Warriors prepare with waisted truth, breastplates shining with the Son’s righteousness, feet ready to go where He calls. Their shields of faith are held high, their swords signal truth, and upon their heads, salvation marks them safe. The armour of God keeps His people focussed, alert and yet refreshed to run, declare, defend and rejoice as they serve the Everlasting King of Glory. It is a powerful scene to imagine; people from every nation gathered together in one Spirit, in one mind, for the Lord and as His body. It is no wonder the Bible gives us instruction to be equipped in the armour of God, for the world is often distracting, discouraging and damaging. Yet, with the armour of God, we have hope to see the nations healed.
The Helmet of Salvation is named as a piece of this armour in [Ephesians 6:17]. We are called to take it, and I want to know what this looks like. Helmets protect our head from damage. Those with head injuries might black out, be unable to speak, walk or function as they used to. Our head houses our mind, and our mind governs how we choose to live.
[Proverbs 4:23] says,
“Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.”
The word used here for “heart” is the Hebrew לב (leb), which translates to our inner being, our mind, our will. So, we are given instruction to keep our inner being, or our mind with all diligence because, as other translations read, “life flows from it.”
[Luke 11:34] also shows us how what we see influences our lives.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when the eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”
The things we listen to, watch, observe and focus on mould the life we live. They influence our thoughts; our thoughts influence our actions; and all this feeds back to create life, or death. No wonder the Helmet of Salvation is so important! As a doctor, I see a lot of mental health; people struggling to fight negative thoughts and feelings that destroy the joy they once had in hobbies, friends, family. Often, there are things they have seen or observed in the past which, over time have affected their mind. These influences bring them to a point where they are no longer in control of their mind. Mental illness is real, and it is amazing to see people recover through processes of goal setting, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling. Many of the psychological therapies focus on identifying triggers, and working to pursue positive influences instead of negative ones.
The Helmet of Salvation gives us an enduring positive influence – the assurance that God is always good, that He loves us. It refutes the lies that lead to poor self-image because it tells us we are perfectly and wonderfully made. It extinguishes the fear of man with the omnipotence of God. It protects the faith we have in Christ, and allows that faith to direct out lives.
The Helmet of Salvation is powerful. It is the peace of God, the love of God, the knowledge of the Holy One. It is the strong, unshakable testimony that God is always good. It is the immovable knowledge of our identity in Him. We take it when we believe that Christ died for all our sins on the cross. We wear it in the knowledge of His grace. It gives us hope in a hopeless world, identity when the world is growing more confused about this, courage to stand for truth when the fear of man threatens us. The Helmet of Salvation tells us we are God’s own, and that knowledge brings life.
“… and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – [Philippians 4:7]