I had never thought of my swim training aids as ‘armor’ until God shared this message with me!
As I made my way through a self-devised swimming program in order to train for a Sponsored Swim, I got to the point where I realized I wasn’t making any gains, and knew something had to change! Firstly, I began swimming EARLY in the morning when the pool has its 50 meter lanes open to the public.
I immediately noticed something different ~ it would appear that this is when the SERIOUS swimmers come out!!! I felt out of place! There they were with all their fancy gear, whereas my ‘gear’ totaled a pair of goggles! They were achieving times I could only dream of, at a pace that would blow my max heart rate up!
I spent a large proportion of my first 6am swim observing in awe, and speaking to a few of these athletes. I gained some wisdom from them, and decided to put it into action! Amazon.com, and next day delivery were my next stop!
This is my ‘Armor’:
~ Goggles: to protect my eyes
~ Paddles: they increase resistance against the water, making my arms work harder, and therefore get stronger.
~ Flippers: they increase resistance against the water, making my legs work harder, and therefore get stronger.
~ Buoy and float: these both enable to me isolate either just my arms, or legs, so that I can focus the training on one area of my performance.
These tools aid my training, but I immediately noticed that when I remove my ‘armor’ and begin to swim unaided, it feels like I’m going nowhere. I struggle and feel weak; it feels like I am ‘swimming in place’! My swimming ‘armor’ strengthens me, and helps me to train more effectively. It equips me so that I can be victorious when faced with a challenge such as my sponsored swim. Before I discovered my swimming ‘armor’, I was muddling along on my own, missing out on so much more than I could achieve, and not realizing the potential that lay within me.
We can muddle through this life on our own, but it is not until we put on that Full Armor of God that we will be ready for the battles of this world. This begins with our Salvation and placing our trust and hope in God. We need to accept the truth that we are sinners, and without the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we face eternal separation from God. We need to accept the amazing GIFT of Jesus paying the price for all of our sins, and God’s offer of forgiveness, and allow Him to place the Helmet of Salvation on our heads.
Every day we need to accept God’s new mercies that grant us righteousness. We need to arm ourselves with His Word, put our faith in His everlasting Truth, and plant our feet firmly in the peace that He provides. THEN we will be armed for battle. THEN we will begin to understand all that God has in this world for us. THEN we will be able to realize the potential that lies within us. THEN we will be ready to face this world and all that it throws at us, and when the world knocks the sword out of our hands, we immediately pick it back up and fight on! THEN people will see something different in us, observe Christ in us, and put on the armor for themselves.“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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 Lord’s people.” Eph. 6:10-18