Teaching Men How to Fight Like a Girl
"And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION." Ephesians 6:17
A helmet protects the head when a soldier comes in contact with the enemy. It's primary purpose is to defend the wearer from the blows that an enemy intends to use to crush their skull, or rattle their brain. Having experienced several concussions over the years from car wrecks and football injuries, I am a firm believer in providing the brain with all the help it can get.
One of the side effects of a conscussion is the "deja vus" feeling. This is a strange, and yet intense belief that what is going on has somehow been dreamed about or experienced before. When a person's head has been hit, the concussion creates a climate of confusion in their mind. It is very disconcerting. Although there may be no life-threatening injury, it is still incapacitating. If the enemy cannot defeat you, the enemy will settle for disorienting you.
When the words, "HELMET OF SALVATION" are used, they are a direct quote from Isaiah 50:17. They describe the Redeemer's wardrobe as He prepares to take the field against His adversaries. The soldier of Christ is given a choice to put on the "Helmet of Salvation" or to face the enemy in his own strength. When people try to fight without the proper protection, it should come as no surprise that their inviting an invasion of their mind by the lies of the enemy.
The helmet that a believer puts on his head is a protection from the lies of the enemy. Perverted propaganda permeates the mind of believers when they forget to put on their protection. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father, except by Me." The world says, "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere." God's word says. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:13 The world says, "We all believe in the same God."
It is not politically correct to say that Jesus is the only hope of salvation. The truth remains. The enemy is fighting against Him, and the position He holds as the way of salvation. When a person invites Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior, they receive the victory, but they also join the fight. It may surprise them that their life does not become a bed of ease, but that they become a target for the same enemy that thought it could defeat Jesus. Staying close to Jesus will keep a person from being hit in the head by any idea or concept that sets up another system that overshadows the Savior.
Half a century ago, it was not unusual to see neon signs on prominent, traditional churches flashing the words, "Jesus Saves!" Today, the signs have been taken down and replaced with glossy brochures meant to camouflage the church as a hip, pop culture alternative to the dogmatic bigots who demanded that it was God's way or the highway. When I have attended these churches, I have been struck by their intense effort to make no offense, and to cull out of their vocabulary words that would make people uncomfortable with their separation from God. They offer a well ordered hour of coffee, connection, choruses, and communication designed to be relevant to the prevailing culture.
This seems strange to me. When I go to a mall, they do everything they can to make me feel out of touch with what they have, and create in me a hunger to shed my filthy rags and put on something new. Mirrors and huge glass windows are everywhere. What I wore looked fine when I left the house, but when it put alongside of what is in the window, it looks like trash. When I visit a car dealership, they fill their show room with what I do not have. I am made to feel very uncomfortable with what I drove on to their car lot. The pristine models on their show room floor make it very hard for me leave feeling satisfied driving home in my oil leaking, brake squealing clunker.
When Dana and I heard the word's, "It's cancer!" It was a huge hit to the head. I could not think clearly. I was rattled. She was somehow able to take hold of God's hand, and gain a perspective that I could not grasp. She immediately said, "I knew it. I am just going to have to beat it." I was reeling. She was rallying. Dana's capacity to take hold of the Savior's hand in the middle of her crisis is one of the greatest lessons a man can learn. To fight like a girl means we must let go of our confidence in our capacity to cope with a crisis, and take hold of God's hand to walk us through it.
As a rule, in Western culture, men do not like to hold hands with each other, unless it is limited to a brief, yet firm handshake. When I lived in East Africa, I experienced a different level of appreciation for this act of companionship. Every encounter with another man would involve a series of handshakes and grips. You would be invited to shake, grip, release, shake, grip, release, all the while exchanging various pleasantries. If this exercise was one of genuine friendship or intended to show honor, and respect the hands of the two men would remain clasped as they walked side by side down the road. I never got comfortable with this. Holding hands with another man has never been high on my list of things to do.
Fortunately, women are more accustomed to holding hands with men. They enjoy it. They look forward to it. They see it as a sign of affection, a symbol of identification, and a promise of protection. When Dana took the hand of Jesus, she was taking hold of the Savior's hand to prove Himself faithful to love, to stand and to protect her as she entered the fight of her life. I guess I thought I was going to have to do something. She showed me that she had things well in hands. She kept the main thing the main thing for the entire battle. She knew her salvation came from Jesus. Her eternal security came from Him, and her time on this earth was in His hands. She had a quiet confidence that she was invincible and indestructible, until her work on earth was finished. As I watched Dana walk with Jesus through her "Great Adventure" I began to take baby steps that allowed me to sense His Presence standing next to me. Thank you Jesus for standing firm and taking the hits that were meant for me, and sharing the protection of Your HELMET OF SALVATION.
When men fight like a girl, they let go of their pride and take hold of Jesus. When you are in a head on collision with life, don't be afraid to squeal like a girl and scream, "Jesus take the wheel!" It might become one of your life's greatest hits. Thanks Carrie Underwood, and thank you Dana Miller for teaching me how to fight like a girl.