It’s the time of year that football fans look forward to all season. Excitement builds, fans pick sides and teams get ready to play for the right to be called champions. As the players prepare to take the field, the atmosphere changes and the anticipation can be felt by all in the stadium. So much excitement is in the air!!
As I watch the games, I see the players on the sidelines. They have pushed themselves physically to make sure their bodies are in top physical condition. They have spent months practicing and preparing for each game as if preparing for a battle. They have studied their opponent and created strategies to go against them. When they finally get the call to take the field, they leave the sideline, and we see the final moment of preparation as they put on the integral last piece of equipment, their helmet.
Why is it so important that these athletes take the field wearing their helmets? Because no matter how much time they have spent in preparation or how many other pieces of protective gear they put on, one blow to the head can take them out of the game or even cause a life-threatening injury.
In this Hearts Unleashed series we have been looking at the Armor of God in Ephesians 6, and today we are taking a closer look at the helmet of salvation.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” Ephesians 6:17
Just as the football helmet is the last piece of equipment players put on before taking the field, the helmet of salvation is the final piece of defensive equipment we are called to put on in this passage. But, unlike the football helmet, which protects the players from physical blows to the head, the helmet of salvation provides spiritual protection for our minds from the attacks against us by the enemy.
The two things that Satan chooses to use against us the most are discouragement and doubt. To discourage us, Satan points our minds toward our failures, sins and problems in an attempt to make us lose confidence in the security and assurance we have in Christ.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, we see the same imagery of the helmet mentioned as an encouragement for them, and it should be an encouragement for us, too. Paul reminds the Thessalonian church that they, as those who belong to the light, should put on their helmet that represents the hope of our salvation.
“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9
This does not mean that we are simply hoping to be saved but that we already have hope in the promise of eternal life when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. The helmet of salvation represents this sure and steady hope we have in Jesus, and it provides protection from the schemes that Satan uses as he attempts to infiltrate our minds.
Sisters, we need to put on this helmet as we take the field every day, too! We can’t let the enemy’s blows take us out of the game or threaten our very lives. When we leave the sideline and run on to the field of life, we must place our final piece of armor upon our head and focus our thoughts on Jesus’ death on the cross for us that gives us the greatest of all hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13