By Kimberly Maran
As you start a new school year with perhaps a new backpack or book bag, think about what you’re going to carry with you. Pencils, pens, notebook, calculator . . . some of you may even have a phone in it that your parents want you to keep handy.
Seems like a very simple question to answer, doesn’t it? In one way, it is a simple question—and I don’t really need to know what you have in there (although I certainly hope you’re prepared!). But let’s pretend we’re talking about what you’re carrying around in your spiritual backpack. What would be inside?
The Bible encourages us to be prepared for situations or temptations that come our way. We are also to be ready to share Jesus with others, and be ready for His second coming. The Bible shows us how to do this. You may remember hearing or reading about putting on the whole “armor” of God so we can stand strong with and for God no matter what. Here’s a list of things taken from Ephesians 6:14-17 we can keep in our spiritual backpack—ready at a moment’s notice—that will help us:
- Belt of Truth (buckled around your waist, keeps truth from slipping away)
- Breastplate of Righteousness (protects your chest/heart by keeping love inside)
- Gospel of Peace Shoes (keep your “feet” fitted and ready to share Jesus!)
- Shield of Faith (to stop whatever the devil throws at you and to trust in God)
- Helmet of Salvation (protects your mind from evil, keeps hope alive)
- Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word, the Bible, needs to be used!).
One more thing that needs to be in your spiritual backpack is your “Prayer Pass.” Better than a hall or bathroom pass, you keep this with you all the time—and use it frequently! Without prayer, all the other items in your backpack will either fall out or not work properly. We are told to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV). That means we should pray about anything and everything at anytime, especially remembering to pray for other people.
This school year, as you load your pack and carry it around from place to place, remember that you have a spiritual backpack that needs care and attention too. And just as you will use the stuff you’ve put in your school bag, remember to use the tools Jesus has given you so you’re spiritually strong and prepared. content