6 Items You Won’t Find on a Supply List, Pt. 2

In college, I was the girl who set two alarm clocks and chose outfits the night before. I stressed over syllabi more times than I care to admit.

Sometimes, I focused so closely on the tangible details that I overlooked the spiritual equipment needed to get through the day.

Ephesians 6 outlines the ultimate Every Day Carry (EDC) list we can’t do without—whether we’re in high school, college, or beyond. Last week, we saw the first three, and today, we’ll examine the final ones.

Item #4: The Shield of Faith

The Apostle Paul underscores the importance of a soldier’s shield. Most of us don’t sling medieval metal over our shoulders, but the idea is one of protection.

In different ways, we apply the same concept today. For example, this weekend, I went scalloping and slathered on SPF 50 (twice). I wouldn’t dream of spending four hours in the sun without it!

Shields (whether metallic or ultraviolet) protect us from dangers. On the spiritual front, faith in the unchanging work of God guards us from hidden hazards.

The Bible says that the just live by faith (Romans 1:17). To live by faith, we first need to live rightly (item 2), which means we must think rightly (item 1).

Item #5: The Covering of Salvation

Coverings or helmets were a big deal for safety in Bible days. Without them, the soldier’s most exposed part of the body was vulnerable.

In his epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul restates the importance of this spiritual armor. He warns his readers to be alert or to “keep awake and be sober” so that they aren’t caught off guard (I Thess. 5:6 ESV). In order to be prepared, he challenges them to don “the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (I Thess. 5:8 ESV emphasis added).

Our salvation should both command our center and give us the confidence to face whatever challenges we encounter.

Item #6: The Sword of the Spirit

Leaving for class unprepared is code for disaster.

Obviously, students need their books (or tablet) to learn. If you attend Christian school or college, the Sword of the Spirit (code for your Bible) will probably be among the items you’ll bring. Regardless, I hope you’ll want to bring it.

It is the best defense for the day. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, it’s good for more than just Bible class. It teaches us about doctrine and righteousness, and corrects us when we mess up.

Download the Bible on your tablet or phone—or better yet, bring a print version. Whatever you do, don’t leave home without it.

A Daily Checklist

After the first day of school, we forget about supply lists (and sometimes, even about the syllabi), but the list from Ephesians 6 is one we need to remember year round. These items should form our EDC even on weekends.

To all my student friends, I challenge you to cut out the list below and tack it on your mirror or in your locker. Look at it every day. Remember it when the day brings an unexpected blow, and cheer through it when God grants you a spiritual victory.

Ask yourself: Do I have my EDC?

Start strong, and finish well.

~ Kristen

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6 Items You Won’t Find on a Supply List

This time of year, stores greet you with shelves of back-to-school supplies, an ominous reminder that summer is almost over. Soon, students and teachers will be saying goodbye to lazy summer days and the snooze button.

Sure, scissors and number two pencils have their place, but students won’t find what they need most on a supply list. If you’re a student, whether new to high school or finishing college, your biggest hurdles this year won’t be mental or physical. They’ll be spiritual, so you can’t afford not to have these items.

Ephesians 6:14-17 provides the list of essentials to start the year right.

Item #1: The Belt of Truth

Growing up, I never had the nightmare my peers seemed to have—of finding themselves undressed in the middle of class. Maybe that’s because I was homeschooled. Regardless, no one wants her pants sagging the first day of school, so belts matter.

The Bible describes truth as a belt “girded” about our waists (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV). We don’t use words like “gird” anymore, but the concept is that belts tighten or bind our clothes about us so that we don’t trip. They’re essential to keeping our outfits together.

Truth keeps us from tripping over lies we’ll be tempted to tell or believe about ourselves. What are some biblical promises that will help your mind stay centered on truth? Jot them down, and memorize them.

Like a syllabus, our thoughts determine the semester’s course. Make sure they’re pointing you in the right direction.

Item #2: The Under Armor of Righteousness

Right living, holy living is not something our culture commends. In fact, the trend is to break the rules, not follow them.

But this world shouldn’t set our moral GPS. God’s Word should, and it makes clear that we are to be holy in our conduct (I Peter 1:15).

Holy doesn’t mean perfect but a striving toward Christ-likeness. I like Paul’s description in Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (NKJV).

Item #3: The Shoes of Peace

Shoes are a big deal, especially since most of us wear them with multiple outfits during the week. We girls like them cute and comfy. Guys tend to prefer comfort over style, but I once had a student, a seventh grade boy, obsessed with LeBron James’ style athletic shoes. I’ll leave it at that.

Regardless of what we want in a shoe, there’s one feature department stores don’t advertise, and that’s peace. However, where we go and what we do when we get there say much about our testimony.

Check your steps against the parameters of Isaiah 52:7.

  • Am I known for being a peacemaker, someone my friends enjoy being around?
  • What do I share more: good news or gossip?
  • Am I ready to tell others my testimony, or do I keep my salvation a secret?

How would you answer these questions?

Next time, we’ll look at the final three items we can’t afford to forget this school year.

~ Kristen

 

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