The Exorcist, the 1973 horror movie, was by far the scariest movie I had ever seen as a young teenager. But what REALLY scared me was afterward when my brother said, “Did you know, there really is a devil?” I argued that it couldn’t be true. Satan was a made-up character much like a werewolf, or Frankenstein, or so I thought. I could watch it and get my thrills, but I “knew” in the back of my mind it couldn’t be real. And so I pushed back and told him I didn’t believe it… I couldn’t sleep for weeks, terrified.
According to the Bible, it’s true. The devil, along with demons (fallen angels) are real. We are in a spiritual battle. But we don’t have to be afraid. Why? Because the Bible says Jesus has already won. We know the end game. And God has equipped us to defeat him daily, even now.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
10終わりに言います。主にあって、その大能の力によって強められなさい。11悪魔の策略に対して 立ち向かうことが できるために、神のすべての 武具を身に着けなさい。12私たちの格闘は 血肉に対するものではなく、 主権、力、この暗やみの 世界の 支配者たち、また、天にいるもろもろの悪霊に 対するものです。13ですから、邪悪な日に 際して 対抗できるように、また、いっさいを成し遂げて、堅く立つことができるように、神のすべての 武具を とりなさい。
God has provided special Armor to resist the devil.
- Belt of Truth 真理の帯 Jesus is truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness 正義の胸当て
- Sandals of the Gospel of Peace 平和の福音の備えーはきもの
- Shield of Faith 信仰の大盾
- Helmet of Salvation 救いのかぶと
- Sword of the Spirit – Word 御霊の与える剣 ー御言葉
- Prayer 祈り
Satan will try to distract us and have us fight one another. The real enemy, the devil, is lying, deceiving, instigating, and promoting fear and hate. The “fruits” of his labor can be seen by his fingerprints: “Steal, Kill, and Destroy” (John 10). Look around us and we see looting, rioting, and destruction. We do not need to live in fear or hate. In appropriating the armor that God provided us, we will be able to discern the truth, extinguish the lies and accusations, and stand firm in Jesus and the promises of God. Let us love one another, filled with grace and truth. Let us share the Gospel so that people can be reconciled to God through Jesus. Let us forgive one another. In the end, Jesus wins. He is our only hope and solution in the midst of all this chaos and darkness. Therefore, Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. To God be the glory!
(the above is a summary of the message shared by Richard Nakamura during our JCC Zoom Worship time on August 23, 2020).