By the time you become a senior, you have grieved many losses in your life, mainly people, but also places and things too. Yet the one constant is God. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the anchor that holds us strong and steady. That fact brings me a lot of assurance, peace and security. Even into my future he will be the same because he is already there. My job is to remain faithful.
“For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” Hebrews 3:14 NLV
But therein is the key-my own steadfastness. However I am keenly aware that by the time we reach our golden years we have endured a load of challenges: heartbreak, illness, maybe financial loss, and probably the death of some of those we have loved. We may not even live in our own homes any longer. There have been so many changes. Maybe we feel we just don’t have the energy or the will to keep soldiering on. Yes, aging itself holds its own set of unique battles. We are tired. Continuing to fight the war may look daunting but we have been given the most effective weapon to press on to victory-our armour!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
One of these forces we battle is against aging itself. As we near the finish line, it may require all we’ve got. It may well be for many the worst battle of all. We are battling the unseen. It can feel like a major onslaught of enemy forces. Or, alternatively, the enemy would like us to become complacent and forget that there even is a battle, one which rages on all the time. The enemy is so very subtle. Yet, the war is very real. We must constantly hold a defensive stance in order to be victorious. The enemy would love to catch you half-dressed and unaware. Perhaps now more than ever we must dress properly wearing every piece of the armour each and every day!
This is a full armour war!
Belt of Truth- This is critical because it holds everything else in place. Whenever you are in conflict over an issue, a settlement can only be reached by starting with the truth. It is the foundation for all further debate. The father of lies wants to confuse and confound you with falsehoods. In ancient days, the soldier gathered up his flowing tunic, so it would not impede his movements during battle holding it in place with his belt. In fact to gird means firmly tied up with no loose ends. The enemy wants to trip you up without your belt on. He goes about seeking who he can devour. If you are not wearing the belt of truth you are in trouble. For a senior the belt of truth can provide protection from a whole host of lies. Scammers try to trick you. Or, a wee voice of self-doubt nags at you telling you untruths that you are not going to make it or you are not able for the task. Only your belt of truth can protect you from such deception.
Breastplate of Righteousness-This part of the armour protects your heart and your heart holds all of your feelings. The enemy knows that after all of these years your heart has probably been battered and bruised. He is looking for a crack in your armour where he can get inside your heart. He wants to derail you and if your breastplate is not in place he has the perfect opening. He will try to convince you that you have been left alone, broken-hearted, but that simply is not so. You will be vulnerable to his attack if you don’t protect your heart.
Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace-Warriors needed firm footing during the battle. Their sandals had cleat-like soles to provide traction. The cleats kept him from slipping in the mud. Mobility too was important. Cleated sandals allowed the soldiers to move in unison as ordered. Seniors, have you lost your solid footing, your mobility? Is peace eluding you? Peace is oneness with God. It is a quiet confidence in the midst of the war. We must strive to keep our mind at peace so be sure that you are wearing the correct footwear.
Shield of Faith- Soldiers soaked their shield in water before battle to reject the flaming arrows. Our faith needs to be soaked in the water of God’s word. The shields also had hooks on them so that they could connected to each other to form the “Turtle” for added protection in the heat of the battle. Our own shield protects us but it also becomes more impenetrable when hooked to other warriors’ shields. As we age we must acknowledge that we may require assistance at times. This may be physical assistance plus prayer. The enemy will begin with seeds of doubt hoping to expose those areas of our life that keep you immobilized. Fiery arrows will come your way but you will be protected behind your Shield of Faith.
Helmet of Salvation-protects your mind. With Jesus you know you have the assurance of salvation. The helmet helps you maintain logical, calm and rational thoughts. So when those lies of inadequacy, loneliness and inability are thrown your way you are protected. Your helmet will prevent you from reacting and over reacting negatively. Senior, you are not forgotten. Jesus knows and he cares. Your helmet will protect you because it safeguards your thoughts and thought processes. Stay alert.
Sword of the Spirit- The sword is God’s word. It is sharp and piercing, living and active! Hebrews 4:12 I especially like “living” because the Word is life-giving. We may be older now but the Word keeps us growing and productive even into old age. The Word exposes the Truth. It carries with it the wisdom and experiences of aging. The Sword is the most effective weapon. Use the Sword to quash the enemy’s attacks!
So dress up and gear up wearing the whole armour every day to the end so that you will win the fight! The victory is already ours!