Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 5 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. Please don’t forget to check out Part 4 here. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy!
Ryan gasped as he hit the floor, not allowing one second to pass before he hopped to his feet. No matter how hard his opponent tried, he would always try harder.
It was his promise.
After regaining his footing, Ryan struck his opponent with a hard kick, whipping his leg around in a blur. It was enough to take him down.
After practicing drills and forms, Ryan made it to the locker room and sat down on the bench, running a hand across his sweaty brow as he smiled with pride.
After practicing martial arts for over three years, he’d finally earned his black belt. In three days he would fight in one of the most difficult tournaments of his life.
“You ready for the big day?” Alex, a buddy from class, called from the other end of the locker room.
Ryan shrugged. Was he ready? Could he take first place?
“Yeah, I’m ready,” he said as he slammed his locker door in defiance. He had to be ready. He’d do anything to keep his promise.
After saying goodbye to Alex and showering off, Ryan looked in the mirror. His jaw was set like rigid stone, and his dark eyes pierced against his almond skin. His muscles held taut beneath his t-shirt.
On the outside, he looked like a fighter. But on the inside, he was shaking.
When Ryan hoisted his duffel bag over his shoulder, he noticed something fall to the floor. He winced as he picked up the photo–the one of his father right before he died.
A wave of darkness enveloped Ryan as he thought about his last words to his father. He had made him a promise that he would always do his best. That he would win. He wanted his father to know that before the cancer took hold of his final breaths.
Ryan shuffled over to his locker, suddenly nauseous at the oath he’d made. What if he failed? What would he become?
The room was silent–the kind of silence that gave him the chills. Everything looked darker, as if he were consumed by a giant shadow.
When Ryan opened his locker, he frowned. The solid, yet lightweight, chest guard that he sometimes used in practice drills was gone–and in its place was an embossed metal shield with a note attached.
“What?” Ryan whispered as he grabbed and unfolded the note. This must’ve been a prank.
My Dear Ryan,
I alone know what you are up against. You’re afraid of failing and letting your father down. But you don’t have to fight alone. Take My shield of faith into all of your battles. My armor will never let you down. I am your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on Me.
Ryan stood there, frozen. This couldn’t be a prank. No one knew about the promise he’d made to his dad. Tears welled in his eyes as he slumped down on the bench.
Was Jesus real? He’d always been searching for the right religion–for something to believe in. Was this a sign?
As if in perfect response, suddenly the lights flickered and died out. Ryan shot up from the bench. There, glowing in his locker like a flame, was the new shield.
Ryan swallowed as the darkness closed in, compressing the air from his lungs with lies of failure and danger.
Without another thought, Ryan grabbed the shield. He held it close to his chest and followed the light that radiated from its metal core.
Ryan didn’t know where he was going as he ran out of the back exit of the gym. All he knew was that he felt free. He wasn’t strong enough, but maybe God was.
I am Your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on me.
Ryan kept running, following the trail of light that blazed through the fresh blanket of wet snow. Shadows filled the night around him as he cut across the alley.
Ryan stopped when he found himself in the parking lot of a small apartment complex. Four other people stood on the concrete, glowing from the inside out.
“Who are you?” Ryan asked. Logically, he should’ve been afraid. But somehow, he wasn’t.
Looking for something?
It was not the response he expected. The voice swept through the wind like a whisper. Ryan gasped and dropped to his knees.
God was real. And he believed.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)
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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2017 © No part of this content may be copied or shared unless given permission by the author and linked back to this web address. However, you are encouraged to share the link to this post as well as all other posts!