The Whole Armor of God – Part 6 cont.
“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8, NKJV).
Salvation has three phases: salvation that we have already received (past), the ongoing salvation of being saved (present), and the hope of salvation (future). In our spiritual warfare, one of the places that the enemy is always trying to intrude upon is our mind. Unless we make every effort to guard our minds, we can easily become victims. This “hope of salvation” is a powerful defensive weapon with which we can shield our mind from sinful pleasures and disappointments.
Sinful pleasures – Moses had to make a decision as he was growing up as the prince of Egypt. He could either purse the “pleasures of sin for a season” or take the road of suffering with the children of Israel (Hebrews 11:25) to receive the eternal crown. He looked at the future reward (hope of salvation) and esteemed it as greater riches than the “treasures of Egypt”! The so-called treasures of Egypt are still deceiving many of the children of God since they are unable to wear the hope of salvation!
Disappointments – Asaph (Psalms 73) is a prime example. He looked around and saw the prosperity of the wicked and became envious of them. He saw them horribly blasphemous, vile and contemptuous of God. They seemed to have no trouble, being very prosperous and well respected! It was very upsetting and “too painful” for Asaph to try to understand this. At this point he started entertaining the conclusion that it does not pay to serve God, to be good, to try to do the right thing. He was almost devastated and was slipping in his walk with the Lord. But then he went to the sanctuary of God and put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. This helmet gave him a different perspective. He saw their end and compared that with his. Even though nothing was changed around him, he had a total change in his thought process. He came to the conclusion that surely they are in slippery places. He could say, “You cast them down to destruction, momentary desolation is awaiting them and they will be utterly consumed with terrors” (Psalm 73:18)
Psalms 42:5 says “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Yes, the hope of salvation -our hope in the living God- takes a disturbed soul to the heights of joy and exuberance! So let us be mindful of this important weapon and keep it on all the times!
May God bless you and keep you.
Pastor Dr. AK George
Ozark Christian Tabernacle