faith

Starting Armor of God

armor

Remember how last summer my friend and I participated in the Angie Smith’s Seamless bible study? (You can read more here.) This summer, we’re participating in Priscilla Shirer’s The Armor of God. Lifeway is hosting an online study over on their blog, and today marks our first session.

The first session is about getting to know the women participating in the study, especially why they were drawn to The Armor of God.

My answer is pretty simple on the surface, more complicated just underneath. Last summer, I chose the Seamless study, so it was my friend’s turn to choose. She picked The Armor of God a few months ago. We had big plans of it being our new year’s study, and then life got in the way, as it often does, so we’re covering the whole situation in grace and counting it joy that we get to participate with so many women this summer! See what we did there? ; ) Seriously, though, something like 30,000 women signed up, so it’s pretty good timing as far as community goes.

The more complicated part of my answer is that the study focuses a lot on “the enemy,” and that frame of thinking has never been a strong part of my faith practice. (Stay with me here; I’ll try to articulate what I mean!) I know there are churches / denominations that talk a lot about “the devil” or “the enemy,” but I’ve never been a part of one. Please know that I say that with absolutely no judgment of churches that do or people who are members of those churches; it’s simply new to me because I’ve always thought more in terms of the presence of evil in the world, people choosing darkness over light,* people not living into the peace of Christ, that sort of thing. The idea of this personification of evil is new to me, and while I don’t know that it will completely change my way of thinking about how darkness gets into our present world, I do appreciate the exercise in helping me focus on how that darkness gets into my own life, and the English major in me sees how a personified enemy can help with forming that understanding.

I hope that made some semblance of sense.

*seems like a good place for a disclaimer stating that while I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, I don’t practice it as a faith ; )

lantana

I think the reason this particular study stood out to my friend is pretty neat. The study focuses on Ephesians 6:10-17, which is a passage my friend’s father always told her was important to learn and keep on her heart. She said that his advice has made more and more sense to her the older she gets, and she wanted a chance to study it in depth. Isn’t that a wonderful reason? I hope to pass along similar wise advice to my own children.

Anyone else joining in? or have any exciting plans for a study or a devotional this summer? Let me know in the comments!

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