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What Are You Carrying With You? Are You Prepared?




A few weeks ago, I was sitting with my 72-year-old mom in church. After the worship set and announcements, I instinctively leaned over to her and said, “Do you have a mint?” She reached into her purse and handed me the Tic Tac container, and then it proceeded down the assembly line of our family. Now everyone had a mint!


I mean, what was this question? Of course she had a mint!! She’s my mom who always has everything anyone ever needs in her purse. Her purse is like a magical, never-ending treasure trove of gum, Ibuprofen, mints, hairspray, lipstick, wipes, lotion, a rain poncho, a bluetooth speaker…you name it. Ha! She wins every game ever if it involves her purse. Never mind that I’m 47 years old and a full grown woman with grown children, I can still rely on my mom for what she carries with her. I mean, I literally have thought to myself, "If mom is there, I don’t need to bring anything."


She is known for being prepared in this way. She comes equipped with the goods. How did this not get passed on to me? My kids have bypassed me throughout my motherhood to ask grandma for gum! They are confident she will have it, and I have decided to embrace how she is awesome in this way.


I still struggle to be fully equipped when it comes to my purse. There are must-haves like my wallet, keys, headache meds and earbuds. Beyond that, it’s a bit of randomness. I remember a time I went to the grocery store and had a cart FULL of groceries scanned in only to discover that I had left my wallet on the kitchen counter at home. Luckily, the cashier was understanding, and my husband was able to rescue me before too long.


Being always totally prepared is not a perfect science, nor is it completely achievable. However, it is a wise practice to think ahead and not be caught off guard or ill-prepared. Being prepared in the “little details” of life can help provide order and eliminate stress; but in all seriousness, there is no greater way to pursue being prepared than to be spiritually prepared as we encounter life.


The Bible talks about this in Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT):


"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.


Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor 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, putting on the belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, 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.


Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."


This is a power-packed portion of scripture that is all about spiritual readiness. It metaphorically points toward being like a soldier fitted with protective armor, equipped for battle. It is worth it to unpack what each of these pieces of armor really mean practically for us as believers.


Belt of Truth - We must know God's word as the ultimate source of truth. It is foundational to all the other pieces of armor.


Breastplate of Righteousness - Knowing that Jesus is our righteousness and the reason we can have confidence. This protects our heart from pride and self-reliance.


Shoes of the Gospel of Peace - We can stand firm knowing that Jesus won the battle over our sin for us and we are equipped to carry that message to the world.


Shield of Faith - Faith is what we cling to when we enter into doubt and is a shield to the enemy’s arrows. Faith protects us.


Helmet of Salvation - Our minds are vulnerable to so many ideas vying for our attention. Renewing our mind through scripture and the knowledge of what Jesus did to save us is a protection against the lies that pursue us.


Sword of the Spirit - The Bible is our sword. God equips us with it to have all knowledge to cut through confusion and deception. 


Loved ones, let us carry these with us in spiritual readiness. As you move forward in your week, be encouraged that you have everything you need in Jesus to stand in your challenges. He provides the ultimate preparation for life if we look to His guidance.


Your Friend,


Rachel

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