“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes...Take the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:11,17a).
Ever have one of those days when you ‘just don’t feel like it’–don’t feel like getting out of bed, don’t feel like eating healthy, don’t feel like spending time with God? The truth is, we all have! Which is why the next piece of the armour Paul instructs us to put on is the helmet of salvation. There are many ways to understand this piece of the armour. Some understand it as the ‘seal of our salvation’ which is put on when we first become disciples of Christ–it is what identifies you as a believer. If that is so, then why would the Apostle Paul tell us to put it on? Our salvation–the forgiveness we have received through Jesus’ sacrifice–is not something we take off and put on depending on the day. Our ‘salvation’ is better represented by the our initial decision to begin the journey with Jesus as His disciples. So how are we to understand the ‘helmet of salvation?’ I believe it is multifaceted.
The helmet of salvation speaks of the need to protect our minds. When it comes to this life we need to understand that we live in two realms simultaneously–the physical and spiritual realms. The physical realm is easy to identify; it’s everything we experience through our physical senses–touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. There is, however, also a sixth sense which is not physical. No, I am not referring to the ‘sixth sense’ which many psychological thrillers and spiritualists refer to; but, I do believe we have a spiritual sense as well. With it we become aware of the spiritual realm. Ever felt prompted to go and talk with someone? That may be the Holy Spirit prompting you, in your spirit, to do a special task, which after the fact we often recognize as His leading. Ever felt tempted to do something and had to rebuke the very idea? That may be the enemy attempting to sidetrack you. Our spiritual sense appears to have a very strong connection with our thought life, which is why Paul also encouraged believers to have a deliberate focus. In Philippians 4:8, he instructs the church to “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Don’t give the enemy room to work in your life through your thought life. Put on the helmet of salvation!
The helmet of salvation is also a sign of whose authority we have chosen to come under–that of Jesus’ Christ, our Commander in Chief. What we know as a disciple comes by faith, not feelings. When a soldier is given instructions for engagement with the enemy, his feelings are not part of the equation. A battle plan is drawn up; troops are assigned their positions; when the word is given to ‘go’ no hesitation is permitted. The soldiers understand that they are under another’s authority and to question their superiors directions could be costly both to themselves and their unit. They must trust their commander. The same is true for the disciple of Jesus. God has given us directions for life–things we must do and things we are to avoid; behaviour contrary to His plan, or even hesitating to act, can put us and others in spiritual jeopardy. Putting on the helmet of salvation, on a daily basis, reminds us of the fact that we are no longer in charge. God is! For those who understand who God is and what He’s done for us, this does not pose a problem. We serve a God of love, justice and faithfulness; a God who transcends time and knows everything; a God who created the universe and can do anything; a God who does not want to see any human being suffer eternity in hell and so came to earth as the God-man, Jesus.
Feelings are important, but sometimes our feelings get in the way of obedience. It is important that we put on the helmet of salvation to help us move in the right direction based on God’s guidance and not feelings or even our own thinking. Allow God’s thoughts to become your thoughts. Focus on what is true, noble and pure. Do not give the enemy a means by which to attack you. Put on the helmet of salvation! ~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!