The Old Serpent and the Slacker

A Roman soldier’s breastplate protected his vital organs.  The helmet he wore protected his head.  The two-edged sword was used to slay the enemy, and to fend off blows from the same. 

He thought to himself, “A believer’s armor isn’t all that material stuff like a Roman soldier wore.  Our armor is a person.  As Paul put it, the Person of Jesus Christ! So, what he’s saying is that in order to protect myself I’ve got to ‘put on’ Jesus Christ and His righteousness. I’ve got to depend on God’s strength, not my own strength.” 

Brady took a bite of bagel and washed it down with coffee. He had made it stronger than usual to make sure he wouldn’t nod off while he read. “Jesus is my armor,” he repeated over and over.

One thing that had jumped out at him was the word stand.  Stand against the devil’s schemes–stand your ground–stand firm–Paul had used it repeatedly.

Brady sat there staring at the page, wondering how he could have overlooked the importance of keeping God’s protection on 24/7.  As a reminder he wrote in the margin: A Christian’s armor is Jesus Christ.   

Chara heard a whoosh–whoosh–whoosh coming from above.  His eyes darted heavenward and he held his breath.  When he saw God’s Special Envoy coming out of the sky he marveled at the sight of him.  Chara was exquisite, to be sure, but the guardians were a magnificent sight to behold.  What’s more, their supernatural powers were superior to the host warriors.  The angel coming from the sky was truly extraordinary.  He was carrying a shield with ABSOLUTE TRUTH emblazoned on it.  Chara’s smile brightened when he saw that the Son had sent the Angel of Truth to Brady McCoy. “Greetings Anabo!”  

The guardian’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.  “Back at you my friend!”

The evil spirits really had their work cut out for them.  Anabo was a force to be reckoned with.  Although he was an expert with the sword, he rarely ever used it.   Poneros was in for a wild ride.

Anabo’s smile lit up the room.  “I see he’s in the Word.” He peered at the Book.  “Ephesians 6?  Excellent!”

Chara nodded, “Excellent indeed.” Then he put in, “Now he understands.” 

The smile disappeared.  “The Adversary won’t give up on him.”

Chara said, “A veteran visited Brady.  He made no headway at all so he may have gone for help.” 

Anabo quipped, “Bring ’em on!” 

“How long will you stay?”

He pointed up to the sky.  “It’s His decision, of course.  But, as you know, I’m only sent when they need guarding for long periods of Earth time. So I’ll be around for awhile.”  He grinned and said, “You warriors are here today, gone tomorrow.”  

Chara nodded.  He thought about the trouble brewing in San Francisco.  “True.  The Son keeps us busy.  Serving Him is pure joy!”


“Well then,” said Chara, “it seems Brady McCoy is in good wings, so I’ll be on my way.” 

Anabo gave him a broad smile.  “God speed, compatriot!”

The Angel of Truth had a smile that lit up the sky and made demons shrink away.  Chara bid his friend adieu and took off for the City by the Bay.

* * *

Brady McCoy wasn’t the ruler of a country, a business tycoon or a member of Congress, nor was he a movie star, an athlete or an evangelist.  Brady grew up in a middle class family.  After high school graduation he didn’t attend Yale, Harvard or Stanford, instead he went to a community college then moved on to San Diego State.  About his only claim to fame was that he could sing better than most and did a pretty fair imitation of country crooner Brad Paisley.  His job as an analogue design engineer for a small computer company was certainly nothing to brag about.  Yet the Angel of Truth had been dispatched to watch over

Brady had a strong desire to grow in knowledge and wisdom but was easily distracted. The time had come for him to mature in his faith.  And so Anabo was sent to guard him through the trials and tribulations he would go through.  With Anabo holding the forces of wickedness at bay the work of the Holy Spirit would go unhindered.  

Brady rubbed his chin thoughtfully.  “Why did I have doubt s?” he wondered. “I mean, it’s totally clear that a spiritual battle’s going on. Why didn’t I see that?” 

Now there was no doubt in Brady’s mind that a battle was raging in the “heavenly realms.”  God’s elect angels were at war with what Paul had referred to as the “rulers,” “authorities” and “powers” of this “dark world.”  It occurred to Brady that “Satan and his demons are way crueler than the 
Taliban and Al Qaeda combined. Boy, if the spirits were made of flesh and blood no doubt the war would be a bloody one.”

His eyes darted around the room and he suddenly felt uneasy.  Was an angel close by?  It hit him that looking for an invisible being was dumb.  “Even if an angel was two feet away I couldn’t see her…him!” he corrected.He remembered Pastor Tom mentioning that in every angelic appearance in the Bible the angels took on the appearance of men, never women.  “Angel’s are described as dudes.  So is Satan,” he reminded himself.The momentary thought of the enemy of Christ caused a chill to run up his spine. His eyes shot to the ceiling then to the floor vent.  Looking at the vent made him feel uneasy.  “What if a demon’s in this room?”  Dismissing the thought, Brady’s eyes drifted back to the Bible.  He heaved a sigh and chastised himself.  “Man, I’ve really been a slacker.”

Brady now understood that if there was any hope of living a victorious Christian life he must be armed for battle.  “You’re as dumb as a bucket of mud, McCoy.  What made you think you could fight Satan in your own strength?”

The Old Testament book of Job popped into his mind and for a moment he sat there pondering the story which he knew pretty well from the men’s Bible study he had attended last year.  There was no one like Job on earth.  He was a wealthy and righteous man who worshiped God and avoided evil.   People looked up to Job.  This extraordinary man fell on hard times.

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