, after she passed the Party Shop where she stole a small trophy and got caught, Erin was relieved to get off and cross the street to head up the hill to her house. But this is when she was the most frightened! There were still no streetlights on her block, so Erin began by walking up the dark street but soon she started to run to get home where she would feel safe again!!
By the time she got home she was crying, very sure that her brother would be in a lot of trouble for not taking her home. As she walked into the kitchen, she heard her mother call out, “Hurry and take off your uniform, Erin, dinner is almost ready.” Sobbing, she told her mother that Adrian had made her come home on the bus alone!! Erin’s mom, still stirring the spaghetti sauce, turned and smiled at her, “But look how grown-up you are, Erin, you made it home by yourself and you’re just fine.”
Erin didn’t realize that she wasn’t alone on the bus. She wasn't alone will walking up the street in the dark—her FBF was there but she wasn’t able to feel Him without faith, faith that she would soon be given by God as an eternal gift. The day when she would meet her Savior, the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. Later too, she learned that being brave means that despite being full of fear, the brave advance rather than retreat, knowing it is the Lord who promises to fight for us and most often, will simply ask us to stand by and watch Him fight on our behalf. Sometimes, too, we watch as God causes our enemies to become confused and they turn and destroy each other!
Another lesson a mighty warrior must learn is that God said, "Children are a gift from God... a reward"? It’s true, and real men, like Anthony, who not only loves and looks forward to having children of his own and Edward who has a daughter—but like all real men, true warriors, Anthony wants a quiver full of children. Everybody was sure that Edward would have a full quiver when he married because he loves children so much. And yet, God also says “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."
The reason real men, men of God, want a quiver full is to be ready for battle. God said children are “Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. The more you have, the better off you will be, because they will protect you when your enemies attack you.” So as a true warrior, you can dream, as Anthony has, as Edward has, of having a quiver full of children—young warriors who will join you in the battle for good and against evil.
All Things for Good
Why would God let this happen to Erin, not just having to face getting home on her own the first time, missing her bus several times until it was dark, but also having to do it each time Adrian wanted to send her home alone? Erin knew God loved her, so why did He let this happen? Why do bad things happen?
Would you believe that what happened was all God’s plan? It’s true. God used this and every difficulty in Erin’s life for GOOD. God allowed this crisis to happen in order to prepare Erin for her future and even her children’s future. It’s the same with you!!
That night, as she lay in bed, Erin realized no one can be with her all the time. There was no one to guide or protect her or make her feel safe all the time. Erin knew her mother loved her but her mother hadn’t understood her fear and she couldn’t always be with her.
Erin had lots of older siblings but none could hold her hand to make her feel safe and not miss another bus. That night Erin longed for a brother, a mother, a father, a friend—Someone who would be with her all the time. Someone who would never forsake or abandon, or desert her. Someone who understood. Does this sound like Someone you would want to meet, Someone you would want to know?