I braved paintball for the first time over the weekend, ya’ll. It started off as a great idea. It really did! The idea of it? So fun! I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years now. Several friends came together over the weekend to celebrate a couple of birthdays and we wanted something fun to do as a group. Several options were on the table but when paintball won, a wave of excitement ensued!
And then we arrived. Oh dear.
It was like entering a war zone. Adolescence and grown-ups alike walked around in head-to-toe camouflage gear while a few brave guys with shirts hung over their shoulders proudly displaying their war scars. And it happened all in slow motion.
What in the world . . .
I could see a few in the group scanning the field, brainstorming for a legitimate excuse to head back to the car and wait it out. Was it too late to head to the nearest bowling alley? I mean, surely we could (safely) fellowship there, right?
We signed our waivers, put on our headgear, vest and jacket, claimed our paintball guns and waited for the safety rules.
I had to ask. I just had to ask. “Do the paintballs hurt? I mean, when you’re hit, do they like, reeeally hurt?”
We were assured that it only felt like a bee sting for a few seconds. No big deal, just a small bee sting. A what!?! I didn’t feel the slightest bit comforted with that response but I braved on. Fellowship, right?
As we marched towards our first obstacle course, I scanned my group of friends, all suited up and untouched in their protective gear. I was reminded of the spiritual armor that God has equipped us with. There has been a lot of talk in our office lately about the armor of God (check out our past blog to see why) so the subject had been at the forefront of my mind. We had our helmets, our breastplates, and every other piece of protection that was offered.
We picked our teams and the game began. Once you were hit, you were out. No need for complicated rules. I was pretty confident in my game until my paintball gun jammed. I stood up to investigate the problem and . . . SPLAT! I was hit square in the face. Fortunately, my mask was still on but I was obviously out of the game. I was so easily distracted. As I sat on the sideline watching my friends duck, roll and hide, my mind made its way back to the armor of God. I wondered how often do I have my guard down making an easy target for the enemy to attack?
The enemy knows exactly where to get us. Our insecurities. Our weak spots. He knows our temptations and limitations. He knows it’s easy to get us when our guard is down. But God has given us everything we need to equip ourselves with the proper weapons to fight. It’s our duty to suit up and be ready for battle . . . daily.
Have you strapped on the protection that God has strategically designed for success in spiritual warfare? Have you put all distractions aside?
. . . Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
That’s good stuff right there.
Until next time,