Ephesians 6:12-13

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take upon you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Thankfully for most of us not with the physique of Brooks Koepka, golf is a non-contact activity. The posted score for your play is counted in relation to par attached to the particular holes of the course. Your playing partners have no say in your performance as they do nothing to prevent you from your goal of par. Similarly, our spiritual lives are not thwarted by our neighbor’s actions forcing us to or not to act according to His guidance for our lives. Our society has become a people of excuses, i.e. I got cheated out of a promotion because Johnny takes the credit for all my work, I failed Geometry because I have such a bad teacher, or I shot 94 because I had to listen to Steve’s marital problems and couldn’t concentrate. In Chapter 6 of Ephesians, Paul illustrated how we protect ourselves from spiritual and personal ruin. We are to have our loins girted with truth, wearing a breastplate of righteousness, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, a shield of faith, and a helmet of salvation while carrying the sword of the Spirit. Each of the aforementioned protections prevent any snare, trial or temptation we may face on a daily basis. If we fail to arm ourselves with any of the above, evil will find a way to maim or impair our ability to act according to scripture. The full armor is also necessary to be successful in golf. You must have your mind right, driver under control and a precise short game. If any dimension of your game is deficient, that aspect will be exposed. We all can recall times when we have failed to arm ourselves and became vulnerable. We send a seemingly innocent text to an ex-girlfriend after a fight with the wife, have an extra glass of wine at the company Christmas party, or decide we didn’t wake up feeling as good as we intended and skip church just this one Sunday. These decisions are not physically forced upon us, but each eliminates a fraction of the armor we possess. Our poor decisions lead to another action which further entangles us within an enlarging snare. One text leads to a lunch date, another glass of wine leads to six, and laying out of one service leads to a month hiatus. My prayer for today is to always stand on spiritual guard armed not only with the protections, but also the weapon of His Word.

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