Christian communicators need a clear view of what they are getting into. No matter how creative you might be, if you are carrying the banner of Jesus Christ, you will become the target for attack.
Pick any subject; and the world will object to it, going to varying lengths to marginalize it to the lunatic fringe.
Thank you, social media.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The times of “cultural Christianity” when society held some level of respect or acceptance for church leaders and attenders are gone. The gloves are off.
We were probably getting too comfortable anyway. God’s plan is offensive, and there’s no way to make it less offensive. It’s God in us, against the world, which is more than sufficient.
How do you prepare yourself spiritually for writing and communicating God’s truth? The same way it has been for two thousand years. The apostle Paul outlined the plan in the last chapter of his letter to the Christians at Ephesus.
First, Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV):
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor 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 the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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.
For specifics, the text goes on in verses 14-17 (NIV):
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness (v. 14): For writers, this is the first step, preparing your message and living a life of integrity. Hidden agendas will destroy you. A sincere faith and a life of integrity will prevail against evil.
Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (v. 15): Writers need good footwear, metaphorically speaking. When someone has a stable foundation, they will not waver.
Shield of faith (v. 16): God protects his children spiritually. A shield of faith for a writer is the protection from arrows, which are plentiful these days. The enemy hates a Christ-follower. Trusting in God’s protection is far more than platitudes or something making you feel better in the moment. It is the eternal Father protecting his children.
Helmet of salvation and Sword of the Spirit (v. 17): For writers, these have an element of defending and attacking. The helmet covering your head is to protect from the mind games of discouragement and temptation; and the sword is the Word of God, which is the greatest weapon we have.
Only Christ-followers have any idea what this passage in Ephesians means. It is true, it is powerful, it is only for God’s children.
Armor up, Christian writer.
Wow! Reading today’s commentary from the perspective of a “Full-Armor Writer” was inspiring, to say the least. There was something compelling about the words as I revisited the well-known biblical passage. I viewed them as marching orders. I know the mission and decisive action must follow. Thank you for the reminder to “Armor up!”
I just finished my second novel, a Civil War Historical Romance, and I’ve never faced more spiritual warfare in my life. Thank you for this reminder that God will not send us into battle without the proper equipment.
I understand the metaphor
and reason for its call,
but it’s not mine anymore;
I’ve passed beyond the wall
of weaponry and warriorhood
into a quiet place
in which just reaching for the good
becomes the highest grace.
Perhaps I have become a ghost
in watching tidal flow
of the armoured righteous host;
perhaps I’ll never know,
but there’s this I may yet tell:
I cheer you on, and wish you well.
Kristen Joy Wilks
I love this, Andrew. God calls us each to a different battle, none better than the other, for each one answers the call of their Lord.
Kristen, thank you so much! I was hesitant to post this comment, because it almost sounds like I am standing aside.
But I am very tired now, and can no longer ‘fight’ the good fight.
I can cheer you on, and I will.
Love this, thank you. We all need well wishes as we try and try to get others to see God.
Sylvia, thank you… you have my very best wishes, from the bottom of my heart.
Oh, Andrew, make no mistake. You are still fighting just by being who you are and where you are.
The words you share with us sometimes make us laugh or wince or weep. But they strike a chord deep inside us. You may never know just how much you have done in this wordsmiths army.
In the military, the guy who does the dishes and empties the trash is just as needful and important as the general who commands.
I think your words are the things that cheer us on and spur us on.
I thank you and salute you.
Amen! To quote Warren Wiersbe, “If you start building, you’ll soon be battling; so be prepared.”
Kristen Joy Wilks
This is such a good reminder to me that our battle is not against people who disagree with us, or even people who oppose God. “Our battle is not against flesh and blood … .” The people, each and every one, are deeply loved by God and He is pursuing them, hoping they will chose to be His. The powers of darkness, well, that is the problem isn’t it. We must each write in a way that honors our Lord and calls to those trapped by the power of darkness that runs rampant in our world. A way that calls out and draws them to the One who longs to rescue each one!
Thank you, Dan. This is a timely word for sure.
From the moment we first say, “I think I’ll write a book, and it’ll show people who Jesus is,” the enemy prepares a package of lies to assault our efforts. It is a good, good thing we do, sharing the grace, hope, and peace that can only be found in Jesus. And the prince of this world is not a fan.
Good thing we’re abundantly equipped!
What a blessing and encouragement! I write for a secular newspaper. Years ago they asked me to write a weekly column “From the pastor’s Wife” I’m so thankful we have these tools handy!!!
Thank you so much for the encouragement. You are definitely right; we need the armor of God as we try to get His message across thru Christian stories.
Wow!! Great article- encouraging and inspiring! Thank you!
I love this passage. Thank you for the reminder.
Above my office desk, I have a photo of five smooth stones that rest on my kitchen window ledge, and a framed quote by Alistair Begg: “Whenever God’s people endeavor to do God’s work in God’s way, it will not go unopposed.”
Thanks for this reminder to ‘armor up’!
Thank you, Dan. It is staggering what our Father prepares for us. We always need to be reminded of truth.
OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU
Thanks Dan! Enjoyed reading this! God bless you.
This is why Christian writers and speakers greatly benefit from having a prayer team. Thank you for this powerfully equipping message!
It is certainly true that “The times of “cultural Christianity” when society held some level of respect or acceptance for church leaders and attenders are gone. “. When I was a young believer we sang a song “This World is not My Home” but honestly, in many years, it has been fairly comfortable here. But as you say–not any more. Thank you for the reminder that we need to keep the armor God provides us firmly in place–and not to be surprised when something we say reflecting our worldview comes under attack. This world is not our home.
Good word–as always. Thank you, Dan.
Thank You! The devil doesn’t wear an ugly disguise, he tries to appear beautiful and attractive. If we are to fight effectively as Christian writers, we must sometimes appear to blend in with the culture in which we live. Announcing our faith on the cover of the book isn’t always the most effective way to counter evil. It’s OK to wear our armor on the inside! After all, that’s where Christ resides.
This is a brilliant post. Thank you. I can never tire of hearing about the Armour of God. Every single day it is relevant.
“People are not your enemy. They are slaves of the enemy.” from Shadia Hrichi’s Bible study Legion, page 33.
We need to be watching the enemy and not distracted by his slaves.
Thank you, Dan, for reminding us.
Such good advice, Dan. Thanks so much.