By Brandon Hiltibidal
Nine years ago my wife, Scarlet, almost died. Her first pregnancy was what’s called an ectopic pregnancy meaning the baby was trapped in the wrong place. In our case, the was baby lodged in a tube no bigger than a pencil. Scarlet woke up one morning screaming, paralyzed with pain. We didn’t know her organ had ruptured and she was bleeding internally. It was terrifying.
She’s said before that I saved her life that day, but of course I didn’t save her life. I didn’t know the problem, much less know how to do the surgery to fix it. You know what I did? I carried her to the car and I carried her into the ER. I knew I couldn’t heal her. But I knew someone who could and I thought, “We’ll go there.”
That’s what the Christian life is like. “Let’s go to the One who has what we need.” That is the beautiful path to peace for us. We don’t save ourselves. We don’t satisfy ourselves. We stumble, a lot of days, in to the hospital hoping our hearts can remember the One who can heal, and save and satisfy.
As men, we have the tendency to want to do all the work ourselves. Be the man of the household. Provide. Protect. Save. We think we should stand on our own strength. But what if this is not what we are called to do? Ephesians speaks about standing strong in the armor of God. Not our armor, but His. Remembering the armor He gives us can help us remember we can’t actually do the work that matters most.
Belt of truth
What is the truth that we belt on in the morning? Philippians 1:6 will work. “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. It’s not you. It’s Jesus that does the work.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Whose righteousness do we put on? 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.” We get to put on righteousness because Jesus died for our unrighteousness.
Shoes of Peace
Whose peace do we put on our feet? Not ours. Jesus said in John 14, “Peace I leave with you. My peace.” We have peace because He went to war.
Shield of Faith
Whose faith are we shielded by? Even that is not ours. Ephesians 2 says, “For by grace we have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no man may boast.”
There is work to do, but our working is really remembering. Our working is remembering His working. Our striving is resting in His striving. When your eyes open in the morning, sprint to the truth. That is your duty. Clothe yourself in the truth. Open the Bible and see that we are weak and He is strong and “at His right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). We did nothing to earn them. We do nothing to keep them. We simply discipline our hearts to remember and rest in the reality that we have all we need in Him.
Brandon Hiltibidal is a former church planter and multi-site pastor, and he is now part of the Groups Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources. He also serves as an elder and a member of the preaching team at The Bridge Church in Middle Tennessee.