The Helmet of Salvation

Ephesians 17a
17 And take the helmet of salvation…
There is a military tactic that I learned about called psychological warfare or “Psyop’s” . When I was in training, we used this against a camp of our “enemy forces” by placing a large speaker where they could not get to it, then attached a Barney stuffed animal to it and made it play the “Barney Song” on repeat for hours! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Throughout the night all that could be heard through the camp was “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family! With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too!” Of course when it comes to actual combat the methods used are much different, but you get the point. This is a direct attack on the minds of the enemy designed to confuse, demoralize and frustrate the troops. 
Satan is not ignorant of this tactic and he uses it on a regular basis. I believe that the most treacherous battlefield that you and I encounter on a daily basis is the one in our minds. We are confronted with our own sinful failures and become demoralized. We are confronted with a world steeped in sin and all of the temptations out there and find it so hard to resist. We are confronted with our unworthiness of God’s grace and wonder if we can really be saved. The reason the military uses psyop’s is to defeat the foe in the mind before a weapon is ever used, and it is the same for a Christian. We find ourselves lusting after some woman on a pornographic picture or video. We cave in to the pressure for just one more drink or one more fix. We give into a lie, a temptation a weakness that we have struggled with for so long. It can begin to feel hopeless! The battle is lost in the mind, before it is ever lost in the body. So what do we do?
There is a piece of our armor that is designed to help in these times: The Helmet of Salvation! Paul tells us to take it, to possess it through receiving. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that salvation is a free gift of God, but like any other gift – we must receive it before we can possess it. An unopened present doesn’t do any good for the one who it is to go to. Salvation must be received before we can experience the redemption that God is offering us through Christ. 
Why does Paul use the illustration of a helmet for our salvation? Because it is the knowledge of who we are in Christ that makes it possible to have victory in the battles of our minds. 1 John 5:13 tells us we can “know” that we have a relationship with God. Colossians 3:1-2 says , “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Paul is telling us in these verses that we should concentrate on Christ. This is actively choosing to think about the things of God rather than allowing our minds to go on auto-pilot. He says that we can only do this because we are saved. The helmet of salvation is what protects us from doubts, because our assurance is in God’s Grace, not our performance. It protects us from temptation, because it allows us to seek the things of God instead. It give us hope because it is a constant reminder of our redemption in Christ.
Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ we must put on the helmet of salvation. We do this first by making sure that we have accepted the free gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ by understanding that we are a sinner (Romans 3:23), knowing that we have earned hell (Romans 6:23a), realizing that Christ took our place (Romans 5:8) and that God is offering us this free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23b) that we can receive through confessing these truths, and professing our faith in the resurrection of Christ (Romans 10:9). Then we can be assured that this salvation will guard our minds in the battles we face as we set our attention on Christ!