By, John Feddema
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6: 10-12
The men that passed through the gates of the First Responders Legacy Program at the Sky Rose Ranch arrived with heavy hearts. They were quiet, broken and scarred from many battles with foes internally and externally. For some, the spiritual armor they once had was tattered, their shields fragmented from many attacks, their weapons lost along their journey. For others, they arrived never having the opportunity to face life’s battles with the full armor of God. The hearts of the men that arrived were burdened by guilt, shame and unforgiveness. This showed on their faces. The focus of the week was to nourish their souls with the Truth of God’s Word.
For these men, the Sky Rose Ranch was an oasis in the desert. Time was spent helping equip the men for future battles and allowing them to unpack the burdens of their heart so it could be filled with the Truth of God’s Word. Spiritual strength is needed when we face an unseen enemy that approaches in darkness and uses cunning rather than mere force to attack our hearts and minds. While we isolate ourselves in our struggles, God desires to draw use out of the darkness and into the light, to do His perfect work in the mess of our lives.
The men that left the program at the end of the week did not leave in the same manner as they arrived. They left with the opportunity to put on the whole armor of God and apply all of the Gospel to all of their life. Fully trusting in God and what He has done for each them through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The victory over the spiritual warfare they face in their lives was secured at the cross, through the shed blood of Christ. They left the Sky Rose Ranch with their heads high and their body and soul nourished. They left prepared for battle.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13