I went bowling the other day with some coworkers in Chicago. We had a great time but I am really bad at bowling. I would get up to the line and with no skill or form at all, throw the bowling ball down the alley. Sometimes it would look like it was going straight down the lane and then veer to the left and end up in the gutter! Other times I would get a strike or a spare. I was very inconsistent. I was actually surprised with my outcome no matter if it was a gutter ball, a strike or just one pin laying down in the lane. I never knew what my score would be.
I look at bowling sort of like LIFE. The bowling ball is like the devil and we are like the pins. The ball comes in strong and knocks down the pins just like the devil comes in strong and knocks us to the ground. Then just like the big pinsetter comes down from the top of the lane and resets the pins, God comes down and wraps his arms around us, picks us up and sets us up again.
Sometimes the devil comes running after us and our spiritual strength gets him off course and he ends up in the gutter. We stand strong. The only way we can stand strong and resist the devil and send him into the gutter is to put on the armor of God which we find in Ephesians 6:14-17. Verse 11 says we should put on the armor of God so that we can take a stand against the devil’s schemes – so we “bowling pins” can stand strong when the “bowling ball” comes right at us.
We should put on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
When we are fitted with all of this armor and standing in the bowling lane, no matter how fast the devil rolls down the lane to attack us, we will be ready to stand firm and veer the old devil into the gutter. When we forget to put on some or all of our armor, then the devil can come in and knock down our pins but thankfully, God is waiting to come down as our pinsetter and set us upright and give us another chance.
Thank goodness for those pinsetters and gutters. I think I’m actually a better bowler than I thought!