The Invisible War: WARRIOR MOMS
The same chapter where we find our theme verses on spiritual warfare and the armour of God is the same place we find this mostly overlooked scripture:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
HONOUR is the language and culture of God’s Kingdom. And it is not just right but also godly and God-glorifying to honour our parents. There is a particular blessing that flows to a person that honours their parents. The obvious question is "How do we honour our parents? And my answer to that is also a question:
"Would you like to be treated by your future children the way you are treating your parents now?"
As we celebrate MOTHERS DAY, we honour our Mothers not just because it is a tradition, but because it is our conviction. And hopefully, we honour them, not just on this occasion but every day of our lives. Here are some practical ways we can do so:
M - ake her feel appreciated intentionally
O - ffer a listening ear to her attentively
T - ell her you love her habitually
H - elp her cheerfully and generously
E - embrace her tenderly
R - equest her prayers regularly
These are some of the Devotion and Prayer entries of my Mom on her journals we discovered and read for the first time on her funeral. She passed away from Cancer in February 2010. Prior to that, we know she loves the Lord and the Church, but never had an idea of the depths of her walk with God and intimacy with the Lord. Somehow her journals gave us a glimpse of that. We never had any material inheritance from my parents but far more valuable than any possession, she passed on a legacy of faith for us all. A simple housewife and mother of five, she lived for God and loved us all! Looking back at all our unexplainable painful experiences in the past, I've always wondered as a young boy how my mom did it. How was she able to stand firm and carry the weight of motherhood given those situations we had? With no exaggeration, other moms could have lost their minds or have given up, but she stood her ground and carried on. As we discover her journals during her wake, I found my answer:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
My mom was a WARRIOR MOM! She wore the full armour of GOD, each and every day. That's why she was able to stand firm and hold her ground. She wasn't just a "Christian" by label or affiliation. HSe wasn't just a church-goer. She lived it out and trusted the Lord. She depended on God, meditated and stayed on His Word, breathed prayer; not because she is religious or because she is perfect, but because she knew, she was also a sinner saved by grace; that she can't carry the weight on her own. She can't fight the battles on her own. She can't overcome on her own. SHE NEEDS JESUS! SHE NEEDS THE HOLY SPIRIT! SHE KNEW THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD and all she needed to do is stand firm in HIM. Be strong in Him. Abide in Him. There are many good moms in the world, Chrisitian and Non-Christian alike. But what sets apart a Christian Mom is her full dependency on Christ. She wears the BELT of TRUTH. (v. 14)
Obscure, not very showie or glamorous yet it's the central hanging point for every piece of the armour - it is very crucial, vital and has to be firm and secure. They say the whole armour weighs about 70 pounds or 31 kg and without the belt in place, it would be a tremendous weight on the shoulder and the soldier will struggle to carry the full weight of this armour without the belt properly and firmly in place. THE TRUTH upholds us and not the other way around. Because the Truth is not just a principle or doctrine or teaching - the TRUTH is a PERSON - JESUS is the way, the TRUTH and the life. He is the one who holds us all things together. (Col. 1:17). The TRUTH saves us and keeps from blindedness caused by deception. TRUTH sets us free and delivers us from the evil one. TRUTH sanctifies us. (John 17:15-17).
She wears the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS (v.14)
Without the TRUTH we cannot be RIGHTEOUS. Because our RIGHTEOUSNESS is found in the grace poured out upon our lives through the finished work of JESUS CHRIST on the cross. We cannot be righteous on our own. TRUTH upholds the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS. But we still need to wear it. The breastplate protects the most vital part of the body - the HEART. To strike the heart in battle is the end of the soldier no wonder the enemy tempts us towards unrighteousness - no breastplate means vulnerability of the heart.
Righteousness isn’t being perfect but choosing to live in alignment with the will and the Word of God. The affirmation of belief in the TRUTH must be followed by the decision to live according to it. Spiritual warfare is won not by what we know, but by how we live. As a ruler is used to draw a straight line, so is the Word of God allows us to align our lives to His will and purpose in and through our lives. As Mothers, we are encouraged and instructed to also have our "feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (v. 15); and to "take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (v. 16) - all the arrows of insecurities, fears, doubts, frustrations, etc.; to wear the helmet of salvation (that our minds be secure in the salvation we have received from the Lord); "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of GOD" (v. 17)- our offensive weapon against the enemy! We have to seek, meditate, and live in the Word of God each day, not because it is an obligation, but because it is our delight and it is our victory!
And finally, she PRAYS: (v. 18)
PRAYER. It's the seventh armour. Commit to live a life that will outlive you. A life of legacy is a life of prayer. I am fully convinced that the many things we are still harvesting right now are from the seeds of prayers sown by my mom when she was still alive. She may be gone to heaven but her prayers are still being answered until now. When we get to heaven, I think we will be amazed at the many instances when we were protected, shielded from harm, delivered from the evil one, blessed and restored, as a result of the power of a praying mom. As a church family, it is my prayer that we will see more WARRIOR MOMS rise up, standing firm and strong in the Lord. There will come a day that your children may think they don't need you anymore and the enemy may lie to convince you it is true, but never ever believe that lie. More than any need we will ever have, we need PRAYING MOMS! QUESTIONS for DISCUSSION: 1. What are the most valuable lessons and examples that your mom has imparted to you?
2. Why is it important to honour our moms (and dads)?
3. How do we show that we honour them?
4. As mothers (or parents or soon to be parents), what are the important lessons and insights you have gained from this message? 5. Discuss the importance of the belt of Truth.
6. Discuss the importance of the breastplate of righteousness.
7. Discuss the vitality of PRAYER and the power of a praying Mom.