There are few Christians who would not be nervous at the prospect of coming face to face with a demon,
much less Satan himself. It scares most of us more than a nightmare or a bomb, even if we don't want
to admit it. Admitting it of course suggests that we aren't the strongest of Christians, that we are less than
always prepared, that our faith is perhaps a little lacking. Whatever faith we have on the inside would be
insufficient to address the challenge of the evil being who is standing before us.
That's when we sure hope we've done our homework and have sufficiently put on the full armor
of God. Logically, that would mean being so very confident on the inside, that it would translate to great
strength and resolve on the outside. It too should mean that we‘re grounded enough in the Word
to know what we’re up against.
Yesteryear there was a custom in many churches of holding a certain style of auction. It was called a bidding
bee. Church members in good standing would bid on selected church pews. The pews would be those hard
wood uncomfortable straight backed pews, seldom accompanied with a cushion, and sometimes boxed in.
How well I remember from childhood. That said, the intent of the bidding war was to rev the people up and
get as much money coming into the church treasury at one time as possible.
Not a tremendously spiritual concept, but practical.
In the early nineteen hundreds the pews could fetch as high as $200 if two of the wealthier families fancied
the same location, which more often than not would be a pew situated near the front of the sanctuary where
they could be seen by all. Once winning the contest and obtaining the pew, the winning family was known to
occupy that same pew for many generations with the help of a set annual donation to maintain it. No one
else was to sit there. In the case of an unsuspecting guest who accidentally plunked his or her derriere down
on someone's property, they would be quickly relocated to a less desirable location, usually toward the back
of the sanctuary, for most of the other pews were spoken for also.
With such emphasis on trivia and Pharisee-style behavior, putting on the full armor of God would hardly have
been a concern. I guarantee it was not on their minds. Most probably the main concerns were the Sunday
morning outfits and accompanying accessories, and a good dose of pious posturing.
Building ourselves up to be spiritually strong on the inside is the way to go. We all need to become absorbed
in Scripture, familiarizing ourselves with God’s promises, knowing and believing God’s overwhelming and
unrelenting love, and letting that love become such a part of us that it will translate from the inside out. That’
s where the real strength comes from. Nowhere does the expression “knowledge is power” more aptly apply
than to a saint who is grounded in Scripture. Besides saving money by not purchasing a pew, we might just
become confident in the power of Christ within us to face the worst of obstacles without trembling or backing
down, knowing well that no demon has any power against us when we are wearing God’s armor.