Antithesis (4)

“It’s a spiritual battle,” affirmed Father.

Yes, I thought, it is a spiritual battle—not with flesh and blood. But what about the spiritual armor? You can put a helmet on your head and pick up a sword in your hand, but how do you put a spiritual helmet on and how do you pick up a spiritual sword? Before I was able to ask the question, though, Sally stated a question of her own.

“What does it mean that the battle is spiritual?” she asked.

“It means that it has to do with what’s inside you, your thoughts and desires,” Father said. “It has to do with things that are invisible.”

Sally thought for a moment. “So when I think of doing something naughty, but I don’t want to do it, and I try not to do it, then I’m fighting in this battle?” she said.

“Exactly,” Father said with a smile. “What a soldier you are already!”

Sally beamed. I could imagine the helmet on her head and the shield on her arm! Then I looked down. Where was my helmet and my shield? “How do we put the armor on?” I finally spoke my thoughts out loud.

“Let’s look at Ephesians again,” Father said, and he turned to his Bible once more. “Right after the list of spiritual armor, it says we must pray and watch. That must be the answer, to pray and watch. Watch, be alert, study. That’s what a soldier must do. And pray. Spiritual armor can only be put on in a spiritual way, and prayer is part of that. Righteousness, faith, knowledge—God gives those things to us.”

I nodded. I understood at least a little more.

“We fight our sin. We fight being worldly. And we fight to uphold the truth of God over against the lies of Satan,” Father said.

“And to do all that,” I added, “we must pray and watch to put the armor on.”

Father patted my shoulder. “A soldier you are indeed.”