“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV)
The Trojan horse may seem like odd imagery for God’s calling. I see it as helpful. Let me explain it first. In Greek mythology, a hollow wooden horse filled with Greek soldiers was left at the gates of Troy. The Trojans assumed it was a gift; so they dragged it inside. During the night the soldiers climbed out and defeated Troy.
We are like the Trojan horse in that we carry within the mighty force of Christ’s nature and presence. Those who live and move among us have no idea what’s inside until the door opens. They then see an all-surpassing power that they know must surely come from God. It can’t come from the “horse”. The horse, after all, isn’t much. Indeed, it is powerless in itself.
This does not suggest a life of powerlessness and passivity. That would merely empower controllers. That is, in fact, the breeding ground of totalitarianism. Passivity is really a failure to embrace our calling as Trojan horses in the midst of an evil world.
The Trojan horse is not passive! It is clever and effective strategy. The armour of God passage in Ephesians 6:10-17 describes this clever strategy. The various armour parts listed there enclose the entire body, and together they form our defence. Although these parts normally function externally, here they function internally. They protect us by giving us a character disposition that is resilient to threatening temptations.
Let us, for example, take “the shield of faith”. A secure faith in our mighty God can shield us from any threats that tempt us to fight back or run away. Our awareness of God enables us to stand firm. We know we have Christ’s all-surpassing power within.
The armour of God passage warns us not to fight against “flesh and blood people” because people are not our real enemy. Our real adversary is comprised of spiritual forces and influences that work both inside and outside of us. Through Christ we have spiritual weapons to overcome them. It is our God-given duty to apply this armour through our character formation.
Prayer: Lord, we realize now that ongoing spiritual growth prepares us for those times when we will be surrounded by adversarial forces. We therefore submit ourselves to You — as Your Trojan horses. Train us through the school of life to take hold of Your all-surpassing power and spiritual provisions. Amen.
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission