Pull back the curtain, name the powers

By Dave Henning / February 2, 2023

“Whenever we name the powers, we pull back the curtain to see what’s really going on.  In this way, naming it is apocalyptic.  It’s a revelatory act.  It’s also liberating.”- Rich Villodas

“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.”- Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

Rich Villodas concludes Chapter 2 of Good and Beautiful and Kind with a look at the full armor of God.

 1.  Truth.  It’s important, Pastor Villodas stresses, to name thing accurately, to name the interior messages that undermine your spiritual and emotional health.  Because it’s possible to become blind to areas of spiritual bondage – and used to it!

 2.  Righteousness.  For the apostle Paul, righteousness serves as one of the defining characteristics of those united with Christ.  In addition, it’s a powerful means to resist those powers.  So, when you practice righteousness in daily small ways, you live free.  Instead of in bondage to the lies of the world.

 3.  Peace.  Paul speaks of more than interior, spiritual, and psychological peace.  He also refers to the commitment to carry the good news of peace to a fragmented world.

4.  Faith.  We overcome the powers through confidence in God’s power.  Rather than through trust in our abilities.  Also, it’s an outward-oriented faith, as the late theologian Marva Dawn (a college classmate at Concordia) noted:

“The shield of faith signifies not only trust or confidence in God’s power as a critical part of the armor, but also putting on the shield is to participate in Messianic faithfulness.”

5.  Salvation.  Above all, Rich notes, the gospel calls us to apply its power beyond privatized expressions of faith.  Therefore, Christ death not only applies to ‘me.’  It must also apply to ‘us.’

6.  The Word of God.  Here the Word of God places the focus on two things.  Orienting one’s live by a careful integration of God’s truth, and the victory already established in Jesus.  Hence, Scripture must flow from our lips.  Yet, apart from God, we cannot overcome the powers.

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you pull back the curtain and name the powers?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Grandpa lives in your bones”

About the author

Dave Henning

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