by Mark White
Before the coronavirus pandemic, I would certainly not have known what the acronym, PPE meant. In fact, I had never heard the term before. However, medical personnel are quite familiar with “Personal Protective Equipment.” N95 masks, disposable gowns, gloves, face shields, shoe coverings— all of these items are necessary equipment to keep health care workers safe as they do their job of caring for those sick with the virus. Recent discussions about mask-wearing in the general population are also a part of these PPE requirements. School children and teachers who return to the public classroom will be wearing masks and face shields. Hand sanitizer will be in easy reach. Soap and water will be abundant. The same is true for those who are still working at public jobs where they must interface personally with other people. PPE is a huge deal right now in the fight against the spread of this contagion.
Christians have been outfitted by God with personal protective equipment in a spiritual sense. Read carefully Paul’s description of both offensive and defensive equipment we are given as we wrestle against spiritual threats, from Ephesians 6:10- 17: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NASU, emphasis mine, MW)
These images of battle equipment should call to mind the true struggle we all face against sin and unrighteousness in our personal lives. Our enemy, Satan, is using every available means to attack us and render us useless to God and His cause. Arm yourself so that you can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. —
Thanks to Mark W. White
July 8, 2020
Published by the Cy-Fair church of Christ, Houston, Texas