Ephesians 6:10-11 – 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – NIV
In fencing, a defensive move with your weapon is called a “parry.”
Now the interesting thing about a parry is that it doesn’t have to be a “wide” parry to be effective. It only has to be enough to cause your opponent’s blade to miss making contact with your target area. Moving the guard of your blade even 3 or 4 inches to your right or left in one of eight basic “parry positions” will do the job when your opponent attacks.
And so it is with the schemes of the devil. He is really good at “parrying.” (This analogy breaks down if pressed too hard, but stay with me.)
Satan doesn’t parry our attacks against him, so much as he parries our Godly goals and daily efforts to follow Christ wholeheartedly. And again, It doesn’t take much – just a few inches off course will do. At first we may not even realize it, but too often it becomes obvious over time that we have been “parried,” and we have missed the mark.
Satan’s strategy rarely involves a bold, loud attack, like a “Fleche” (bold, sudden running attack). He usually prefers the deceptively destructive strategy of distraction to accomplish his goals. This is why Scripture refers to his efforts as “schemes.” He doesn’t work to get us “way off course;” he works to get us “slightly off course,” because he knows that by doing so, we will eventually end up “way off course” all on our own.
Scripture encourages Christ followers to put on the “full armor of God” so that we can stand against the devil’s “schemes.” The Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Feet fitted with the readiness that comes with the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, are all included in that “full armor.”
Of course, there are times when the devil sends the “fiery darts,” also but the “full armor of God” helps us stand against the subtle schemes, as well. The devil and his minions constantly work to “parry” our lives away from God’s purposes for us, using small moves to get us just enough “off target” to miss our goal.
Dealing With The Devil’s Parry:
One way to deal with an “attempted parry” in fencing is to do a “disengage,” by moving your blade into a different “line.” This young lady describes a “disengage” in sport fencing fairly well, although she may seem a bit too cheery about it 😀 :
Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13s7azK47Wg
But if you don’t avoid the parry by doing a disengage, then it’s time for a “remise.” Basically, a “remise” is immediately attacking again after the opponent’s parry. In other words, a “parry” doesn’t end the bout. There are more attacks and advances to make. And in life, that gives me great hope.
Have you been parried? Are you off course? Take up the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Maybe it’s time to “disengage” or do a “remise,” realigning your blade into a new “line of attack” that will hit the goal.
Put on the full armor… Get back in the battle.
Because the adventure of following the Living Lord of Life is ever before us.