Last February, our youngest son lost his blankie–Big Red, we call it. It would have been a sad thing to happen to any of our kids, but with this one, it was devastating. This blankie was like part of the family. You see, our youngest had been very ill as a child, and there were many sleepless nights and long days in which his only comfort was Big Red.
Now, we all adore Parker, so when Big Red went missing, the whole family ached for him. We spent five weeks looking and finally decided either it had gotten thrown away or sent to the mission. So, I asked my friend Wendy to make him another–which she did, very quickly!
She brought over this beautiful copy of Big Red, and Parker was so happy. Yet . . . I could see in his eyes that all was not fully redeemed. This beautiful new copy was not truly Big Red. So, the next day when he yelled from the basement, “I knew Peyton (his brother) hid it from me” and came upstairs, a huge grin on his face, carrying the old Big Red, I thought “Yes! Back to normal.”
My husband got up and started dancing with Parker, and I started sobbing! We were so happy for him. And immediately, this still, small voice said “If you love your son so much you are dancing and crying joyfully over his blanket, how do you think I feel about redeeming you and EVERYTHING that matters to you?”
You see, for months I had been avoiding my daily time with the Lord. It was the first time in my walk with Him that I had trouble being in the word and praying. In fact, it took everything within me to force myself just to make a list and Thank Him every day.
You see, I had been very foolish and hadn’t been careful with my heart. Prov. 4:23 tells us “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For (A)from it flow the springs of life.” Or another translation says, “Above all else, be careful with your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The enemy is very tricky. I have had great victory in the last 5 years over a life-long struggle with fear. Few things make me anxious anymore. In war, (which we, as believers, are in) when our enemy figures out we can handle one tactic, he tries another . . . and if we aren’t in the word and following its precepts, those tactics can work . . . as they did on me. A little piece of my heart was damaged.
BUT, we have a God who redeems!
We also have a God who gives us His identity to protect us. It’s the same principle Jonathan used with David after David’s victory over Goliath. Prince Jonathan made a covenant promise to David that he was now like a brother. As an outward sign, Prince Jonathan gave David his armor and his robe. David now could dress up in the identity of royalty, and no one could hurt him without crossing with the throne.
Ephesians talks about our condition before we meet Jesus. We were the lowest of the low . . . we were dead. Then, Jesus redeemed us, and made us his masterpiece. The rest of Ephesians lays out how we should function because of that knowledge and His identity.
At the very end of Ephesians, we are reminded that living with Jesus’ identity is like going into battle because the enemy HATES him. However, we aren’t going into the battle already dead. We have a covenant–a new life, a new identity, an armor even better than Jonathan’s. We have Jesus.
I like the translations of Ephesians 6 that say, “Clothe yourself with the whole Armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” In other words, just like when you get dressed in the morning, you have a choice whether to wear a pretty outfit or smelly garden gear. Would you rather wear your old smelly flesh or clothe yourself in the identity and protection of the King? Both are hanging in your closet, so to speak.
Jesus is our security. He is our safety. He is our redeemer. With the protection of His armor, He will make our battles of today easier, and someday, He will use His IDENTITY AS CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, to redeem everything that matters to us. It will be like the losses, and the scars, and the heartache never happened.