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Sunday, July 29, 2007

A lesson from a little one

This drawing is one my oldest did in the days after 9-11. She was four years old. Her explanation of this picture continues to humble me with its simplicity and grace.

She said, "This picture shows the angry and sad man in the airplane that hit the tower." She explained the words "I love" by saying God loves and she would choose love, not anger like those men did.

This same little girl is now almost ten years old and today taught her first Sunday school lesson. She picked the topic, wrote the paper on her own, and delivered it so well that all I could do when I first heard her practice was smile and wipe the tears of pure mommy pride from my eyes.

I asked her permission to share it with you all, and I'm copying it here in its entirety. Minus her precious smiles and adult, speaker-level eye contact. She's amazing.

The Armor of God

Read Ephesians 6:10-18, "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And 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."

(And yes, she even copied the verse numbers when she wrote this passage out on paper. She's a very cool detail kid.)

The armor of God is necessary in our lives every day. Each of the seven pieces has a very important meaning.

First, the helmet of salvation protects our mind, like a helmet protects the head in battle. Salvation is what allows us to experience God's great forgiveness and helps us know right from wrong. A prayer taken from John Eldridge's book Wild at Heart is: "Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from you and declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall have in your kingdom."

The next piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness protects our hearts from corruption, like a breastplate protects a soldier's heart from being harmed. Purity and holiness are what righteousness is. They can only be received from God, and they repel satan's assaults. Another prayer from John Eldridge's book is: "Lord, I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with your holiness and purity~ defend me from all assaults against my heart."

In addition, we have the shield of faith, and it will protect you from satan's lies, just like a shield protects a soldier from arrows. If you continually put your faith in God, satan's lies cannot deceive you. Now, a third prayer from Eldridge's book is: "Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that you are good and that you have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because you are with me."

Another piece of armor is the gospel shoes of peace. It is good to continually be ready to spread peace and the gospel. Spreading peace and being a peacemaker will benefit you very much. And obeying the Great Commission by spreading the gospel is always the right thing to do. Also, one prayer from Wild at Heart says: "Lord, I choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from thinking that the most important thing today is what the world has to offer."

Also, truth holds everything together, like a belt. If you tell the truth, then you will be doing what is right. People often want to be with trustworthy people. You will have healthy relationships if you are truthful and kind and keep your word. The belt of truth will protect us from the enemy's lies if we're willing to believe God's word.

Have you ever had a good relationship because you were trustworthy? A broken one because you weren't? (My kiddo was very brave here and answered her own questions in class when the other kids didn't. This was one of the only pieces of advice I offered~ to have an answer for her questions. She talked about having a good relationship with her sisters because she does what she says she'll do. She talked about having a bad relationship with me for a time when she got caught cheating on a test. But added that over time that relationship healed and she doesn't cheat any more.)

The Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, is an effective weapon against satan and all his lies and demons. Remembering the truth of God's word and believing it will protect you when the devil attacks. A prayer from Eldridge's book says, "Holy Spirit, show me specifically the truths of God's word that I will need to counter the assaults and snares of the enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day."

Prayer is also essential in defeating the enemy. When we pray to God and tell satan to leave, he must flee. Prayer also strengthens our relationship with God, and He helps us fight our enemy. A final prayer from Wild at Heart says, "Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with you in everything - in all prayer as my spirit communes with you throughout the day."

Preparation is important for our spiritual battle. The way to get ready is to put on the Armor of God every day.

8 comments:

Rel said...

Way to go, Miss E :) Get your mum to give you a big hug from her Aussie mate! God is smiling at you and so am I.

Amy Wallace said...

She was all smiles reading your comment this morning. ;-) Thanks for encouraging my kiddo!

Mary said...

Wow! Tell her I'm going to read it to my two oldest daughters! Very beautiful job, we'll be buying devotionals from her someday!

My nine year old watched some of the 9-11 footage with me as it happened, not much, but enough that I had to explain it. I'll never forget her seriousness during President Bush's state of the union address early the next year, when he asked America's children to send money to the White House for blankets and supplies for the children of Afghanistan. He requested one dollar from each child, and she happily gave all she had. Definitely more than one dollar! She loves to hear that story. I think it's good to protect our children from much of the horrors of this old world, but some of it is essential to talk over, even at a very young age, it really develops a compassionate heart.

Also, my 9 yo just gave her first children's story at church, one she'd written herself about running the race of life w/Hebrews 12:2. Maybe our daughters will be writing contemporaries someday?

Sally said...

What a fantastic job!! Your (not so) little girl is a pretty smart cookie!! Hugs from me to you, sugar!!
Love,
Miss Sally

Belinda Peterson said...

Amy,
What an awesome thing your daughter has done. She is certainly going to spread the word of Jesus Christ wherever she goes.
The verses she did Sunday were the same verses we did in Mexico with the kids VBS at night. How special it is to come here and see those words reinforced once again, knowing they were being taught here at the same time we were teaching them in a different country.
God is good----all the time!

Amy Wallace said...

Mary,

Thank you so much for your kind words to my kiddo. She smiled big when I read your post.

We also watched President Bush's State of the Union speech and my girls were thrilled to have something they could do to help. What a gift the president gave toward healing for our children's hearts that day.

If you post your kiddos story about Heb 12:2 let me know! I'd love to read it.

Amy Wallace said...

Sally,

My not so little kiddo loves getting notes from Miss Sally! ;-) Thanks for encouraging her!

Amy Wallace said...

Lindi,

My girls and I had tears in our eyes reading your post together. How cool is God to have had us teaching the same scriptures in two different countries at the same time?! Makes me stop and realize just how big He is. And totally good to let us see that in such precious ways.

Thank you for your words of blessing to my daughter. We both appreciated them so much.

 
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